Struggling with Addiction

I wanted to share about my brother passing and it has everything to do with addiction.  I’ve experienced a whirlwind of emotions when it comes to sharing his story, but it needs to be shared.  There are people everywhere who struggling with addiction and those who love/share homes with someone who struggles with it.  This is an introduction to these entries, as it’ll be personal information that I haven’t shared on such a platform before.  I intend to share more, in pieces, as it’s a hard topic to write about in one sitting.

My paternal grandparents were addicted to nicotine and alcohol.  Growing up, they smoked all day and would drink any time after noon.  They were highly functioning alcoholics.  My dad was exposed to that for most of his life and the addiction was learned.  My brother and I were exposed to my grandparents addictions and saw my dad fall into his struggle with alcohol.  I was estranged from my dad for nearly 10 years and was greatly impacted by my grandparents choices.  I wasn’t going to let something ruin my potential and take over my life.
My brother was close with my dad and learned this behavior. At a young age my brother started smoking to fit in with the kids he wanted to hang out with, later becoming addicted to pain killers and dabbling into some other drugs. It was heartbreaking to see this happen, knowing how destructive it was on the outside and not knowing fully how destructive it must have been on the inside. My brother had a lot of secrets, which I’ve been learning about since he passed in November.  I’ll never know some of these facts, what drugs he did or how often, but I do know that they took him through a downward spiral for ~10 years.
It was so intense for him, during the last week of his life he drank a cold medicine to dull the pain.  I can’t imagine being at that point.  It hurts to know that my brother felt the need for that.
This is going to be the most personal I’ve ever been, in a long time, on the internet about my life.  I hope it helps someone.
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