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Thread: Frustrated

  1. #1


    What do you do when, before SCI, your brother was going down the wrong path. Doing some drugs, drinking everyday etc.

    I want to help him with things so bad, but any chance he has, he spends money and beer and does stupid things.

    My mother takes care of him 24/7 and she's got no life because of it. I just want to tell her to leave him alone and let him learn on his own. He thinks he can party every day.

    The problem is, he was like this before, and now that he's SCI, he is worse.
    I tell my mother, "Handicapped or not, he's got to act his age, and 24 years olds dont' party that hard". They have to work everyday and have no time to party. I work full time and go to school full time, i'm disciplined. How do you get him to be more constructive?

    I want to just yell at him and tell him he's got to get his act together. I see a lot of other SCI's on this site have jobs and go out and have fun. Go go cart riding, ski diving, traveling, whatever...How do I get him from his beer to something like that? He's been sci since June 2005 so its pretty recent. He does not stretch, he does not use his $4000 stand up machine. He doesn't fill out paperwork to get free care. He does not do anythin constructive. How bad should I put it to him that he's going down the wrong path not because he's sci, but because he's an idiot?

    I am only a year younger and grew up with him. Of course i'll do anythin I can for him. But everytime I have plans, it just seems like a lost cause. Where do you instill motivation in someone like this...He was always a partyier even before sci. So this isn't even really a sci question all that much.

    I dont' know what i'm expecting out of this, i just wanted to vent a little and see what you all have to say. I'll just keep trying different things and see what works. I know everyone can change, because so many people do. I have, and so haven't all the SCI's on this site. So its never to late.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Buck_Nasty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Antarctica, Antarctica
    It takes a long time to adjust to this lifestyle. I'm a year post and I
    haven't completely come to terms with it. It also depends on what
    level injury he is. Does he have enough function to care for himself
    or does he genuinely need the help? Let's say he is able to care for
    himself, have you asked him why he isn't handling this situation like
    a man? I know I had a hard time with people trying to do everything
    for me after a couple months. I would think he should still be doing
    therapy. I know that this type of injury is harder for some than others,
    however, he is young and a man. Maybe he should be on some kind
    of anti-depressant if he isn't already. Also, it helped me to have a
    mentor who was 28 years post. Good luck but don't be too hard on him,
    it's still very early.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Sorry to say it, but there is not a thing you can to do change him. All you can do is continue to love him. He is suffering, and it has nothing to do with the SCI. This is the way he was made. I know this, because I have son who is the same way, only minus the SCI. He needs to get drunk every night. He's brilliant, but totally disorganized, and suffers with mental illness he won't admit to. Drinking is a form of self-medication. It wards off the demons. Just love love your brother, and let him know it by giving him a hug every day.

    And, most important, take care of yourself! Maybe a few Al-anon meetings will help you, and your mother, understand this very sad situation? I wish you all the best!

  4. #4
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    I would say negative on the anti-depressant in this situation since he drinks all the time.

    Are you saying he's an alcoholic because it certainly sounds like it? Here's the tricky part: finding an accessible detox/rehab centre if that's the case.

    I know you're a concerned brother but you need to live your life and worry about you. Worrying about him is not your problem. Your mother needs to retreat and live her life as well.

    Try to show him other people with a similar injury who are doing more, that might motivate him. Also, six months is not long at all ... a little wallowing in one's own self-pity can be forgiven ... but never at someone else's expense.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Alberta, Canada
    First off, I would never go on an anti-depressdant, it only hides the pain that needs to come out. Plus if he decides he wants to keep drinking it wouldn't mix very well.

    Second, I know what it's like to want to drink and party all the time. It was kind of the way of life in my home town while growing up. Then after losing one of my very best friends to a drunk driving accident I used alcohol to try and drown the pain away which isn't the right way to deal with it. Alcohol is just like any other drug out there, the more you use it the more you want to keep using. Also some people seem to be more prone to alcoholism than others. When stress levels rise the want to go out and get drunk seems to rise with it, so that's most likely why your brother feels the need to drink all the time.

    Yes, his injury is still very new but your right to think he doesn't need to be abusing your mom the way he is. I'm sure it is draining the life out of her. All she want's is to make sure he is ok because that's what very nice, loving moms do but it will only hurt him in the long run. He needs to focus on getting well and your right to think drinking and partying will only have a negative effect.

    There really isn't much you can do for someone in that state of mind I'm afraid. They have to want to help themselves and there is no forcing them. Trust me, my dad was a drunk, he was never going to change his ways so I just had to break all ties to be able to go on with my life.

    I hope your mom is going to be ok through all of this. SCI doesn't just effect the person who has the injury it effects every person close to them. For now just take care of yourself and hopefully your mom will soon follow.

  6. #6
    Hi WhatsAPro,

    At 24 years old, SCI or not, he shouldn't be allowed to create such a disturbance in the house and in everyone's life who lives in it. He needs to abide by the rules of house as set forth by your Mom or the owner of the house. No excuses. He's behaving this way because he's allowed to. There has to be negative consequences associated with bad bahavior or there's no reason for him to change. In other words, your mom and perhaps the whole family is "enabling" him to remain irresponsible.

