My brother and I no longer speak. I don’t call him and the only time he calls me is when he’s in jail. I hear what is going on in his life through my father although I wish I didn’t. One can only hear that someone you love is using heavily again so many times…
The day I guessed my brother was using heroin was a day I will never forget. It was Thanksgiving. He walked into the house and I didn’t recognize him. No one did. A collective gasp was heard throughout the family as he strolled through the kitchen door. In moments we noticed a tiny girl following him. Her hair ragged, her bones protruding, I knew immediately they were on drugs. My brother announced that they were flying to Florida that day and he needed a ride. He needed to get away and his new friend needed to visit her ‘boyfriend’ who just happened to be an army Sergent stationed in the same town our mother lives in.
I smelled bullshit and watched as they disappeared into the basement. I looked at my husband and then my father. They smelled the bullshit too.
I followed my brother downstairs and found them whispering behind the bathroom door. They emerged out of the tiny bathroom and I just knew he was on heroin. His eyes rolled back into his head as I confronted him about being on drugs. He denied it and said he was tired. I knew he had been using Oxycontin for an old shoulder injury and he assured me that’s all it was. At that moment I made a vital mistake. I believed him.
I let him leave.
My dad drove him and his new friend to the airport knowing something was very wrong. My stepbrother and I discussed what he was on and I immediately said heroin. I knew my brother had become dependent on heroin.
Today my dad called me to inform me that once again my brother is using.
I wasn’t shocked but I can say that I was very sad. I had seen being in jail as his last hope. His inspiration to get clean. I wanted jail to scare him. I wanted his need for heroin to be consumed by his fear of spending the rest of his life in jail.
Unfortunately I’m just a silly girl with silly hopes.
And he’s an addict.