Tomorrow is D Day. Or I Day. I drive back to Houston in the morning to meet with the interventionist. Also present will be my mother, my brother’s adult children (in their 20s), and a dear friend that has worked for my father’s business since shortly after we graduated from high school, over 30 years ago.
The subject of the intervention: my 52 year-old brother.
I called Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC) and provided my brother’s insurance information. Just under two hours later, PaRC called back having verified the coverage. I then called the interventionist, Ellen, and we agreed tomorrow is the opportune day. My brother will be at work. We’ll meet at my mother’s house in the morning for the training, which will last four hours or so. Then we’ll head to the family business offices and intervene. That too will take several hours. Assuming my brother agrees, we’ll then call PaRC, and they’ll have a bed ready for him in the detox unit upon arrival. Assuming he isn’t violent (uncharacteristic), Ellen will drive him to the center.
It all sounds so simple. The cost? $4000.
My mother sounds less torn about her decision, today. Less torn about the looming possibility my brother will refuse rehab and she will fire him from the family business. A friend stopped by after work to keep her company. This friend’s daughter is a nurse. Both the friend and the daughter were very supportive of our plan. My mother is becoming more certain we are doing the right thing.
I’ve learned these past three months during my father’s illness and following his death that my mother resists making the hard choices; doing the right thing. But in the end, she gathers strength and presses on. I’ve come to learn that much of this is an issue of confidence, but not a lack of strength. I think marriage and motherhood in my mother’s day stole the confidence of many women. Men made the hard decisions. At least that’s how things were in my family. I’m beginning to believe that had my mother been in charge, the family would have been better off in many respects. My father was impulsive and single-minded. Not always good for planning a future.
Now that my mother has grown comfortable with our course of action, I wonder: will it work? Will we get through to my brother? Will the threat of the loss of his livelihood be consequential enough for him to agree? Or will he continue down this path of destruction and be dead before another year passes?
His daughter is convinced he drinks because he has no hope of a brighter future; that he is severely depressed. I’ve often thought he was self-medicating. I told her I’ve been on and off antidepressants for years; the illness, along with alcoholism, runs in our family. I have no doubt the two are connected.
Part of our task tomorrow will be to help my brother see there is hope. He can have a better life.
Will we succeed? It’s difficult to imagine he will change. It’s also difficult to imagine he will not.