Heroin + Christmas = Jail

A reoccurring theme has presented itself in the tenure of my brother’s heroin addiction. For the past 5 years, my brother has spent Christmas in jail or rehab. This year, it seems it will be jail. I got the call today. He’s in jail. I wasn’t surprised. He’s been living with a co-dependant who has supported his addiction for the past year and a half. It was only a matter of time.

After I got the call I realized that more than once my brother has spent Christmas in jail. I read through this blog and a journal that I write in to confirm this realization. 5 out of 5. He’s spent 5 Christmas in jail.


It got me thinking that somehow, subconciously he is still in there. I’m not sure if this will make sense or not but I’m going to try. Since my brother’s addiction began, he has spent 1 Christmas with my family. He was high, and gave my 2 year old son a pair of 10 year old Burton snowboarding pants, tags on that were obviously stolen. Since then, he hasn’t been to any family holidays. Every now and then my dad will have him at one of his holidays but if my kids are coming, he doesn’t. We never want to take the chance that my brother is fucked up around them.

Heroin isn’t a fan of family Christmas.

Which is what leads me to believe that somewhere, way down, deep inside, the old Andy still exists. The Andy who used to come to all the family gatherings and play cards, tells stories, and have fun. When Christmas comes around, the old Andy momentarily battles the demon Andy (my junkie brother), realizes that the only family he has is heroin, and instead of spending Christmas with heroin, he somehow lands himself in jail or a hospital for the holiday. To me, it’s like the old Andy is subconsciously punishing himself for his addiction.

I know. I’m reaching. Addiction is addiction. Jail is part of addiction. Living with a co-dependant psychopath who feeds you pills and drugs all day is a part of addiction.

I just hope he’s still in there somewhere. I hope someday we get the old Andy back. I’m not sure we ever will but at least for now, I can hope. I can hope that someday he will be in my house, with a family of his own celebrating with mine.

A sister can dream…




8 thoughts on “Heroin + Christmas = Jail”

  1. Stillvpraying for your brother and you. I thank god everyday that my brother has been clean now almost 2 years from his heroin addiction. He spent 16 years living in that pain. Lije many it started with pills and progresee to heroin. It took an angel and sending him away to Florida forever. We talk everyday and he is coming home to Jersey for Christmas but then back he goes. Dont ever lose hope he is 38 and I sm grateful everyday to have my old brother back. Sending prayers. Merry Christnas to you n your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the first Christmas in I can’t even remember how long that my own junkie brother has been out of jail. I can’t trust him and therefore we have to split up the day with our parents so my child can see them without fear that MJB will show up trashed. It’s an anxiety mine field for me and I honestly wish he was still in prison. Things are so much easier when he’s not around. We know where he is and that he’s not using. When he’s out… who knows what any day could bring.
    You’re not alone. I hate this for both of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This may be harsh but if your brother is in jail, at least you know he will be safe for Christmas. I hope in the new year, he somehow finds his way out of his addiction. I will keep you, your family and him in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My junkie brother’s favorite choices of holiday lodging are also expanded to include the occasional psych ward. Since his bday is on the 20th, it’s always especially ironic every year to watch him turn a year older in our world yet, in seems in his, it’s just another mile-marker of devolution.

    This year was especially fun; after boycotting christmas at my parent’s house and instead choosing to spend time with my fiance’s family, I came home on the eve of the 25th to attempt a family dinner. These things always go downhill fast, particularly when I show up because (I’ll admit) I’m full of rage and have a somewhat biting tongue that’s easily bait-able. That being said, I really tried this year. I wasn’t even the first person to say something when, after a long absence in the restroom, he emerged glassy eyed with the butt of an ice-cream scooper bobbing out of his pocket. I heard my dad make a comment about the need to go to the bathroom with a spoon as I was in my childhood bedroom, petting the cat. I’m sure your personal experience gives you the unique power to know what happens next…

    While my mom (who just got out the hospital for pneumonia related to an immune system ravaged from battling cancer for the last 15 years) sat quietly in the corner, my dad’s rage came to a boiling point. He screamed at my brother to get out, but that rarely works. Once the screaming starts he knows he’s got us on the guilt trip after our anger resides, and thusly, usually secures himself a warm bed and roof over his head just by fighting. This year it wasn’t even heroin that called him away from the family dinner table… it was his suboxone (methodone equivalent for those of you a bit older). He tried to cook and shoot it. I guess he didn’t get a big black lump in his stocking from santa after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve read every post and thank you for sharing your raw authentic self. This shit is real. I wanted a deeper understanding of what my girlfriend is going through. In what ways has your husband supported you? In what ways has he failed to? If you are like my girlfriend, your husband has only felt love by you. And going through this path has shaped you to be his rock even when there is uncertainty in the back of your mind. I feel selfish for asking you to share more dynamics of your life, and completely understand if you choose to refrain.


  6. My brother is the same, except for the past 7 years it’s been jail instead of rehab. Loving an addict is like living in a permanent state of grief. A person is walking around that looks and sounds like your brother but it’s some how not really him.When you look at them you see all the good within them and all the hope you have for them and you just beg the universe to save them. You worry every night that you’re going to get that call. You pled with god to keep them safe and change their path. You get a lump in your throats from the heartache of all the love you have for them and all the pain too. You feel a little better when they are in jail because at least they’re sober there and in some messed up way they’re safer in jail than out. I know how much you miss him and the old him but as this war drags on being in jail or rehab is better than being high out on the street. It’s one more Christmas that they’ve lived thru. I’d like to say the pain gets easier, but it doesn’t . He’s not trying to cause pain, he’s so consumed in his own battle that he doesn’t notice your pain. He wishes he could stop and change it and be back to being the same old brother you had. Just love him a little extra and say an extra prayer for him. He’s at least alive to fight another day. My brothers name is Matt and today he’s alive, and that’s all I can truly ask for so I’ll pray for him tonight to have him make it thru another day and hope my prayers are once again answered. Keep praying for yours , there’s always hope as long as he’s alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi,

    My name is Aeden Smith-Ahearn, and I’m the the Content Coordinator for Experience Ibogaine.

    I thought you would find our latest report on addiction interesting.

    Our analysts here at Experience created a report and US map that you can read here, detailing the most prevalent addictions by individual states.

    We were surprised by the results to say the least. Some were very interesting, and others were a little worrisome. Here are a few of the findings:

    Pornography and Sex Addiction – Easily among the highest ranking searches were those regarding pornography and sex addiction. This trend continues to grow.
    Opiate, Heroin, and Prescription Pill Addiction – This is the most troubling information that we uncovered. The sheer fact that many states had their own specific opiate addiction (such as Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Methadone, and Tramadol) shows just how unique and widespread this problem is.
    Social Media and Technology Addiction – Another “on the rise” addiction category seems to revolve around cell phones, social media, video games, and other technology-based addictions.
    Marijuana Addiction – Many states scored relatively high on marijuana addiction. However, newly legalized states, Oregon and Washington, scored extremely high.
    Nicotine Addiction – In many states, cigarette, nicotine, and vaping addictions have very high search volumes.
    Other interesting addictions – California continues to deal with crack addiction. Sugar and food addictions are also a massive problem. Maryland scored very high for cheese addiction–slightly comical yet still relevant.

    Pretty interesting!

    Feel free to cover our findings and/or use one of the US state maps we created. If you have questions for me, feel free to respond, or, if you would like me to write a breakdown article for your site, I would be more than happy to.

    You can find our shared Google file here. It contains the map that you can use should you decide to cover this topic.


    Aeden Smith-Ahearn
    Treatment Coordinator
    Experience Ibogaine


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