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The Tears of a Clown

  • anonymous Asks ...

    My 34 year old brother is now living in his car. He is chronically unemployable from his drinking and drug use and he hangs out with people that are 10 or 15 years younger than ne is because everyone his own age has grown out of his party lifestyle. He just got evicted so this is a new low for him but he still doesn’t see that he has a problem with substance abuse. What is it going to take for him to wake up? He just laughs it off when I say anything. This is his problem. He is really likeable and a happy go lucky person so everyone just laughs off his behaviors but if you just look at what he does it is crazy and so unhealthy. I am letting him stay in my driveway. I feel like a jerk that I won’t let him stay in the house. Am I doing the right thing? It makes me feel terrible that he is so understanding of my decision and still tries to make me feel good or laugh all the time.

  • Jim LaPierre Says ...
    Jim LaPierre

    Hey there - thanks for your excellent question. My heart goes out to you - I know how hard it is to not enable someone you love. I want to affirm that you are doing the RIGHT thing by offering only the driveway. Enabling an addict/alcoholic happens when we protect them fro the natural consequences of their behavior. Your brother has arrived exactly where his addiction has taken him. It's hard to tell sometimes how close a person is to hitting bottom. It's unique to each individual. It seems your brother has a ways to go. Just remind him that you're there, you're concerned, and you're prepared to be supportive when he decides to make changes.

    The title above is the name of a Smokey Robinson song - it explains your brother's behavior well.

    "now if I appear to be carefree

    It's only to camouflage my sadness

    In order to shield my pride I try

    To cover this hurt with a show of gladness."

    You're doing the right thing. I hope and pray he decides to choose a better life soon. Please let me know if I can answer more questions or be helpful - Best, Jim

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