Well Coke, my brother relapsed. I wrote you two months ago saying my family was giving me hell because I hadn’t yet embraced him in his recovery. Four days ago, he got his 6 month sobriety chip. Yesterday, his roommate found him with a needle in his arm and he was intermittently breathing. I found out while I was at work and cried in front of most of my coworkers, more out of frustration than actual sadness. I think. I don’t know.
I saw him in the hospital room through the door. We made eye contact and he shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, as if to say “What are you gonna do? Addicts are going to relapse.” This was the first time since October 2015 that I’ve physically laid eyes on him. I hugged my dad while he cried. My brother fell asleep when I looked at him again.
I don’t know if I have a question, Coke. I’m just so…unsurprised? Frustrated? Disappointed? Mad? My friend at work gave me a hug and reminded me that addiction is a disease, but that just enraged me more. That has always seemed like such a fucking cop-out to me. Plenty of people do drugs (I sure did) and fucking stop. So why can’t he? Why does this keep happening? Why couldn’t he have just died this time and we wouldn’t have to go through this hell yet again?
Yes, I remember what you told me in your first letter. Addiction may be a disease, but your brother is a piece of shit. He really is.
I’m sorry that he’s causing you and everyone in your family so much pain. It’s okay to wish that pain would stop, and I understand why you think his death is the only way it would.
Be careful with that, though. His addiction could very easily end up killing him, especially if his new pattern becomes relapsing after several months of sobriety. (It’s a lot easier to overdose during a relapse.) If he does die, it won’t be what you’re hoping it will be.
That being said, it’s okay if he’s dead to you. When I wrote you back the first time, I told you that you didn’t have to forgive him.
You never do.