My 65-year-old brother uses drugs and alcohol daily | Ask Rev. | Seven days

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  • ID 6435233 © Dennis Cox | The time of dreams

Dear Reverend,

I have a brother who is approaching 65 and uses drugs and alcohol daily. I don’t know if he ever had a job for a while. He always asks my mother and my sister for money. It’s hard for me to spend time with him. I feel self-righteous and I judge him when I have no right to. How can I overcome this? Do I pretend until I make it? Do I tell her I love her when I feel so mad and I don’t know if I do?

Slacker’s brother (female, 69)

Dear Slacker Brother,

Not wanting to hang out with his brother is a bummer, but such is life. You have to understand that if he has been using drugs and alcohol on a daily basis for many years, it is quite possible that he will not be around for a long time. I’ve known people much younger than him who crumbled from indulging too much, too long.

You should have a conversation with him and tell him exactly how you feel. He may be drunk and stoned and nothing gets in there, but do it anyway, even if it’s just for yourself. You don’t want to regret not saying anything after he left. Let him know that you want to love him because he’s your brother, but his behavior is making it difficult.

Your mother and your sister are adults. As long as they don’t have financial problems because of your brother, what they do with their money is up to them. Maybe the three of you could talk to him and offer to get him the help he needs to recover.

I am a tireless optimist and like to believe that people of all ages can change their habits. However, I realize that this is often not the case. If he doesn’t follow your advice, at least you tried.

Good luck and God bless you,

the reverend

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