Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Another update

Hello everyone!!! Sorry Its been forever since I've wrote on here. Its been a crazy past couple of months full of working and vacations. Great news about my brother.. He's been sober going on 6 months and I could be more proud of him. Right now he is working 3 jobs and is looking at going back to school for sociology. I am amazed at how well he is doing. For the first time he is actually seeing how AA helps alcoholics and is using it to his advantage. He's coming home in August to visit and I can't wait to see him. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that things will only get better and better. Hope everyone is having the same luck with their troubles in life. XOXO. -Julie

Friday, April 8, 2011


Well sorry everyone!! Its been a few weeks and its been hectic in my world with work and travel. Got a call from my mother the other day.. My brother got the boot from the program he was in.. He didn't drink or do drugs or anything.. It was more that there was a couple of rules he broke. Which the facility confirmed! It makes us sad because he was doing great, but we also understand that rules are rules. He's now in the midst of trying to find a halfway house to live in while continuing to keep doing well with his addiction. Please keep him in your prayers and lets hope for the best! -Julie

Friday, March 18, 2011

Good news keeps coming!

Well I got a letter from my brother the other day.. Also talked to my mom and she said the facility he is doing rehab at, is wanting to help send my brother to school.. And guess what he wants to go to school for.. Journalism. I just hope things continue to follow through and that he can hopefully take his rough past, write about it, and , maybe help someone else... Until next time... Hope everyone is doing ok with their own struggles.. Even keep your chins up.. You not alone!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

staying on a good path

Good morning everyone! Got another letter from my brother the other day.. I also got to talk to him on the phone for a few minutes.. He sounds great and seems to be doing very well. Seems they've got his medications under control and he's happy with that.. The only thing that seems to be an issue now is his blood pressure.. Its running a little high... 24 years old with hypertension and is on 3 blood pressure medications... One of the effects that being a chronic alcohol has on the body unfortunately... Continuing to keep my fingers crossed that things stay on this good path. For right now, i have seen the stress of my family lift dramatically. We don't have to worry right now... Its nice to have this feeling.. I just hope it stays this way.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Kind of reflecting back...

So tonight I found myself looking at my brothers facebook page and some pictures that he was tagged in.. Pictures of him so drunk beyond belief and have a great time with a huge smile on his face.. Then there were others where he just had this sober, unhappy look on his face- and he wasn't sober at all.. Just makes me wonder what kinda thoughts were going through his head... There are pictures where his hair is jet black and he is so skinny.. Then there are other pictures were he has his normal hair color and looks relatively health. Its sad to look at those pictures because I remember the hell that was going on behind them all. After looking back at some of those pictures, the only thing that pops into my mind is this... Was all those times I tried to be the "cool" older sister and buy alcohol for my brother, behind all of this hell he's been going through? I'm sure it didn't help if anything, but the question still sticks in my mind.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No news is good news, right??

Hey everyone!! First and foremost, I'd like to thank everyone for commenting!! I'm glad I could finally figure out how to let everyone post! :)

So I hoping no news is good news.. I haven't talked to my brother on the phone for a couple weeks I believe, but I did receive a small, 6 page letter from him. He seems to be doing great!! He loves where he is up there and he loves his counselor up there. I know I put in my small paragraph describing this blog that my brother had Borderline Personality Disorder. Well it seems that FINALLY after however many years of going through this, its been determined that my brother's Borderline Personality Disorder is completely triggered by alcohol and drugs. As long as my brother keeps off the alcohol, the BPD should never show its ugly face again.. or so they say.

Not much to report today... might not for a few more days... I guess they have a family weekend once a month... I figured I would give it a month or 2 to let him settle down there and then go up to a family weekend. More to come later.. Thanks again for everyone's support and always feel free to email or post questions you have. I saw some of you guys messaging me having kids you'd like to see my posts. Thanks! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

OK back from a long break of writing!!

