My Brother, the Alcoholic
All but one of my five other siblings are grown, married, and some have children of their own. When one of my sisters was married the second time, I openly accepted her new husband into the family. From the outside, he was a perfect brother-in-law. After a couple years of marriage and overwhelming fighting – which I, of course, didn’t know about – the two decided to have a baby. This, to me, was a seemingly reasonable next step in life and the two were very excited. About a year after the beautiful baby was born, the fighting returned.
Only through my expertise in eavesdropping and putting the pieces together did I found out that these spats were a much, much bigger problem than I could have ever imagined. My brother-in-law, the man who I had accepted as close as a brother next of kin to myself, was an alcoholic. I could not imagine how someone who had everything — a wife, a beautiful new child, a great job, a great apartment in New York City, and a supportive family could be so selfish. How could he do this to everyone? There was no apparent reason for it: no work-related stress, no family tribulations, and to my knowledge, no previous substance abuse issues.
In my dealing with this devastating problem, I found acceptance. Through months and months of tribulations, I went through my very own three stages of acceptance. Because of the need to be strong for my sister, I was able to tolerate this man. Through tolerance, I began to want to understand, to try to understand. There had to be a reason to it…there was no way such a loving man would want to throw away his life, losing everything dear to him. After many nights of research, I found my answers. And finally, I reached acceptance. I was able to accept this “selfish monster” as my brother once again. My brother is an alcoholic.
Through numerous efforts, I’ve attempted to spread this belief of acceptance- not just tolerance. I wouldn’t think such a simple and morally-acceptable idea would meet such challenges, but I am wrong. Instead, the perils I go through in trying to spread this idea, very much parallels those frustrations as Sisyphus; however, knowing that it will roll back down, I keep pushing my rock up the hill.
I understand this, and in no way am I exasperated with my inability to make more than a temporary change because I have realized that through my efforts, my rock has taken on an unimaginable weight. However, it encompasses something I hold in such a high regard, so dear to me that even though I realize I may never succeed in being able to stop after reaching the top, but instead, the reward I receive is in the effort I put forward. I am able to disregard all skepticisms and reinforce my belief, even if it is only helping me.
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