My brother O.D.'ed yesterday

Not really a rant, but if the Mods decide this belongs in BBQ Pit, then I bow to their wishes. Also, if this is sorta rambling, my apologies.

Early yesterday morning, my brother was dropped off on his ex-wife’s lawn by some druggie buddies of his. He was having seizures, so she called an ambulance and had him taken to the hospital. The doctors kept giving him shots to stop the seizures, but he kept having them. Right before noon yesterday, my brother lapsed into a coma.

I’ve only told one person besides my family, mostly because I don’t want to depress anyone with my problems. But since I felt I had to vent this somewhere, I decided to come to the SDMB, where at least you can choose to open this thread and be assaulted with this dreary situation.

This is going to sound horrifying, and I know it is, but – in a way, it’d almost be a relief if he died. At least it’d be peaceful and quick if he just slipped off in his coma, rather than waking up and being killed in some violent way, like I’ve been dreading. He’s in his mid-thirties, and has been an addict since his early teens. If my brother were going to change, he would have done so now. Dying now would mean I’d never have to be woken up by a phone call saying that he’s been shot or committed suicide or something even worse. If that’s reprehensible, than I am very sorry, but that’s what I’m thinking now.


I’m very sorry to hear that.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

So, sorry to hear such news.

And FTR, it’s not horrifying. It’s a coping wish common to the friends and family of a loved one who is critically ill, or otherwise suffering, and particularly when faced with a loved one who has a crippling addiciton that affects all family members. As much as you wish they would recover fully, when you are faced with the knowledge that they never will, sometimes one hopes for a swift, painless end because it seems more merciful.

It doesn’t make you a bad person for wishing the horrible conditions of your brother’s life were no longer there. You may feel guilty for having such thoughts, but they are a part of coping.

I hope the best possible scenario works out for your brother (ideally, of course, that would be survival and successful rehab.)

My fingers are crossed. Best wishes your way.

I’m at a loss. I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I wish you strength and peace in the coming days.

So sorry you’re in such a situation,Nichol. I wish I knew something profound to say, but I don’t.

Please don’t beat yourself up over any harsh feelings you may have towards your brother. Sometimes those on the receiving end of such feelings have earned them.

Hang in there.

I’m with eats crayons on this one, Nichol. You want you and your family to be spared the endless worry of not knowing what might come next. You probably want your brother’s pain to end as well, although not necessarily through death.

You are not alone, and I know there are more support groups out there where you can say what you feel without fear of being judged.

Nichol, you’re not a terrible person–you’re in a terrible situation. Good luck to you and God bless you and your family.

It is never too late to change, I see very many drug addicts daily, all in differant stages of denial.

Talking to them usuallly reveals a litany of OD’d acquaintances who didn’t make it.
What I find most surprising about such stories is the detatchment of the speaker, even with very close family memebers such as wives, and siblings, it’s almost like they are resigned to such things.

If they are still alive by 35 then it seems to be around this age that they make genuine attempts to stay clean, by this time they have generally been rejected by all their family, former friends they grew up with, and they have nothing to live with except a lonely habit.

Their own OD episodes seem to make little differance to their pattern of behaviour, but it just seems like there comes a time, differant for each and every one, a time to quit and get on with the remainder of their lives.

When one person is addicted to drugs, every person who cares about them discovers that you don’t have to take drugs to have a drug problem.

For many the only way to finally resolve it is to let go, emotionally worn out there is nothing left to give to the addict in terms of empathy, and compassion.

Seems like you are not far off that stage now, you have your own way to make in the world, your own pressures, your own responsibilities and some things that worry cannot ever solve.

Maybe in a few years, if he becomes clean, you can rebuild your relationship with him, but there will always be that internal self-protective barrier within you hat will prevent you being as close as you once were, part of you will always remain a stranger to him.

Sorry to read about your pain, and numbness, all you can do is live your own life.

That is a deep sadness Nichol. Nothing that I say will make it easier for you, but none-the-less, know that you are in my thoughts.

My father is passing of a lung disease and it is terrible to watch him go. The last time he went into intensive care I found myself wondering if it would be kinder to him if he were to just slip away. And of course, I felt the guilt afterwards for those thoughts, so I know a little about what you are feeling.

Luck be with you.

I Od’d twice over the years, but with the help of my friends and doctors I survived. Five of my friends weren’t so lucky. I finally reached rock bottom when I was 40, so the good news is age doesn’t play into it if a person wants to get clean. My prayers go with you

My best wishes for you and yours, Nichol_storm, as someone who’s been through almost exactly the same situation. Just do the best you can for yourself and your loved ones, and don’t worry about whether it’s “right” to feel the way that you do.

I’ve also met my share of recovering drug addicts and some active addicts, including one who told me, “Oh, I hit rock bottom, and I bounced.” No, the way you know it’s rock bottom is you don’t bounce. Nichol_storm, I hope this time your brother doesn’t bounce.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re not being reprehensible or horrifying. You’re also not responsible for your brother’s bad choices. Their his choices, not yours.

Take care, and e-mail me if you want to rant in private. I think I’ll be doing that in a few minutes myself.


Thanks y’all. My aunt called just a few minutes ago – the doctors ran a brain activity scan on my brother, and said the prognosis wasn’t good. They’ve got him hooked up on a life-support machine. His father came to visit but left earlier, saying he couldn’t stand to see my brother like this. My aunt is coming to get me tomorrow afternoon to visit him. His ex-wife is inconsolable – she still loves him deeply, and thinks that she did something wrong, even though the doctors told her that had he gotten to the hospital 30 minutes later he would’ve been dead for sure.

My mother had four sisters. Of those, two have lost their eldest sons – my cousin Michael died in a car accident, and another cousin, Paul, died of a heart attack. My brother is my mother’s eldest and only son. It looks likely that he’ll be joining Michael and Paul shortly.


I know how you were feeling before this last bit of information, but this is certainly a bad turn. I am very sorry.

What I was going to say, I honestly never thought my older sister would ever see 30. I talked with her yesterday, and she is now 39 and holding down a steady job.


I know this is a very tough time, and I really have no words of wisdom to share. Take comfort in the family that is with you through this time, and take care of yourself, too.

So very, very sorry ]Nichol. May peace be with you and your family.

Oh Nichol, I am so sorry for what your family is going through.

I used to be your brother, 12 years ago. I am now a sober, happy woman, but it was a bitch.

Can I tell you that I felt the same way you do? That if only I could just die, everyone would be better off? I was in so much pain (and causing so much pain) it was almost unreal.

I pray that your borther finds release from his pain.

I am so sorry.

I’m sorry this had to happen to you. I hope you’ll come through OK.

Nichol, I’m so sorry to hear about all your problems. I will keep you in my prayers.


You and your family will be in my prayers.

May God be with you, your brother and your family.