Thursday, July 6, 2017

Why I've Been M.I.A. Lately




It's been a couple of months since I last sat down to write a blog for the Wu's Feet Links Columns Blog. It's been three months since I last published an interview to the Wu's Feet Links Interviews Blog. I've been popping into the Wu's Feet Links Forum sparingly as well. A few of my posts there have mentioned that I've been dealing with something and that I would with all of you soon. Well, that's what I intend to do today.

This month's blog entry will have nothing to do with feet or foot fetishism. It isn't about anything sexy or teasing. This will be anything but those things. What I need to do is share something with all of you. I debated with myself for weeks whether I should bring this up, but the idea that I could possibly help someone out there was too strong. That's why this column is being written.

I want to come here to say that I'm currently dealing with a family member with a severe addiction to heroin and/or pain killers. Even though I've been out doing my photos and trying to live life, it has been a looming presence over both my and my parents' shoulders. Things have gone from bad, to worse, to rock bottom, to how in the hell is it still going on?

For a few years now we have known that my younger brother has had an addition problem. Things first came to a head when he was arrested for stealing from his job. After going to court a few times he wound up with probation and a restitution payment. For many, that probably would have been enough to say that it's time to clean up and get my life on track. Not the case here.

Time progressed after this to where my brother's girlfriend finally had enough and left him, taking their daughter with her. My brother would only see his daughter if/when he saw her at my parents' house. My parents love spending time with their granddaughter and my brother's now ex-girlfriend said she just didn't want my brother taking her without them around. In his case, I found that totally understandable. Still, this was not enough to straight himself up.

From here things really turned for the worst. My brother just wasn't finding the help he needed and reverting back to his deadly habit. At this point, my parents allowed him to move back home and try to help him in any way that they could. What would ultimately end up happening, however, was a few thousand dollars worth of their property would find their way to pawn shops, or sold to who knows who? A number of items that I owned were also included as share a storage locker with my parents and he got into it and took some of my collectibles and property.

At this point I was infuriated! Time and time again my brother would tell us how things are going great, all the while stealing from right under our noses. My mom was now a wreck and my father was at the point where he wanted him out of the house. I told them they had tried, but I agreed with my father. They had to send him out on his own. Years of support was only enabling him to continue his habits at our expense. My parents had paid to get him help, allowed him to live somewhere to get back on his feet, helped him with his bills, and so much more. The thanks they got were a bunch of things stolen from them. My father was able to find a good number of items in local pawn shops, but that meant buying back our own things. I told my father to file a police report to get them back, but my parents did not want to send him to jail. I think that is where he belonged. Still, all this didn't stop his ways. Not even after they threw him out of the house.

Finally, things looked good, in my eyes, for my parents. They were not going to have to deal with my brother being in their house stealing their property. My parents finally seemed to come to terms with him either doing what he was going to do to himself, or finding help on this own. We were freeing ourselves of this without him in their house. So we thought. 

More things turned up missing. He was allowed to stop by the house to pick up his mail, or see his daughter from time to time, as long as someone was there. Still, he was able to take things out of my parents house. It got to the point where he was no longer welcome to the house at all. This broke my mother's heart, but she knew by continuing to help, she was actually enabling him to keep up doing what he was doing. Still, not something that has been easy for her to handle.

Once again, at this point in time, my brother made a statement that he was going to find help. Sadly, I counted this as another ploy to gain trust, but for the first time my parents told him that he had to be the one to do it. I agreed. Someone in his place will only stop doing what they're doing once they decided it's time. None of us can do it for them. Right now, he is jobless, but was able to check himself into a long term facility that helps people in his situation. I hope this is the time that actually works, but at this point, we're all a little defeated and know it's out of our hands.

The above recount leaves out so many little details and issues of heartbreak and anger. I didn't want to go into any of the details here at the start, but not mentioning them didn't really portray some of the things that my parents and I have been going through with my brother. I tell you these things not to drum up sympathy for us, but to share what we went through. If you're someone who has dealt with such things, you exactly what I'm talking about. I want you to know that you're far from the only person dealing with this horrible ordeal. And if you're the person who is struggling with the habit, or any habit for that matter, know that you have to be the one to help yourself. You're only hurting yourself and your family members. Things can get better, but they sure can get worse too!

I thank all of you for giving me the ability to share this with all of you. If even one person gets comfort, or hopefully finds inspiration to help themselves out, then I will be happy that I made this choice to share my situation.

