Hi, my name is Sheri and I’m a recovering co-dependent. I’d love to say I’m recovered, but it’s a daily battle. Just as the addicts in my life had their drugs/alcohol, control and “helping” was mine. I was so afraid of failing them that I couldn’t not help…always to my own detriment.
But tonight…I said no.
I’ve had a lot of addicts in my life. Mostly alcohol…some drugs. My little brother is the one that most broke my heart, though. His world blew up at 5 years old and I always felt like it was my responsibility to fix it for him…to take care of him…to make sure he was OK. His drug problem started around 14…and has progressively gotten worse over the years. About once a year he tells me he’s clean and that he’s doing right…I trust him…he lies and manages to borderline destroy my life. Be it monetarily…possessions…lies…stress… turmoil…he flips my damn world upside down every time.
Then…back to AL Anon I go…I think I’m better…he shows up and proves me wrong.
That was the cycle. Until a few years ago when it wasn’t just me that he hurt…he hurt my daughter. Not physically, but in one of his drug binges…he allowed his friends to steal the jewelry I was saving for her that her dad gave me. All that she had left of our marriage. Gone. Every piece of it.
Since then, I swore I wouldn’t let him back in. Hurting me is one thing…especially the little brother who was always the child I was trying to save. But, now…he’s 37…and she’s the one who needs to be protected.
But that resolve wasn’t put to the test until tonight. Suddenly I received a message on Instagram from his account. Apparently he’s in jail. Again.
And they wanted me to help him. I stared at that damn message and felt myself crumble. I felt my boundaries that I’ve worked so hard at start to falter.
But I said no.
She asked again.
I stuck to my no.
And you know what? The world didn’t end. I’m struggling with some guilt tonight, but I’m also standing firm in AL Anons 3 Cs.
- I did not Cause it.
- I can not Cure it.
- I can not Control it.
And…while I’m struggling…I’m also a little proud. Recovery from being an addict’s codependent is still a process. But I made a really big stride in that process tonight.
I said no.