Recently, I had a conversation with my mother about various things going on.. the upcoming holiday, my sisters recent troubles, the kids growing up.. when I causally mentioned that I had unfriended my brother on Facebook. I brought it up to feel out the situation and find out what she had heard from him. I found out several things I didn’t know, the most important being that he was, yet again, off his “meds”.
My brother takes lithium. He is bipolar. Mom explained how she wasn’t sure what he was doing right then because she and dad had “had enough” and “cut him off.” This sounds harsh…Sadly, I could empathize with her feelings.
He had spent years draining their savings and patience. Cycling through manic and depressed states. Drugs, running away, stealing their credit cards, jail, legal fees, procreation, joblessness, treatment, denial…. the endless loop was exhausting.
This time he was kicked out of his apartment for fighting, jumped out the car while she was driving, and ran across the highway. He was almost hit by cars. The baby was in the backseat. She didn’t know what to do so she went home. Later he called the house screaming he was going to have her arrested for kidnapping. He was in a full blown manic state and refusing to get help. Denied that he needed help.
It couldn’t be easy for him either. I know that. It’s an illness that blinds you from your pain and the pain you are causing. Blinds you to consequences and repercussions. You’re drowning and can’t care. She wants to help him. She’s tried. No ones perfect, and effort only lasts as long as the energy you have does. He’s struggling… She doesn’t know what to do. No one does.