OK so sorry I haven't been writing in the blog... It kind of seems that when things are going great, you tend to not feel like you have to put your feelings down. My brother has been doing amazing so far.. We had to let him hit rock bottom on his own for him to be able to make a change in his life... Basically my brother was found in a pew of a Catholic church in Atchinson, KS by a father. The father took him to Valley Hope and he began a 2 to 3 week program up there... In that time, he had set up everything he needed to go to an alcohol and drug abuse facility in Minnesota.. My brother got accepted a week or 2 ago after living in MN for a few weeks prior and going to AA. He feels comfortable there and feels like he is making a big improvement... I am VERY proud of him... I know whatever he does after he gets his feet on the ground, he's going to be great at... :) More to come later..

Thursday, January 13, 2011

another day

Got another call today... Everytime I see the words "WITHHELD" show up on the screen, I'm always a little hesitant to answer the phone.

"Julie...." he starts. "I'm really sorry about calling last night. I'm sorry I made you cry. Are you still going to help me and take me to a long term facility when I go?" I told him he had to stay there and get the help he needed first and not be in a big hurry to go somewhere else. He told me he was going to stay there the full 29 or so days and while he was there continue to find a duel diagnosis facility where he could do long term care... Keeping my fingers crossed he sticks with his plan. Things are always changing..

Last night I found myself crying uncontrollably and thats ok...... It was a mixture of being overwhelmed with anger, pain, hurt, and sadness... Dealing with this kinda stuff on a daily basis is such a roller coaster... He'll do good, then he'll do bad, then its back to good. Its emotionally exhausting because you're happy, then sad, then mad, etc. But then again I'm sure anyone who's been through this, knows this already... So instead of working my part time job today, I took it off (i've been feeling crummy anyways)... and stayed at home... All I've done is lay in bed and watch TV.... Oh.. And got a much needed good laugh from the Gas X commercial that says, "your son Rip is on line toot!" :) lol. Today I made time for myself... I really needed it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Well... I finally heard from my brother today... He called and told me he was now in a certain facility about an hour away getting help. I began crying really hard when I found that out... I really thought he was dead or out on the streets... He asked if I would still keep my promise to take him to the place he would stay and do long term treatment. I told him yes... He said it was in Sarasota, FL.... I didn't know the full information about the facility, but figured the place he was at now would help....

I was relieved... My brother was safe.. and alive... And at a place I knew would give him some help...

Mom, grandma, and I all went out to eat for dinner this evening... During it, Kevin called me to give me a date he'd be out so I could take him to the new facility. I told him give me 30 mins and call me back... I'd be home by then....

I got home, vacuumed, changed into something comfortable, grabbed a glass of wine, and plopped on the couch, ready to watch some DVR'd shows I hadn't watched yet... Then the phone ran... the words "Withheld" flashed across the screen.....

I answered and there was my brother..... "Julie... I called the airlines..." The only words that even popped up in my head were "MOTHER F#!$%!" I could tell how unstable he was... He kept repeating himself the whole time... "Julie, I thought you said you were going to help me..."

I finally told my brother the stipulations behind what I said... I told him as long as he stayed sober, and was able to be stable and have himself together, AND stayed at the facility and got the help he needed, I would take him.... Anyways... the repetition went on and on and with the help of a counselor, she got my brother off the phone and told me I'd hear from a counselor tomorrow... Before she got off the phone, she told me I should check into Al Anon... I'm starting next week... When I finally have a day off work.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Well good morning to me!

Slept all night at the fire station, just to wake up and see that I had 6 missed phone calls... 3 from one number and 3 from another.. Then I had a voicemail... So i listened to it... "Julie, I don't know where your brother is.. he just took off." Great.... Here we go again. This voice, from a man who I had no idea who they were or their relation to my brother... Its like that.. He drags these poor people in and does tell them anything about them, until he's A)had a melt down, B)drank all their liquor, or C)needs help.

Well I started calling back numbers... 1st number was one a buddy of my brothers who he had met at the library.. This poor guy had let him live with him for a few nights and tried to help my brother get his act together... He said that last night my brother kept telling him he needed help and wanted to go to Atchinson for help... Then all of a sudden my brother left... (Did I mention the guy told me my brother had cuts on his wrists.. This was not the first time for this kind of action, so I just shook it off. ) I apologized to the guy and thanked him for trying to help and hung up.. On to the other number...

