So 4 years ago I went to visit my brother in Mexico, where he had been living for ten years.
I have to say this was the worst holiday of my life. My brother and I are extremely close and I have always been, and always will be the protective big sister. It was during this time that he chose to tell me he was a cocaine addict and had been using for those ten years and possibly more.
Because of the world we now live in this didn’t surprise me, but instead confused me as I couldn’t understand how this had happened to us; my handsome charming little brother and our “normal” family. All I kept thinking was things like this don’t happen to families like us.
I was devastated, more for what this did to our parents, and I was also very hurt that my parents had known about his problem for a while but chose not to tell me. That is what hurt the most.
Eventually once he had told me I was able to try and help him. The day I left he went straight out and “scored” which I guess made me realise how serious his problem was.
As a family we arranged for him to go to rehab over there but he only lasted 1 month and then walked out.
A few weeks later he called my mum in such a state, paranoid, terrified and ashamed of himself. It was at this point he decided he had to get out or he would potentially die. This is the harsh reality of drug addiction.
He left his wife and his life and came home to the UK.
I called Aquarius for support for him initially but instead found myself meeting with Ed on a regular basis. These meetings were so helpful and supportive and helped me understand that no one could help my brother except himself. Tough love became a huge part of our daily lives.
When he arrived back in the UK he stayed with me and earnt his keep by painting the whole of my house and doing chores. It was important he knew he had to give something back to me and our family.
It was a long struggle and he remained in denial for months but then all of a sudden he seemed more at peace with himself and the world and he slowly started to rebuild his life.
He got back in touch with his wife and they started to work things out. Within a few months he had got himself a job and went to live with our dad. Slowly life got better and his confidence came back.
2 years ago his wife came from Mexico and I can now proudly say he has a beautiful house, a fantastic job and recently became a daddy. None of which any of us thought would happen.
The moral of my story is to stay strong and believe in the ones you love. My brother has never been a bad person, he just got a little lost along his way and I thank god every day that he found himself again. We are still as close as ever and he has now been clean for nearly 4 years.
Aquarius is such a great organisation and I honestly don’t think I would have got through this period without their help, and the nicest thing was it wasn’t just about the addict but also those around them which is the key.
Thank you so very much, I will always support you guys in everything you do x
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