When do you give up?

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  1. mike102771 profile image81
    mike102771posted 5 years ago

    Let’s say you have a brother or even a son who had a drinking/drug problem. His problem manifested in at least 5 DUI’s (Driving Under the Influence). At what point do you stop helping this person as in picking them up from court/jail, taking them to and from AA meetings, and dealing with the aftermath of the event only to have it repeated every two years or so. Some say tuff love would help him stand up and except the consequences of his actions. Others would say the current consequences are too harsh to leave a person with issues like his to fend for himself.

    What would you do and why?

    1. EmpatheticAdvisor profile image62
      EmpatheticAdvisorposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Like Jane already said, this is a tough situation , but in tough situations, you just have to get tougher, or get smashed flat by life.

      Unbelievably so, I have had the opportunity across my 40 + year life span to have known many types of people that often had severe problems. In a way the constant picking them up and brushing them  off to start over helps them in some ways but enables them in others.

      Let me elaborate a little more so there is clarity here in order to provide the best answer I can: Being supportive of a loved one is essential to letting them know they are not alone, especially during their time of need.  However once the crisis has passed, it is also important that they also learn to own their behavior, and the subsequent consequences.

      And herein lies the crux of the issue that you are asking about: When is enough, enough?  This depends now on how far are you willing to go with the constant chaos that goes with the continued behavior pattern. Also can you afford financially to keep doing this and also continue to utilize other resources at your disposal to constantly keep addressing these situations?
      I know this is not probably as clear an answer as you would like , but only you can determine when it is time to stop shielding your loved one from the full consequences and instead only support them emotionally as they work through owning their consequences.

      I know as a kid nothing got my attention quicker or faster than a cold bucket of water dumped on my head when I wouldn't get out of bed. Not only did it get me up and out, the bed had to be changed before I could crawl back into it and be comfortable again, and by that time  I was wide awake.
      Hope this helps.

      1. mike102771 profile image81
        mike102771posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for your post. Like you in my 40+ years I have had the opportunity to meet many different types of people. Some of them with gut wrenching stories of horror and misery. I think it is why I have a little less compassion for the person who inspired this story. He had a lot of advantages in life. This included a large family (brothers and sisters his father died of cancer when he was young and his mother had a neurological disease) that at first did as much as they could to try and help him. To be fair if not for other circumstances I most likely would still be helping him (if he needed it).

  2. profile image0
    Jane Holmesposted 5 years ago

    That can be a tough one. I think sometimes tough loves helps and at others it can push a person over the edge. They say people need to hit bottom before they can come back up. It is devastating to stand by and watch it happen. I don't think I have any advise on that one. I've seen it in my own family and feel pretty hopeless about it sometimes.

    1. mike102771 profile image81
      mike102771posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      The trouble is knowing what that bottom is and or do we have the right to define it? it seems that some have no bottom or if left up to themselves will be able to prop themselves up enough to prevent the hitting that bottom.

      1. EmpatheticAdvisor profile image62
        EmpatheticAdvisorposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Mike, that is exactly why the choice has to be made by the person providing support, because the other person is not able to say when it is enough.
        A few years ago my husband and I had to make my brother move off our property because he took advantage of us and did not think he owed us anything for living here.
        Granted, if he just had his trailer parked on our place, I might have let him and his family stay forever, as being here was not how he used us, but pasturing his horses for nothing was the issue since we have our own that could have utilized the pasture.
        When my brother stopped trying to make an effort  to help us with any chores, even though he was busy with his own life, and just expected us to let him keep living on our place and pasturing his horses for nothing, just because he was my brother, that was the final straw.
        I even offered to accept rent if he did not have the time to help out, and he just laughed in my face.
        I work 2 jobs, and in addition to my brother's sense of entitlement and his wife quitting her job during this time to have another baby, it was just time to cut the cord.
        I grew up hard. When bad things happened in my family, everyone we knew just hid out and left me to fend for myself and my brother. I have given and given to him and for him for over 25 years, even though I am not his mother.
        When it is time and you've had enough, you will know. I still love my brother very much and I talk to him regularly. Granted he is still mad at me for how things turned out, and I pay the price of not seeing his kids for this. But he is also better off and doing much better than he ever would have done by me allowing him to stay here with me.
        Eventually he will get over his "mad" or he won't. I can't control this or make it my problem.
        The hardest thing to do in any situation is to tell someone "no". It only hurts the first time and gets easier each time you do it. It also does not mean that you don't still love them either.
        So don't feel guilty if you have to stop doing what ever you have been. Most of the time this is what is needed to spur people on to doing what they need to do to get their lives together. Sometimes it isn't. Hence that is why each person much decide based on their own circumstances and tolerance level.

  3. profile image50
    larry089posted 5 years ago

    That is a quite hard question i think for me i will bring him into a rehabilitation and i will not give up on him until he we be fine.

    1. mike102771 profile image81
      mike102771posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You can take an addict to rehab, but you can’t make him get clean.

      1. profile image0
        Jane Holmesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I agree. You can only do so much. I wouldn't give up but I might back off a bit and watch for a better opportunity when the person was more receptive. We had a woman in our area years ago who was a alcoholic. Those of us who wanted to be supportive used to try and drop in on her early in the day just to visit and keep her occupied so she wouldn't get into the wine. Turned out we'd arrive about 9:00 am and she'd be passed out on the couch already with her two and three year old children playing on the floor in front of her. We enlisted the help of our female pastor who made some progress with her - even got her going to church. Then the pastor was transferred and she fell back into her old habits. You can love and care for someone and make every effort there is, but sometimes it just doesn't work. And, you can't beat yourself up over it. You've obviously tried and that's all you can do. Bless you for that.


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