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cannonfunk176 karma

I really hope I die before him, because to lose my father and best friend, with the relationship we have, would leave me never the same.

Do you realize how your death would impact your father?

My brother is in a similar situation as you, but with drugs instead of mental illness: He's overdosed several times, been in and out of rehabs for a decade, can't get or hold a job due to his problems, and has destroyed every personal relationship he's ever had. Granted, his problems seem more self inflicted, but the similarities are apparent.

He's often stated that if our mom or dad dies, he's going to try to OD because he doesn't think he can live with the pain, so he very much hopes that he doesn't outlive them.

What I've tried to convey to him without resolve is that his death would rip our family to shreds, and that our parents would eventually go to the grave feeling like they are worthless, failed parents who accomplished nothing in life.

In dying before them, he would by destroying the lives of everyone around him.

I can't claim to know how it feels to be in your shoes, but I do battle pervasive depression, and in dealing with my brother I have an inkling of where you're coming from. I hope you understand that life shouldn't be led or ended selfishly, because you're not just hurting yourself when you do so.

cannonfunk37 karma

I make $498 monthly from disability, and receive a whopping $16 for food stamps.

That doesn't seem at all sensical. What part of the country are you in, if you don't mind me asking? I was unemployed in my mid-20's and received food stamps for a few months until I found a decent full-time job.

I am/was childless and was living in a cheap apartment at the time... they gave me $250/mo in food stamps.

cannonfunk8 karma

I'm very aware it's a psychological and physiological disease, and I know that he doesn't want to destroy his life. Any illusions I had about addiction when I was growing up have been shattered by witnessing what he has gone though (which is largely a IV heroin problem).

He's done AA, NA, voluntary in-patient rehab, court mandated rehab, moved to different cities to avoid his addiction, moved across the country, and has done long stays in multiple jails... nothing has worked. He's completely drained any retirement funds my parents had, and has stolen thousands upon thousands of dollars from everyone that loves him.

He's been at his lowest point for years. He's essentially been homeless for the past few years, contracted Hep C, may have recently been exposed to HIV, and three weeks ago he landed back in jail after he tried to strangle me, beat me to a pulp, and assaulted both of our parents, breaking my mother's ankle in the process.

He is sick, and I know that drug addiction is a vicious, vicious cycle. But, like you said, it's also a disease that can treated and more or less cured with sheer willpower. Because we grew up together I also know that he had a good heart and good upbringing, and that somewhere deep down that person still exists. That said, there is nothing I or my family can do for him at this point. It's all on him. We've been more than supportive and have done everything we can - sacrificed our money, our time, and our love.

I appreciate your kind words and support. I've met quite a few people throughout the past few years who are in the same position I'm in, and it definitely helps that to meet others who can relate. It's supremely depressing, of course, but it's also something that makes anyone who's affected by it stronger.

cannonfunk4 karma

Thank you, and the best for you as well. Stay strong.