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Twin Brothers: One Battling Alcohol Addiction, the Other Battling Denial
My brother and I were born two minutes apart. We weren't identical twins, but we looked similar and had a lot of the same mannerisms, preferences and general disposition. So why did he become an alcoholic and I didn't? When I first learned how bad his alcohol problem was, I had this kind of survivor's remorse reaction because I wasn't as messed up as he was. This hindered my ability to help him early on and allowed his drinking to get increasingly worse. For a while, I just shut my eyes in the hopes that he would give up on his own, but he just kept drinking and pushing our family away. We all knew for a long time that he needed professional help but we never acted on it.
That all changed one day when we were both at a party together and he was drunk like usual. I refused to give him the keys to his car to drive home from the party and the next thing I knew my brother and I are trading blows in front of everybody; real honest-to-goodness punches and rolling around on the floor breaking stuff all over the place. At that moment I knew couldn't ignore the reality of the situation anymore that my brother's alcoholism might get him or somebody else killed. We didn't talk for about two weeks after that, but I knew it was my job to at least try and get him some help. So I spent a few days trying to plan my strategy. I knew that anything that was said between us would go in one ear and out the other, so I called the rest of my family and some of our close friends to get the ball rolling on setting up a professional family intervention. Although we are a close family, we argue a lot over stupid things, but hiring a professional wasn't one of them. We all agreed that it was worth it to pay a professional interventionist to organize the process, and if necessary to act as a referee too just in case things got out of hand knowing how volatile my brother could get.
After about two weeks of organizing everything, we held our professional family intervention for my brother. I told my brother I wanted to apologize for anything I may have done to him in the past and surprisingly he came right over. When he first walked over to me he appeared to be visibly shaken, so I thought we might be going to go at it again. But the interventionist starting talking to him in a very calming, non-threatening, disarming conversational style that put my brother immediately at ease. We were all very pleasantly shocked by this unexpected positive development. Then we were even more in shock at the end of the intervention, after everyone had a chance to speak his or her piece that he actually agreed to go for treatment too. When my brother returned after successfully completed his treatment program at a rehab in Florida that specialized in behavioral health treatment for alcoholism he came back a different man. I don't know what they did in those 30 days down there, but he hasn't touched a drop of liquor ever since. I have my brother back and I feel a tremendous weight has been lifted off my shoulders.