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!!!!)