Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Drug Addict...

I received several emails and private messages on Facebook about my brother with the last post about him. When I started writing it, I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to head with it and how elaborate I wanted to take it. I now want to share more experiences and feelings about my youth and having an older brother that has a terrible drug addiction.

I received a lot of messages from friends saying how sorry they were for me about our situation (having a drug addict for a brother) but really, it’s all I know. In Jr. High, he started smoking pot and it escalated quickly from there. William never finished High School and was sucked into the dark life of a drug addict. He started with pot, which to some seems relatively harmless, but then he tried cocaine, speed and heroin. Oh heroin... How I HATE that drug. William was addicted to heroin for years, and his body proves it. His teeth are frail; his veins blackened and scarred; his eyes sunken in with dark circles around them and he is skinny...too skinny. He’s had needles break off while injecting himself with that poison. Some are still floating inside his body. He’s contracted several nasty diseases from sharing needles, and not caring that he had contracted a disease in the moment of experiencing his “high”.

There are times, small, but few where William is clean and will be honest and tell me certain things about his life... about his addictions... about his darkness. William and I are alike in so many ways and yet so different too. I am outgoing, with a strong personality. He is an introvert and conforms to peer pressure. Some dumb kid asked him to try this and that, and he did. One person in my life asked me to try some pot and I laughed in his face. There is NO way I would, or ever will, try any of that stuff. Cigarettes and liquor included!

William has expressed many times to our mom and I that he feels like no one cares for him. He feels alone. He feels unloved. William doesn’t want to feel that way or any negative way, so he gets high. He runs away. He liked heroin for a long time, but now he likes pills to slow him down... to take the feeling and those thoughts away. Even for a few measly moments.  For me, that’s a cop-out. I have “stuff” I deal with too and I don’t run away. I don’t hide. It would be unfair to me and especially to my children and husband. Doing drugs or getting drunk is selfish. Doing any kind of sin in selfish.

People, including William, have said an addict just needs to hit rock bottom and then they’ll change. I couldn’t DISAGREE more! No one has to hit any kind of rock bottom to change. You change when you want to change. It may not be easy, but after you decided to do it, you will. I don’t believe there is a rock bottom, you just keep falling farther and farther away from what’s right... from the gospel... from our Savior.

William has stolen a bunch from me and my mom to pay for his addiction. He has stolen from my kids too.  Jackson left a DS in the bathroom to charge one evening and William went in, saw it, took it, and sold it. William has stolen a bike from me and a bike from Will. Clothes, cd’s, random things found in the garage...Whatever he thinks can make money at the pawn shop. And shame on you pawn shop man for accepting a druggies stolen goods and handing over money to him!

William has panhandled downtown State Street all day to save up enough money just to get a hit that lasts a half hour. Actually, tourists are pretty generous to William and hand over a surprising amount of cash to him. Strange that William spends several hours just standing there asking for money just to turn it over to his dealer for a hit.

When I was Younger I didn’t realize how bad it was. I had no clue why William did drugs and was naive in the entire matter. There are times I feel sorry for him. There are times I hate him for messing up our lives. There are times I forgive him and think he’ll change. There are times I know he’ll die too soon from an overdose. I’ve said and written before... that everyone has temptations, sins, and addictions. You may not be able to see all of mine or other people’s sins but we can all see his. He could change... it won’t be easy but he could change his life. He could go back to school, get a job, get married, and have kids...He’s only 40, yet his body seems much older.  

All my boys know is Uncle William is in prison more than he is not. When they were younger they thought (because I told them) that Uncle William is in jail because he didn’t wear his seat belt. Then as they got older, we told them he stole things, and then it was that he took illegal drugs. They’ve been with me when we’ve visited him in jail. And they know a few other things about him that I am not going to share at this time, with respect to my mom.

When William isn’t in prison, isn’t high or wandering the streets, he’s fun to be around. He is a good person. He is a fun person. He is a smart person. We’ve been to Disneyland and other little trips with him. We’ve sat around the table playing games til late at night. We’ve watched TV and movies together. We’ve sat around and talked and joked about stuff. I enjoy hanging out with him... when he’s not high. William and I will tag team my mom and tease her relentlessly. It is a lot of fun!

Ultimately, I love my brother.


candace said...

I LOVED this! I have a brother as well who has been doing drugs since he was 13, his drug of choice is crystal meth but he will do anything. He's into those bath salts and things he can buy at the smoke shops to get high. He has been in and out of prison and jail since he was in high school. Its been a tough road and will always be for him. He's doing ok now, living in a half way house and going to meetings but this has been the samething since I can remember doing good then bad again. My brother has stolen from me and my family as well and its so sad to see the person he is on drugs. I love my brother I actually named my little girl after him. Hes an amazing person off of drugs and so giving and loving. I too feel there is no such thing as a rock bottom I definitely believe its all when u want to change bad enough. Im so sorry for your loss, because I do feel like we lose our loved ones who use drugs or any kind of addiction but I hope he can get his life in order and enjoy what blessings he is entitled too.

Diana said...

Lori, I loved this. At times I've felt bad, too, that maybe I could do more to help him, to get him to church and all his problems would be solved. But ultimately, he has to WANT to change. I hope he does know, in his sober times, that we love him and that his family loves him. I always love hanging out with him a little at Thanksgiving time. Thanks for baring your heart:)

Angie said...

I love that you shared that! I too love him and absolutely loved being with him this past week when he seemed to be himself! God bless him and we always pray the Demons will lose out and he will win!! Xo

Deanna said...

Thanks for sharing your story. We are dealing with similar stuff here, from my husband's ex. The one suffering in our situation is her son. She's been to jail twice in the last six months for only for a night each time. We secretly hope they take her in for longer. At first we had to tell him his mom was sick or she didn't have a place to live so he couldn't stay with her anymore. This summer we offered to let her stay with us for a week to "detox" and then help her find a rehab center or half way house. It lasted less than 24 hours before she left. He was crushed and that's when as a barely 8 year old I told him about drugs. We don't know and can only imagine how she gets money, no where to live, no job. She comes by about once a month and sees him for an hour, and is gone again. This last week she came trying to get us to buy guns and a laptop from her. She wouldn't admit to stealing them at first "they're just mine" then she told us that they are some guys that sometimes she stays with and he should lock up his place if he doesnt' want things taken. My husband kicked her out and called the police. It's sad. She can't or won't even do it for her son and found out a few weeks ago she's pregnant. She says she's keeping it cuz being pregnant will help her stop. As much as we are pro-life we can't imagine its fair for this baby to be drug addicted and born into this life. So sad all the way around. Best of luck to your family as you support and love your brother the best you can.

rachel said...

It's so tough to watch some of these choices. My parents took in four of my aunt's kids while I was growing up because she's addicted to heroine. Those kids are very strong kids but still have all of the effects from the drugs in their minds and hearts. I felt like it was an opportunity for me to see what it can do. Not just to the person doing it but to all of those people around them. I know that our Savior can heal and people can change but I also know that we can learn from others and still love regardless. It's incredible some of the lessons that I have learned from those years with my cousins. Now that Colby works with addicts and children that have suffered abuse from them. It has taught me that the commandments are to protect us not limit us and perfect love casteth out all fear. Lori you are an awesome sister.