I am one of five children. Each of us has unique personalities, challenges, and talents. When we are all together, are differences become self-evident. None of us are perfect and none of us would ever claim to be. As the middle child, I have watched my older sister and brother succeed and fail. I have tried to learn from their triumphs and failures. I have done my best to plan accordingly and be a positive example to Clayton and Lucas. They have watched me repeat the lessons learned from our older siblings. This cycle is one of the great joys of belonging to a big family. The education never really ends.
I have watched my older brother fall more than once. As I write this, he is fighting his greatest battle. Over the course of my 33 years of living, I have also witnessed him get up time and time again. I have witnessed the transformation with my own eyes. The power to change lies within his bones. There is nothing wrong with Brian that cannot be fixed by what is right with Brian. He just needs to realize it. He needs us to realize it for him.
If we were face to face at this very moment, I am sure he would tell me that addiction is an unfathomable hell that can wreck havoc on a family. Drugs and drink have a way of tearing at the loosest of threads. If one pulls too hard, the whole thing can unravel in an instant. Don't let things unravel. Sew, mend, and knit... do all that you can to hold this life together. When life becomes too much, wash away your fear and pride. Be present and ask for help.
If I were face to face with him at this very moment, I would remind him of the transformation I have witnessed and the power he possesses. I would remind him of his responsibilities and those growing lives who are dependent on him. I would let him know nothing else matters. Be sober. Be clean. Be there. Be loved. He has nothing else to worry about. I would also remind him that I am here and so are hundreds of other people; people who've fought addiction and won. People who have lost sons and daughters to the downward spiral of this gnawing need. People who are willing and waiting to help.
Be good to each other,