Bad sibling

I have a sibling with substance issues that we had all lost touch with for twenty years. Now, at least, I have a phone number for the friend my sibling lives with because the friend has govt. housing. If not for the friend, it would mean living on the streets. As it is, this govt.housing sounds harrowing and dangerous, surrounded by drug dealers and out of control addicts. Building management seems to have abandoned ship. The last time I called, I got so stressed, I barely slept for days, worrying for them. I am already a basketcase from several major circumstances in my own life. I haven't talked to them in a while and I feel really shitty about it. And then I get mad at myself for beating myself up about this, too. I need a holiday, or maybe a three month coma.

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Anonymous

Mar 1, 2021 at 3:22am

Drug addicts/Alcoholics all have the same MO that is they act like psychic vampires to their friends and family, anyone who is prepared to take their abuse.

No one particularly owes these kind of people anything, quite frankly. Nothing wrong with helping them though of course. But you owe this sibling nothing. If you need to rest/walk away for a awhile you are entitled to.

10 5Rating: +5

Anthropology 101

Mar 1, 2021 at 11:56am

The current thinking on addiction is that it is the result of trauma caused by adverse childhood experiences being dealt with by someone in isolation. In other words, an addict is someone in pain sitting by themselves unable to think of any way other than self-medicating to deal with that pain. Having functional people always around to bounce ideas off of is good for them.

Addicts aren't psychic vampires- everyone borrows energy from everyone. The sticking point is thinking you now have the burden of solving a problem once you hear about it. Most of the time, you only need to listen. So don't pull away and don't let them pull away. Good luck to both of you.

11 8Rating: +3

Ultimately...

Mar 2, 2021 at 9:23am

Your sibling has chosen that path, and hasn't made up their minds to have a better life- and that is not your problem.
So don't worry about what others do in their life. Because when you do, you are wasting your energy, emotions, and life.
Get on with your own life.

11 2Rating: +9

Been there.

Mar 3, 2021 at 1:25pm

Supporting a loved one with substance issues IS going to cause you mental stress but the most important thing is dont drain your tank too low! You need to take care of yourself first. YOU COME FIRST. If you're not doing well then you can't help anyone else. When the person starts the road to recovery be there for them - all the time! This is when they need it the most, they are trying so put in all your effort too through the ups and the downs (relapses). Don't beat yourself up for not having the mental capacity or energy right now (or whenever). Perhaps for right now, tell that person you're also struggling and need some time yourself and set a schedule to call them and tell them that you will call on the first and the 15th of the month (for example). That might ease your mind. Good luck and stay sane!

4 1Rating: +3

As a person who buried a father and sibling

Mar 7, 2021 at 12:05am

Don't expect dysfunctional people to act in functional ways.

That stress does not belong to you.
Light a candle, say a prayer and honor that person that you once knew.
Drugs and mental illness change people into something we don't even know, don't try to understand it. Xx

2 1Rating: +1

Also..

Mar 7, 2021 at 12:07am

Read more comments here.

The best advice I have to continue off where someone left was the energy reserve is absolutley needed for WHEN they need you.
Don't burn yourself out because one-day when they do want to get help you'll have the energy to take the call.

Take it from someone who works with and has much experience In substance use and mental health and psych wards

1 1Rating: 0

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