Healthy families are possible, but they often feel far away when dealing with addiction. It can seem like nothing will ever be the same again, and if they return to some semblance of normal, how do those relationships get repaired is a bigger question many ask. Brothers can often help each other walk through difficult life circumstances. If the possible signs of addiction are noticed early, brothers can help one another seek help rather than struggle with addiction.
Challenge of Addiction
When addiction hits the family, siblings feel it differently than others might. Siblings often have a connection that keeps them together when the parents pass away and continue to live their life together. Siblings should not choose addiction over other people but it happens because addiction takes over people’s lives. Some other ways addiction challenges the sibling relationship can include:
- Feeling the sibling has chosen addiction over them and no longer cares about the relationship
- Loss of trust in the person that was the one you turned to for everything
- Learning to deal with a drug-addicted brother can feel vulnerable, but also enabling may occur to continue helping them. Dysfunction can build amongst siblings and the parents trying to cope
- Two directions often occur with loved ones who have an addiction: they make it like it is nothing, or they begin to see what they need to do to get help but most of the time siblings play a key role in trying to help the beloved brother get help and get past the shame
How to Help
One of the best things to do to help a sibling is focused on education about addiction. Learn about empowerment to help loved ones, help yourself, but also how to take steps to prevent the cycle from happening in other relationships. It helps to also think about how you might be enabling the behavior to continue and how to stop that from occurring further. Trust and communication are key without enabling behavior. It is important to avoid blaming or causing harm to them further in their addiction by thinking you are helping. It also helps to think about not using drugs or drinking around siblings because it can cause further disruption inside the relationship and make it harder to have distance from each other. The distance is helpful in making sure you can assist the sibling without also promoting their addiction or making it harder for them to stay sober (at least in their presence). Be a participant in their treatment and recovery work. Take the initiative and drive to love them as much as possible through the ups and downs. They will thank you later for it.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We help siblings find their healing journey together with our family therapy. Our goal is to help families be healthier together. If you are struggling with a sibling’s addiction, call us. We will help you and your sibling find hope in recovery.
Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.