The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
A common issue for many people, who love or know an addict, is their denial of it. Who wants to admit, ‘my brother is an addict’. Many times family and friends are blind to their loved one’s addiction. Brothers, in our society, are looked upon as people who ‘should’ be strong and fortified, with tolerance and respect. So if your brother is an addict, his addiction may be very hard to come to terms with. Perhaps there are times your brother comes home from a ‘days long drug run’ or a night of binge drinking at the bar, that you choose to turn a blind eye to. Your brother’s addiction may be something you either want to ignore, or, you may have so much respect for him, you are in complete denial with the circumstances. It doesn’t fit with your world view of him, so you neatly evade the subject.
My brother was always such a sweet kid, but he grew up with an addict in the family: me. The tale of a brother in addiction goes both ways in this story. My brother is seven years younger than me. My little brother grew through his early adolescence seeing me, his strong and valiant older brother, overdosing on heroin and alcohol. I know this had to be very damaging for my little brother. Today I am overjoyed to state that I’m five years clean and sober. The sad issue of this is that I think my addiction played a big negative part in my brother’s life. My brother is an addict. He is now facing his own addictions, and of course I wish he wasn’t. It is almost too heartbreaking to be true. I have tried to stay oblivious and blind to my brother’s addiction because of my feelings of guilt and shame, and my huge love for him. My worst fear that my brother could be an addict like me is manifesting in front of my eyes.
Because I don’t live at home anymore, I don’t see all of the tell tale signs. I can remain visually blind to my brother’s addiction. He’s still young and my parents do the best they can with him, but I know it is not enough. My brother was abusing pills, but the family wrote that off to teenage and mental health issues. The problem of course is what came first, the chicken or the egg? I tried to stay in denial, thinking that he’s just a teenager with raging hormones, and normal existential angst. I refuse to believe that he is addicted to pills, or has mental health issues. My denial is not helpful.
My family and I confront my brother about his issues and ask him nicely to take a drug test. He resists – of course. We eventually succumb to the blindness and enabling behavior and say to him, “It’s okay to not take the drug test as long as you’re honest.” Since when has addiction ever elicited honesty? We find out his high school has been stricken with a heroin epidemic, but no, we lie to ourselves, it couldn’t be affecting our young family member. Luckily on this point we were right. My brother became a chronic marijuana/dab/wax smoker, addicted to nicotine, and dark liquor all by the age of sixteen. We weren’t focused on what was important, my brother, as a person and individual. We believed what we wanted, we were blind to what was really going on. We focused on the headlines and our fears, and not on our loved one. We were blind, but I refuse to stay blind. I know that denial kills. My brother needs rehab, how can I help my brother get the help he needs for his addiction? He needs help, so what do I do?
Having a loved one succumb to addiction can make you blind, to be in denial of the problem. It can happen so subtly, that you refuse, or are unable, to see the truth. Don’t love your brother to death, like I almost did. If your brother is an addict, your love and your honesty may be the key to healing and the beginning of recovery in the entire family. Acceptance is the first part of coming out of the darkness. With acceptance, you must personally work on your own recovery, while your loved one gets the help they need too. The part that is huge, is love. No matter the situation, this person is still your brother. Don’t let the love between you fade because you’ve been blind to the addiction before. Now that you are open-minded and accepting to what needs to be done—proper treatment—you can love them in the way that you both need, unconditionally. However, this love must be manifested in a way that does not enable or encourage the addiction, but rather facilitates the actual healthy person inside to break free.
At Serenity Vista, they will provide the best individualized help. That was my experience. Check for yourself to see if it is a good fit for your needs. It was well worth travelling to Panama for their very unique and highly effective recovery program. The entire family gets introduced to the healing methods appropriate to the individual. Whether you are the brother who is dealing with addiction, or your brother is an addict, the healing can begin with reaching out for help. With a holistic philosophy you will work on all of the issues holding you back. You will learn to gain a full, complete, and loving sense of recovery. Denial is exposed, and you will be treated as you deserve to be, with love, respect, honesty and accountability. They will help you work on family issues to gain a sense of who you really are in your new found recovery. Serenity Vista believes in holism—a sense of whole body healing, a holistic approach. And that is exactly what you need to remove the blinders, step into the light, and live a full, prosperous life drug and alcohol free. A combination of the 12 Steps, cognitive behavioral therapy, group work, art and music therapy, fun, sun and great nutritious foods are just part of the addiction treatment recovery package. Consider what Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat has to offer for your new sight into the light of recovery and sobriety!
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