Heroin, A Brother’s Love

It truly sends me back to a dark place, watching someone deteriorate due to heroin.

When I started my job eight months ago, there was a man who was a side mechanic, full of life and happiness. He has a auto parts warranty list a mile long because of all the cars he’s worked on. Fair and honest, he never over charged or made up things that weren’t truly wrong with a car. He once offered to drive an hour out of his way to help me because I was having trouble with my car. Not one word about me paying him for it, he was more than willing to help me in a pinch.

During the last few months it’s become clear to me that he’s using again. Having dealt with my brother and cousin on this awful drug, it’s easy for me to spot the signs, even though he won’t admit it to me. I talked with him the other day, we had a mostly honest talk. I told him about my brother and what he went through, I tried to show how much I cared as his situation hits so close to home. I don’t want to see anyone go through what my brother went through. I would have given the world if I could have just got my brother to wake up and get clean.

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my brother. Five years younger than him, and I always looked up to him. I wanted to be like him, be as strong as him, as charismatic and selfless as him. I spent a lot of my younger days thinking I could never stack to him, he was just that good.

My brother and I went through a lot growing up. Family wise I’d say he went through it worse than me. Although he’ll probably never tell me why he started, I often wonder if it was our childhood that drove him to a hard drug. Could I be so selfish to think that him seeing me go through things with my illness didn’t help or maybe it just a piece of the puzzle. Some part of me thinks it was the drugs the doctors hooked him on that started all this. Yet I’m forced to believe the stories I’m told that this started way before hand.

My family shielded me from what my brother was going through for the longest time. Still to this day I believe that I don’t have all the information, maybe they thought I had enough on my plate whilst losing my mind in a hospital bed. His addiction finally reared it’s ugly head to me when they could no longer keep it a secret.

Things were going missing from relatives houses and at one point I was even blamed. Not knowing what was going on, I started to pay attention to the grumblings from our family.

I didn’t come face to face with the fact that my brother was addicted to heroin until the day he messaged me, desperately pleading for money so he could go get his fix. This was some time after he started and there are a few things I’ll leave out but I had started to learn how I would handle the situation. I had decided, with a heavy heart, to go with tough love. He texted me out of the blue, I remember I was in my cousin’s back yard watching her son; he messaged me saying that he wanted to get clean. He told me that he he needed to piss dirty so they would let him into rehab. I told him I didn’t have any money, which wasn’t a lie. What he said next will forever haunt me.

My brother, my best friend growing up threatens to kill himself. He said he couldn’t take it anymore and he didn’t know what to do. I was at least an hour away and with no money to help him I did the only thing I thought I could do. I lied to him and told him I was coming, asked him for the address and told him I would call him back. Helplessly I called the local emergency services and asked them to go to him. I had no idea what I was doing or if it would even help. My hopes were that they would take him into rehab, something. Next thing I know my brothers calling me back, pissed off at me for betraying him. He told me he didn’t mean what he said that way and that he was never going to ask me for anything again. They didn’t take him to the hospital and ignored my pleads to do something.

I don’t remember much of the rest of the day after he hung up. I just remember immediately after the call I was bawling my eyes out on my cousin’s steps.

I’ve felt so many different emotions during that time. Anger, sadness, hate, forgiveness, betrayal… cold.

My brother, my hero, the one person I wanted to be like more than anyone in the world was ripped to shreds by addiction. It must of hurt like hell for him, I know that because anything I felt must have been worse for him ten-fold.

I kept the story short for my side mechanic friend. I tried to give him hope, I tried to give him the inner strength, everything I was to incapable of giving my brother. If anyone that’s ever given tough love to someone is reading this, you know how twisted it leaves you inside. I will always have some lines that I will stand firm on but thinking back on the situation, I can’t imagine how lonely it must of felt for my brother. It makes my eyes swell while writing this to know that I probably made him fell lost, empty and abandoned.

The lack of respect, of compassion and empathy I showed my brother will forever haunt me. I guess I’ve blocked it out all years but seeing this man has brought it all back.

I’m not as close with this man or my brother for that matter, as I was with my brother but I tried my damndest to show him that even when you least expect it someone can care about him. Something I feel was severely lacking in my interactions with my brother.

Maybe I can be some glimmer of light in this mans life. Someone I hope my brother had during his time.

Moving forward I thought I should add, my brother is clean and has been for a few years. He’s got a good job and met a really nice lady.

I only hope that my mechanic friend has the same outcome.

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