I bought this book by David Sheff a few months ago and just now have gotten around to reading it. I have only read about 15 pages so far, and for half of them I’ve cried. The premise of the book deals with the author’s son’s addiction to meth and the way it rips his (along with his family’s) lives apart.
I don’t think I have to say that I cried because when I was reading how this man felt about it, it reminded me of so many things I have thought and felt about my own brother’s addiction.
I feel like there is no end, only short breaks in between the weeks of use. I have learned to recognize when he’s high, how long he has been on that high, and when he’s coming down. I know that when his skin isn’t gray and sunken in around his cheeks, he hasn’t done any drugs for at least a week. When he gains weight and sleeps on a normal schedule, he is doing okay. When he’s not mean, he is straight. And when he is being the funny, loving brother I know he can be, everyone enjoys being aroung him. He is a great person–when he hasn’t slipped back into the drugs.
I don’t understand it, and I suppose that’s why it’s so frustrating for me, as well as my brothers and sister. He can go months without it. For a while, he was hanging out with me and my group of friends every weekend. We would go out, dance, laugh. Some of my girl friends even liked him, which I’ll admit was a little awkward at first. I know he’s a likeable guy, but he’s my brother. Weird.
(Here we are on a good night with my friends.)
He always goes back though. It’s not even a question of if he’ll use again, it’s only when and for how long. I think that we have given up the hope that he’ll ever get off of them, well except for my mom. I think she feels like she isn’t doing enough to help him, but I don’t think there is anything more anyone could do. It’s up to him. He knows he could do it if he really wanted to. Rehab didn’t work, however many times he has been there, because I believe he didn’t want it to. He’s not done yet.
I know he uses it as an escape, or at least he did at first. He doesn’t realize that hunting accident and Misty dying aren’t what ruined his life. The way he dealt with that entire situation and the drugs he used to rid himself of those guilty feelings are what has ruined his life. I really think that before he can get off the drugs, he needs to confront the situation. This is starting to sound like an episode of Intervention, but really, he needs to deal with it. It’s never going to go away or change, and drugs won’t change that. I even have trouble remembering what he was like before the accident. It’s been that long.
Is it bad to wish that he would just do something to be sent back to prison? I think he is safer there than he is in the real world. I don’t even feel guilty for saying that because quite frankly, it’s the truth.
I’m anxious to read the rest of the book to compare Sheff’s view to my own. And I want to try to understand my own parents’ feelings. I think they feel helpless in the situation, but somehow we all just go on and most of the time ignorantly avoid the fact that the situation is even as drastic as it is. It’s scary that it could, and probably will, kill my brother. I am usually called the bitch about it. But it really scares me. Being a bitch is how I deal with it, I guess. This is something I can’t control and can’t fix.
Either way, he’s my brother, and I love him regardless.