3 comments:

  1. Patrick, my friend.. I had the chance to read this post only today. I think that anything that I could say, would sound pointless. I can just say that I had a relative suffering from the same issues.. and that I have been experiencing other serious issues in my family for over 35 years now. My photographic projects are actually kind of an escape from the latter situation. I'll add 3 more things: 1) no worries at all about any delays with interviews with my models you mentioned in your earlier post.. you can count on my help indefinitely 2) stay strong 3) big hugs from The Feetosopher & crew.

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  2. Wow, im really sorry to hear this pat. I havent swung by the forum in quite awhile, me lil bairn takes up most of my time. A few years back i buried my oldest friend (kindergarted together) who had also taken the plunge. Otherwise ide never presume to comment on such a matter. There will be a million traditional heartfelt or heartless politically correct responses, all of which carry with them the means of enabling (note that i use this word specifically) the cause of this horrible affliction (again specific wording) to thrive. The verrrry worst thing you can hear from an addict is some sort of wording like this 'im way beyond/past....' fill in the blank to insinuate past go or point of no return, usually followed by a chuckle or light hearted laugh. This is complete nonsense. We grew up in a very d.a.r.e kinda time, prevention placed as a higher priority than that of addiction. Use heroin/meth/crack/etc once and you're addicted. Then we prescribe pharmo grade analogue meth to our children, opiates for a toothache. We (family/friends/etc) have been so ingrained with this idea of a person is now less human or beneath our potential trust once they get 'hooked', put distance between us and them, and thus strengthen the mental notion of 'beyond/past...' in the people with the problem and all the people who they affect with said problem. This is your little bro man, withdrawal sucks, very much so. But honestly it isnt all that bad. Its not what movies show you, or what media says it to be. Addicts and those around them both buy into the stigmatism and false notion that we've been force fed since children, unaware that we have attached certain forgone conclusions and 'a given' knowledge to things we have no experience of until we land in the shit. And pharmo chems that are much more addictive are set aside much more easily because the stigma isnt attached to it in our minds regardless. A hardcire alcoholic is much more likely to have complications with cold turkey quitting than most of the 'hard drugs.' Opiates certainly suck, amphetamines are literally psychological only and a weird experience to, but not much different than stopping weed ir caffeine abruptly. U can prolly kick the physical impacts of coke in an afternoon. None of its pleasant, sure, but only some of these substances hold the stigma that to have the problem equals a complete dehumanization or loss of self. We believe it so wholeheartedly that we fulfill our own prophesy. I learned this too late. I wish i had known then what i know now, patrick, your brother isnt lost if he still hides it and is roundabout and circumspect in his addiction. One miscalculation and the absense of noxalone and he gone forever. They make 40mg oxy and u forget which color is which, bye, too strong a cut in the vein, bye. Drugs are easy to find and cheap. Not a single one of them is harder to kick than alcohol or cigarettes, simply because they are available anywhere you go, and the physical withdrawal symptoms of alcohol are entirely more deadly and sickening than anything ur buying on the street (of course the toxic chems and impurities are likely to cause a different array of damage to the body). Think of it this way, and i sincerely hope you read to this point, what if foot fetishism carried the same side effects as drug addiction? How would you go about helping that person? The stigma isnt as strong but urges need to be controlled. People relapse bc the kicking of the habit is pretty fucking easy, if unpleasant, but getting it off the mind is tuff. Doing them both when society says you are a lost cause the moment u began following your urges is next to impossible without help, not from tge professionals but from your closest peers.

    Sorry for the length. Baalfootish

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  3. Patrick,

    I read this post and let me tell you sometimes things work in mysterious ways as I feel I was supposed to come across this post. First and foremost I am so sorry that your brother is struggling. Addiction is a family disease and people just don't realize that it affects the entire family unit and not just the person struggling with addiction. Please make sure you are practicing self care as well as attending any family groups and give a support group a try in your local area. I say this because in turn of being in your situation it also makes you vicariously sick as well. I'm not saying something is wrong with you but I do know that it affects everyone in some way, shape or form. Also, if the treatment center he is attending offers MAT and he hasn't already started utilizing it I would highly recommend he takes that route. A Medication Assisted Treatment has a higher successful outcome compared to those going cold turkey through it, as cravings aren't just a made up thing when it comes to Heroin and they have brain scans of evidence when cravings hit a person's addicted brain they are essentially hijacked in their own mind. If there's something like Suboxone, Bunavail, or any of these classes of medications or even the new implant being offered I would highly recommend that. I hope my response is not out of line. I can offer you so much information as a way to help you and your family that I felt I needed to respond to this.

    -Love-
    Eve @ Evening Encounters

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