Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Okaboo & Mahot-masun

Awhile ago I told the story of my brother Dave and his struggle with drugs.

I won't retell it all, in its entirety (**UPDATE: yeah, right). It's extremely draining. That was a difficult time in life and I was sure, at the time, that we'd lose him. I think he was close.

Dave hit his bottom and stayed there for some time. He'd gone from the guy that everyone loved to one that few recognized. The transformation was scary and if someone had told me my brother would end up where he was, I'd say they were crazy. He was the best at everything he did - an allstar (local) baseball player/pitcher. He was always being picked up for tournaments throughout the province and was in the paper every week. He was a marksman and a skilled fisherman. He was an artist. He was an eagle eye pool hustler and the ex and I laughed as we recalled an old story the other night. Dave was in the bar and on a roll, cleaning up at pool. Noone was any match for him....that was until Dad sauntered in. Now, Dad didn't drink or frequent bars, so we were quite surprised to see him show up there. It was pool tourney Sunday and he'd come in just for that. And it ended up being Dad vs David in the final round. Everyone had been in awe of Dave - that was until Dad stepped up and ran the table. Done deal. The only guy to show him up.

Things were like that - Dad and Dave only knew how to give things their best...no in betweens or half hearteds. Maybe Dad drove Dave too hard at times...he was so competitive. But he was also always behind him 100%. Which would make David's deterioration so much more painful for Dad - they'd been so close and he was angry when Dave self destructed. They did not get along at all and it was sometimes quite confrontational and scary. It was not a good time in life.

I wrote Dave off about three years ago - when Dad was battling cancer and on death's door. David was ugly at that point and could not be trusted...I had no tolerance for his antics. I'd tried and given up. It was up to him to "fix" things with us but I didn't have much confidence that he would.

And then something tragic would happen that would be life altering for Dave and "I" (his girlfriend). I's mother died very suddenly during the throws of their addiction and that was enough for her to clean up. She went into rehab and not long after that she gave Dave the boot. Best thing she could've done. He eventually followed her down the same path in order to reconcile with her. At first it was for her, but eventually he decided that after living clean for a period of time he was in it for himself. He saw the other side and decided it was how he wanted to live - that the chaos that he'd once used drugs to cope with was actually gone without them. He realized that they'd been creating the confusion and dysfunction in his life, not helping him deal with it.

Why am I revisiting this again tonight? Quite simple, really. Today Dave celebrates one year clean and sober. He abstains from everything now, which is the only way for him. He's come so far and even looks completely different than he did a short time ago. He's fit, tanned, working hard and enjoying the simple things in life again - his family, fishing, things like that.

My hat's off to my brother...he's one hell of a man. And what he did was no easy feat - he overcame a very serious drug addiction that nearly claimed his life. And quite possibly over time, ours as well.

I'm only thankful that Mom got some peace with it all before she was laid to rest....she saw Dave as he was to be - a great man and a son to be proud of. And he was there with her when she passed....maybe it was fate that made it all come together just in time. Maybe that's why she let go - things were all in order.

I took Dave a gift with a card tonight (I too, her "one year" was in April) - I think it's important to stand behind and support them in this. Acknowledging their progress is important - we'll be attending his "cake" meeting on Monday.

I wrote David a very heartfelt letter and stuck it in the card. I wanted him to know how truly proud I am of my "little" brother and that I'm with him on his journey.

Congratulations Dave...I'm extremely proud of you.Dave & "I" (not me)


Blogger whitenoise said...

Very nice, Deb, both the story and the way you tell it. I'm happy for you. :-)

3:57 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

thanks whitenoise...I'm happy too. My brother is a truly remarkable guy who fell in with the wrong crowd and things progressed from there. I seriously thought he'd be gone awhile ago and the change in him is nothing short of incredible.

9:20 AM  
Blogger tkkerouac said...

Congrats to you and your brother Debs, addictions are hell and take over your life.
as for my email address

or my gmail address is on my blog

out tonight, talk to you soon

2:12 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

It is quite an achievement to do an entire year clean and sober. Most "straight" people can't do that either -(know what I mean??)-

Congratulations to Dave

5:06 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

Hi BTW I found the Oasis I was looking for. The Robbie Williams & the REM I particularly like. And the one (currently) at the top "Shape" I like a lot too bc it's very dreamy ...

5:07 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

That must be such a wonderful feeling, to have your brother back who you thought was lost and to know that your mom was able to rejoice in his recovery as well. That's lovely.

6:58 PM  
Blogger mellowlee said...

Congrats to your brother and his girlfriend. I'm very happy for you Debs!

7:30 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

tk...thanks. Addictions are hell, for those in it and those all around it.

gled...it is and I don't take it lightly - I know it's a day by day struggle and that each day is a blessing.

I'm coming over soon to check on the Oasis soon. ;)

8:27 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

how'd I miss Barb & Mel...oh, I remember now - the phone rang (I wasn't ignoring you - promise).

Thanks to both of you....it's funny how life works. Peaks and valleys for sure. But if Dave hadn't recovered in time to see mom through, I don't know that he could've survived after that.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Wayward Son said...

I can tell you based on my own experience that family is the only beacon that still calls when one is under the blanket of their addiction. You may have felt you wrote your brother off at some point but clearly you left a light on in the window so he would know he had a place in his family to return to. It was very much that way for me. I don't think I would trade my bad times if it meant I wouldn't have that awareness.

It's not the year of days being clean that is so wonderful. It is the year of days knowing the love of your friends and family. It is the most joyful thing in life.

Congratulations to all of you.


11:08 PM  

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