    If he can't conform or refuses to, then he needs to find a place of his own. This will put some added responsibility on him and hopefully will force him to get his "mind right". I lived on my own before my accident at age 24 and directly after I was released from the SCI Center as have many others here. So don't fall for any excuses from your brother that he can't because of his SCI. If he has the ability to party all day and night long he has the abilty to become independent and take responsibilty for his life. If he's drinking heavy then it's only a matter of time before he starts using illegal drugs too. And if he's on any pain or spasm meds (Valium etc) this will only accentuate the effects of drinking thus his decision making abilities. It's also only a matter of time before he neglects his skin care to such a degree that he gets a serious pressure sore(s) on his butt or other area. Something that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

    He may need an "intervention". Have you watched the show "Intervention" Sunday nights @ 10PM ET on the A&E Channel? You and your Mom can make arrangements for him to check into a Drug/Alcohol rehab center. Talk to them about how to go about setting up an intervention or just take the cues from the show. Have his clothes and belongings ready to put on the curb. Then offer him the ultimatum of checking into a nice, warm hospitable rehab center with understanding professionals who are there to help him or the cold hard streets. Nothing like being cold and hungry to change someone's mind!

    His medical insurance may and Medicare (probably Medicaid too) definitely covers drug rehab. I think Medicare offers 150 days of in-house treatment per person/lifetime. He probably needs a 42 day stay to start turning him around. The longer the better but don't use up all 150 days at once... he may have a relapse!

    It's all about tough love. You and your Mom can't continue enabling him to kill himself and/or others. If he drives a car/truck then it's only a matter of time before he gets a DUI, gets into an accident and perhaps further injures himself or worse yet, injures or kills an innocent other.

    He's where he is today because of his best efforts. He needs to try it someone else's way for a change.

    Good luck.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  7. #7
    Sorry but sci won't change behavior. Irresponsible, etc. before injury = irresponsible, etc. after injury

    As bc said - consequences for his actions and behaviors regardless of his disability must become a necessity within the home and delivered by your mother. No consequences = no change no matter how much talking you do.

    The 'partying' is done because he's allowed to. At 24 he's obviously very immature and not worried about anything - i.e. roof, food, care, etc.

    Unless he realizes his selfish behavior and disrespect for all those supporting him and caring for him will only lead to loneliness, destitution, empty relationships and distance he will continue on this path.

    My guess is that your mom, the 'authority figure' has either given up and acquiesced to his behavior or continues to feel sorry for him and tolerates his indiscretions throwing up her hands saying 'what else can I do?' which in turn drives you crazy.

    Ultimately we're all in charge of our own lives. You, your mom and your brother sound very co-dependent which is not bad or unusual. It only gets bad when the co-dependency becomes lopsided and instead of having three strong, fulfilling and well nourished lives you have one dominated by the most needy.

    A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    24 is an age where you still drink the beer. Not long from then, the beer begins to drink you. It's a dangerous, insidious drug. Used injudiciously, it will kill you.

    You can't do anything but live your life and try to help your mother live hers. We can't fix our siblings or our kids. We can only ensure that they don't take us down with them. Al-Anon is an excellent idea, especially for your mom. It doesn't encourage people to desert their family members. It gives them the tools to not be victimized by them.

    When dealing with an alcoholic, one of the oldest and hardest of prayers pertains...

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

    Good luck. I've been down that road with my brothers (minus sci). I have no good news to report. I hope yours turns out much, much better.

  9. #9

    Good info

    Hey thanks for the information. Only time will tell I guess. It makes it harder to help him when i'm 2000 miles away you know. But I passed the info to my mom and sister, we will see what they do,.

    Thanks again.


  10. #10

    Yeah, Getting worse

    well i wrote a kind of nasty email to my brother a few days ago...and here is what i got back.

    first of all thats not coke residue on my bureau, its flower from the fuckin chrismas presents i made for my girls, and second of all u seen me do a lil coke one time so speculate all u want and Im not a materialistic guy I believe in doing what makes me happy, weather it is drugs or sex or robbin people. U can stay outa my life just like everyone else,. Im the bad guy judge me not for what I do but for who I am remember that and u will fit in much better. Your a sterio typical asshole just like everyone else id say-u ant no diff- thats the problem i am. U have your way and I have mine. All u peple are assholes I am sitting here rotting away in this chair with no physical therapy assistan e what do u expect me to sit around like a old man? I do drugs for my reasons and u can judge me all u want cause i do know who i am and its stupid what u tell me like i havent heard it a milliaon times--u lose your legs and lets see how long u last. I would say u would commit suicide and consider yourself lucky to still have me around. If i hear anymore preaching outa u im just not going to talk to u anymore.

    So i don't know, I could write back to piss him off more, but i guess enough is enough for now. I'm just going to let it cool down for a my family, when someone says shit like that, it pretty much means we will not be hearing from each other again for years.

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