Life Is Not A Box Of Chocolates

Wouldn’t it be rad if life was exactly as it’s portrayed in those cheesy Lifetime movies? Married people truly do stay together until they’re old and everything is solved in a nice little bow around the two-hour mark. Things happen and that’s why life sucks sometimes.  More often than not life doesn’t make sense and there are no easy answers and when you actually think there are, life throws you a curve ball. Forget about me and my impending divorce. I was bummed out but I truly see it as a blessing. I have learned a great deal about myself and I also learned that sure, life has it’s truly awkward and surreal moments but once the smoke clears and you begin to assess the damage you begin to see rays of sunshine and you realize that you survived. Separation has been really good to me and I have no complaints.

Let’s forget about me and focus on what the meat of this blog is all about and that’s realizing that we can’t fix everything. Sometimes we pray really really hard for something and you suddenly realize that your wasting your time. The real reason I don’t drink is because of my brother. Yep, I’ve finally admitted it. We all have things in our lives that we don’t talk about. We don’t ignore them mind you it’s just not something we want to admit to. My mom and I have talked about my brother at great lengths and I’m sure any one who knows an alcoholic will tell you that they are frustrating people.

They drain your soul of all the love you offer and they have no clue. You can offer them all the help in the world but if they don’t take it then what? I have spent hours and hours praying that he’ll stop drinking yet it’s not a prayer that will be answered. I’m not doubting God at all in fact despite the futility of my prayer I keep praying. I keep hoping that there will come a rock bottom that will shake him up but what happens after you repeatedly hit rock bottom? At some point you have to walk away and realize that this person is beyond all hope. They can’t identify that there’s even a problem so how is God going to wake them up?

All I can do is love my brother despite the fact that he gets completely wasted and has my mother worried that at some point she’s going to get the phone call that will truly break her heart. That call will be the announcement that my brother is dead. It’s not something you want to deal with but if you knew my brother you would understand that the only thing that will truly get him to stop drinking is death. He’s been in jail, treatment, and has even stopped himself but he always starts right back up.

The last bender he was on lasted three days and there is nothing worse than hearing your brother’s voice and not being able to understand a word he’s saying. Every time my phone rings or I get a text from him I know he’s wasted but I can’t be mean to him because I know that he’s going to die at some point. He chose alcohol over his kids, over his girlfriend and when he dies it will truly be because of alcohol. I wanted to be mean and cut him completely out of my life but I don’t want to lose him and not have him know that I love him.

I feel terrible for his kids because they’ll grow up with this distorted view of what a man is supposed to be and as teens they’ll assume that because their father drank it’s okay for them to do it as well. What about the psychological effects his drinking has on them? I’m sure they’re scared to death of their father so at some point they are going to hate him. Can’t say that I blame them due to the decisions that he’s made not only as a father but as a man. I’m pretty sure that as a father he’s an embarrassment but what can you do?

What really angers me is that I’m cast into the role of the good son. Did I ask to be cast into the role? Nope, but here I am regardless of my thoughts or feelings. It all comes down to choices and  when I found out I was going to be a father I made changes in my life. I was no longer the same person I was. It was all about understanding that once you reach a certain age or become a parent things have to change. On top of that I had a lot of respect for my mother and still do. I couldn’t imagine getting arrested or falling into a bad group of people because I wanted her to be proud of me. The thought of disappointing my mom makes me sick inside.

No matter where she and I go people praise me for manning up and being so responsible. It doesn’t matter that my marriage busted or that there are some days where I feel as if I’m going to pass out from the stress. What matters is that my mom is proud of me and tells everyone. I’m the good son and sure it’s embarrassing but my mom needs me. With me she knows that she’s a good mom that raised at least one of us  with respect and has the appearance of having his entire life together. I make my mom proud by taking the kids as often as I do, I make my mom proud by not being a total screw up and having common sense. Most of all I make my mom proud because I’m always there when she needs me.

My brother breaks her heart but I’m the one who makes her smile and tries to be the good son that loves her goes to church with her and smiles while strange people I don’t even know praise me for being good to mom. While I worry about my brother I also wonder why I bother. Seriously, there has to come a point where I have to step aside and allow himself to make his own stupid decisions and stop caring. I can’t though. We’re family and I will call him every night just to tell him I love him and as soon as I hang up that phone I start crying and pray that he’ll quit drinking. Of course it never happens but I cry and pray anyway because he’s my brother and I love him no matter how frustrated I get or how I feel that it’s time to just walk away I don’t because you can’t leave your family behind.

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