Hi all. My brother died earlier this year from alcoholism. He was only in his mid forties and we are all heartbroken. We tried to help him but he locked us out of the house and denied he had a problem. For the last year of his life I think he was drinking every day and after his death we found bottles of vodka in his home which he was obviously drinking neat. I'm having a lot of issues coming to terms with his death and i dont think I ever will. I am trying to understand this addiction that is more powerful than love and family, that drove my successful brother to self destruct. I also cannot understand his denial. How could he pretend that everything was ok when it was clearly not? I would love to hear your stories and if you can help me understand this disease I would be very grateful. Thank you
I am so sad for you and the loss you have suffered.
Alcoholics are masters at hiding things eg feelings, booze. You were not to know how he was feeling. Addiction is just so powerful and the drink becomes number 1 in the addicts life.
Have you thought about contacting Cruse Bereavement for some support?
Here if you want to chat. Be kind to yourself xxx
Thank you for sharing how you are feeling over the loss of your brother. I feel so sad for you. It is such a hard thing to come to terms with.
May be talking with people who understand what you and your brother have gone through might help you make sense of what's happened. I work for a charity called The Icarus Trust which is there to support people dealing with the impact of a loved one's addiction. If you think it would help to talk with one of our experienced, trained people please get in touch.
You can contact us on email@example.com or visit the website www.icarustrust.org
Hoping that this is useful Good luck.
Thank you for your kind words. I will take a look at Icarus Trust.
Thank you for your kindness. I think I will try to find a bereavement counsellor as its such a struggle and I miss him so much. xx
All the very best to you. I really hope you can find some help and support.
I am so awfully sorry about your brother- drinking truly does ruin the lives of the whole family, not just the individual.
My Mum died last year from 'chronic alcoholism'- she was 51 years old. My family and I had tried everything we could think of to get her to stop drinking.
You never think it will happen to the people you love. When I heard the news that she'd died, I went to her flat and found so many empty bottles of whiskey (that she had clearly been drinking neat)- so I really do understand how you must have felt upon seeing the same kind of thing at your brother's place.
It is a massive cliche to say this, but you really can't help people who won't help themselves. If you are hammering on their door, screaming at them to get help, to stop doing this and promising them that you will do everything/anything to help them, if they're not ready to help themselves, there's really nothing that we can do.
As someone who is slightly further along 'the line of grief' than yourself, I can tell you that it doesn't get better- you will never get the answers you're asking yourself and you will never stop feeling guilty because you think you could have done more. However, I will say that you start learning to live your life for the one you've lost- every time you try a new activity or go to a new place or laugh or just generally have a really good day, you think of them and you may be sad for a moment because they weren't there to enjoy that time with you, but you start to realise that they would be happy that you got to enjoy and do those things.
Life slips back into some sort of 'normality'- they're always there, but it goes more towards the back of your mind rather than constantly being at the forefront from the minute you wake up, like it is in the beginning.
I really, really wish the best for you *sending hugs*
Thank you so much for your reply. Im so sorry for the loss of your mother. It must have been so painful for you but I'm glad to hear that there is a way forward and you're feeling more at peace. Did you speak to a bereavement counsellor at all?
I attended a couple of Cruse group sessions, which I did find helpful.
I tried their One to One counselling sessions, but I personally don’t think they are beneficial for people who have lost someone to addiction. The reason for this is that they only assign six sessions per person and it takes that many sessions to explain everything that led to your loved one’s death. It doesn’t give you chance to deal with everything. That is just my personal experience, though. I’d certainly recommend trying it to see if it helps.
The worst part of losing someone from addiction is not knowing anyone else who has experienced an addicted relative because only these people truly understand how you feel.
I wish you the very best of luck if you decide to try counselling