I sat there listening to the phone rang, when someone answered, stating, "......... County Jail.." Jesus H... I thought.. "Excuse me?" I asked... "......... County Jail, may I help you?" "Umm.. yes... I'm going to go ahead and take a guess my brother is in there... His name is.... " and I proceeded to give her his name. "Oh yes.. we booked him last night.. He was booked for not being able to pay his taxi fare, which is misdemeanor thief." "Fabulous I said back to her." She told me a couple of choices which ranged from bailing him out, to leaving him in there and letting him have a court date tomorrow." "Go ahead and leave him in there.. I'm sorry ma'am but I'm not bailing my brother out." She was very understanding and stated, "don't worry I understand. I've been there with my brother too." I thanked her and hung up the phone.. It'd be a few hours before I'm sure my brother would try calling me to get me to bail him out.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas 2010 pictures for my parents

i almost forgot....

The whole "My Damn Brother" title comes from me being out with my friends and my phone ringing and me getting that "look" on my face.. This look would then get my friends asking, "who's calling?" And ofcourse my reaction was, "my damn brother." Now granted I didn't use this phrase all the time.. Just when things were crappy. Enough said :)

Introduction of myself and kind of a synopsis of the last 7-8 years

So this was suppose to be something I was going to keep typed in a Word document and then try to publish it along with my brothers memoir on his self... But what can I say... I got lazy... And tired. Period.

I guess I'll introduce myself. My name is Julie.. I'm 26 and a firefighter and paramedic for the county I live in. I love it and wouldn't trade my job for anything in the world. I have a great mom and dad that live across county lines and a younger brother, who is 2 years and 2 days younger then me- And the only blood related brother God has given me. Kevin is a great person and would do anything for anyone.... His only down fall is he is a chronic alcoholic who suffers from borderline personality disorder. If anyone is curious to what borderline personality disorder exactly is, here's a short definition: Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which a person makes impulsive actions, and has an unstable mood and chaotic relationships.

For the last 7-8 years, my brother has been in and out of treatment centers from Minneapolis, MI down to Galveston, TX. Kevin has been unable to hold a stable job, go to school, or have a stable place to live. In the state of Kansas, my brother is considered homeless. There was a good 16 months while my brother was in Galveston that he was sober and headed down a great road. He had his own home about 2 blocks from the beach, had a job he liked, and was going to school. Then in 2008, Hurricane Ike came ripping through the gulf, crushing what my brother had begin to make of his new life. Shortly after, my brother's life fell apart again and he started drinking and self medicating himself with Valium and whatever else could ease the pain. There is about 10 million more things to this story, but they aren't even worth repeating. Every since Ike, my brother has been in and out of hospitals, mental health facilities, etc. He's been through multiple jobs, multiple friendships, and multiple places to live.

December 21, 2010, while at work, I had to place my brother under involuntary commitment after he had gone on a drinking binge, began popping benzodiazepines like they were PEZ candy and decided to get suicidal. Now keep in mind... This is the 3rd time that year he had been placed under involuntary commitment to a mental health facility. The 1st time, mom and dad did it. The 2nd time (on our birthdays) and the 3rd time (right before Christmas) I took over and did it.. My folks have given alot into trying to get my brother help. They needed a break. A BIG break.

My brother just recently got out of the MH(mental health) hospital 4 days ago.. It only took him 1 day to get back to his old ways.... Its now been 3 days and none of us have heard from him...

Its a waiting game with my brother........... You're either waiting to see if he will want your help. Or you are waiting to see if you are planning his funeral. This blog is going to basically talk about this waiting period... or period of hell... whatever you'd like to call it...

The reason I'm doing this blog, is not to sit here and tell my brother's business to everyone. Its to tell me and my family's story of how we feel, how we try to get through the day or don't get through the day, and to hopefully make someone else out there who feels like they are alone with a same/similar situation like they are not alone. Feel free to message me about things we've done, haven't done, need to try, or even if you just have a story you want to share. Trust me... its REALLY nice to not feel like you are alone in this. Thanks and hope you guys can get something out of this.

(P.S. Sorry if there are some misspelled words or my sentences are a little out of wack... I'm completely exhausted!!!!)