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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About this time of year for the past five or six years, my born-again Mormon older brother's church-based drug support group fails him and he relapses on pot. He used to do meth and all sorts of other things for a short period before he got a bad high by mixing too many things(which was when he found religion again), but he hasn't had a problem with them; he relapses on pot when he inevitably does. Our family is filled with abrasive zealots on our dad's side, and unhinged and/or indifferent people on our mom's side. As such, despite the fact that he, unlike me, is adored by all of them, he comes to me every year(which I'll admit is probably a better idea, since I try to be constructive and non-judgmental instead of nodding in feigned interest, believing it's a non-issue, or telling him to pray for forgiveness and strength).<br><br>
The thing is, he ignores the advice and guidelines he gets from his support group, and since I'm a veritable mixed bag of neuroses, I can only listen and try to keep an eye on him(stepping in and attempting to talk him out of it when he tries to go back to his loser old friends or the members of his group that don't think they have a problem). He seems to believe, no matter what he's told, that it's purely a matter of will power and he doesn't have to cut himself off from the people who hold him down. He's obsessed with stepping on the toes of harmful people, even though he makes friends easily and doesn't really need them. I think he believes he can save his old friends and convert them to his faith(he tries to do it to me all the time, though I've made my lack of belief in a higher power clear), since I occasionally hear him preaching to someone or other over the phone.<br><br>
Today, he left a legible, conveniently placed to-do list near his church stuff in the living room, which says 1. Stop smoking. 2. Talk to mom about what you did. 3. Look to family for support(which probably means talk to me). 4. Pray to god for strength - he'll always be there.<br><br>
Thing is, I'm not in a good place myself at the moment and I don't really know what I should do or say when he inevitably confides in me later today. I know he's got a problem since he used to blow entire paychecks on the stuff. Anyone have any experience dealing with these sorts of issues?
 

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How old is your brother? One of my brothers (when he was in his late teens/early twenties) was making A LOT of stupid decisions constantly. Even a DUI didn't seem to wake him up. A lot of it had to do with the people he was hanging around with (he was very impressionable, especially when drinking). We all pointed this out, but he I think felt bad abandoning the friends that he had since middle school. Finally he just started growing up and realizing these people were holding him down/back. He's almost 27 and has a good job, owns his own house, and had a girlfriend that is great for him. He rarely communicates with those he used to be so close with. I guess long story short, with my bro all I could do is be there for him and let him grow out of it in a way. I know it's hard being there for someone who repeatedly makes the same mistakes, but the way I looked at it in my situation was, I'd rather my bro come to me than go to his loser friends. I know, however, all situations are different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My brother's 26 right now, and this cycle began when he first kicked everything at 19(first relapse was at 20). You're right though; all I can do is be there for him whenever this happens. He's been friends with some of these people since grade school, so I guess he is having difficulty letting go, like your brother did. I suppose I feel a bit annoyed because he doesn't listen to anyone who gives him positive advice about things, and whenever he looks to be getting somewhere positive, he throws it all away. Thinking about it, that's a bit selfish of me, since my brother needs help right now. He should have been out of church hours ago, so he's probably ashamed to come home and talk about things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
Thank you for the advice.
 

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You're not selfish, you're frustrated. I understand. I know there were several time where I claimed "that's it, I'm done". But ultimately I love my brother and he's always been a good guy despite stupid mistakes in his past. It's not easy when the solution seems so obvious to you or me. Sometimes people just need to figure things out for themselves. You're brother is lucky to have you in his life, and I'm sure he knows that!
 

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I think it's great that you're there for your brother. Just be sure that you don't lose yourself while you're helping him.
 
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