Sunday Struggle

Perhaps it is the lack of structure on my weekends that leaves my mind to run wildly.  Maybe it is as simple as I am not stressed and that allows my emotions and feelings to come to the surface and I can deal with them.  Either way I find myself today struggling again.

Yesterday I had a chat with my dad, which led to a conversation about my brother.  I don’t talk much about my family on my blog, because I don’t like putting other people’s intimate life details on here.  It isn’t my place to share other people’s stories.  This is the story of me, but I can’t help it this time.  My brother is 28, and a big guy.  We were always both heavy as kids, until he became diabetic.  Not type II, he is the kind you can’t prevent, the kind that requires shots, the kind there is no cure for.  He lots a ton of weight when he was diagnosed, he was active and I was jealous, he would play soccer, and I would help coach from the sidelines.   I came to terms with the fact that I would bury my brother at some point during my life.  Diabetes has so many complications, and he is a rebel who never takes care of himself.  It hurts me deep down inside, on a core level.

My conversation with my dad went along the lines of dad telling me he wished that my brother would get his act together and be more like me.  He also told me that I should tell my brother how easy it is to lose weight and live healthy, to which I corrected him, because I don’t want anyone to be under that delusion that it is easy to lose the amount of weight that I have lost, and still have to lose.  My dad went on to explain that my brother at 28 years old now has what is called diabetic retinopathy.  In everyday terms this means that the blood vessels in the backs of his eyes are weeping blood and this is obstructing his vision.  Friday he will have surgery to have them cauterised.

I texted my brother a bit, asking questions, playing dumb knowing more than I led on, and he was not concerned at all.  He said that my dad was making a big deal out of nothing with this and that this kinda thing is no big deal.  This is a slippery slope he is on, he hasn’t been taking care of himself for a very long time.  Too much alcohol, bad food, and fun and not enough control of his insulin and other responsibilities have led him to be under 30 and having complications he should not see for many more years. He is living in denial.

I am struggling with Mary’s words echoing in my head.  You cannot hit rock bottom for someone else, they have to hit rock bottom alone.  I struggle knowing how much damage he is doing to his body and how these thing cannot be reversed.  I struggle knowing that I have come to terms with the fact that I will lose my brother before I should, and that I still have him in my life and that he doesn’t care at this point.

I want him to care, I want to make him care, I want him to see all that there is out there to life, all the important things there are.  All the beauty and wonder there is to behold.  All the amazing things I have found as I have gotten away from where I grew up and have found on my own as my life has truly become my own on this journey have changed who I am.  I want it for him and I can’t do this for him.

Maybe someday he will change… I hope he gets it before it is too late.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Struggle

  1. Kris, you are a great role model and someone to look up to! I will keep your brother in my thoughts during this time. I pray that he will also see you for the wonderful role model you are.

  2. I know how hard it is to accept that we cannot change another person, even those we love. As a daughter, a sister, and a parent, I have experienced this from every perspective. Between my natural fixer personality combined with religious ideology that tends to, in part, equate what we do with righteousness, I struggled for many years into my adulthood thinking that it was my job to fix or help other people. Over time and by the grace of God, I have come to the realization that I do not have the power of change in another person’s life. Even God, himself, gives us the freewill to choose change or to reject change. Some may think that if God really loves us, he will force us to change, but in a real relationship choice must exist, otherwise, it is a owner/slave relationship that ultimately reduces one party to an object without humanity.

    I take a lot of deep breaths when I find myself in close proximity with situations or people that I cannot change or even help. Amazingly, sometimes people will ask for your help and then reject the help that you can offer them. Their rejection is proof that they are still unwilling to do the work of change. Until they arrive at a place of willingness in their own mind and heart no amount of effort on your or my part will make any difference.

    You may have heard that you shouldn’t “throw your pearls before swine.” Some might think that this is insult to pigs, but it is just trying to make the point that pigs could care less about pearls. Until a person cares about something for themselves, they may “trample the [idea] underfoot, and turn and tear [us] to pieces.” You may not have experienced that severe of a response; unfortunately, I have. I have learned my lessons and am stronger, smarter and more at peace than I was before.

    I have, reluctantly at times, had to leave people that I love to God and to the choices that they are making. There is a place of peace, and without guilt, that exists where we can fully accept the reality that ultimately we cannot change anyone but ourselves.

    Peace and blessings to you on your journey,

  3. There’s really nothing that I can say or do to make this struggle any better for you… Maybe your brother -is- taking it seriously but doesn’t want to worry you? Or if he’s not, maybe he needs to read this blog and see just how much his actions are impacting his family. Maybe he feels like ti’s -his- struggle to deal with and no one else’s. *shrug* I could theorize ad nauseam, but that would not help, I think. I hope that he gets the wake-up call that he needs and brings this terrible disease under control.

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