I Day

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.


  • Thats a tough one. My father was an alcoholic. Its a tough life being in kid in that situation. I hope he goes for the help. At least he can have some good years ahead of him. I didn’t get that. Thats the cost of drinking the alcoholic doesn’t see. Or doesn’t care. Or both. Good Luck!


    • It is tough growing up that way. My father was an alcoholic, too. But different than my brothers–he was a binge drinker. And a binge rager. I hope we can make my brother see the cost today. Thank you, Shoo. We could use a little luck.


  • Ella…good luck, I’m thinking of you! Life is full of hard decisions, losses and guessing games and wishes…we do the best we can!
    tonight I had a bit of a break-down myself, totally out of the blue, my Dad died almost 2 years ago, I broke down tonight missing him…better now that I had my cry…we pick up our pieces and move on…with the living…taking care of those in our families that are here and are having problems, we all have them, and we have to make these hard difficult painful decisions and if they fall down, then they fall down, but, you are doing what you must do for the sake of your family…good luck! remember your grounding/centering mantra!


  • It’s great to have a brilliant caring family that is trying to help your brother. I just hope he hasn’t gone too much inwardly and he appreciates the help and the effect he is having on the rest of the family and will work with you all to fix his problem. Maybe he should read your posts. Ralph x


  • How courageous your family is to take this huge step forward! As a member of Al Anon for many years now due to my mother’s alcoholism, I can tell you with all certainty that it is a disease. It can’t be cured, only arrested. Let’s hope that your brother is willing to take this golden opportunity for his sake as well as for his loved ones’ sake. Best wishes! You’re on the right side.


      • WoW! That’s wonderful news for your brother and you! I wish you and he Godspeed. The road ahead will be tough, but you have the support of your family.
        I have grown to love my Al Anon family. Without their help, I could not have made it this far in my journey! I’ll check the status of your posts for progress.
        Kind Regards!


  • I hope, I hope, I hope your brother accepts treatment. I hit my own rock bottom in March. Although my body didn’t need to go through a major detox, my mind did. Drinking made me more depressed and masked the real issues related to deep seeded pain and resentment from my early adult life. I hope your brother can see the love in your familie’s eyes as you speak your truth to him along with the interventionist. I know I would have been initially reluctant and angry, but I know my family loves me and wouldn’t send me to rehab to exert control. It’s just about extending love and care when it comes from people who love and care for us. I hope your brother sees that. 🙂


    • Paula, thank you. I’ve read some about your journey, and you are an inspiration. My brother started treatment today. He has a long road ahead of him. I hope he finds joy somewhere along the way.


  • I am glad to hear your brother went in. I truly hope for you and your family that he maintains his sobriety


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