This may be a bit strange but maybe not to those in the AA world. If any of this sounds derogatory it is not intentional. I come from a family of 6 sibs. My father was an alcoholic and abused the girls sexually and the boys mentally and physically.

One of my sisters is totally into drugs and alcohol. It is a miracle she is still alive. One of my brothers realized he had a drinking problem and has been sober for 14 years. The rest of us are fine i.e. we can drink a bit of wine or a few beers and don't have a craving for anymore. I am 57 and the brother I am talking about turned 60 this year.

In spite of being sober for 14 years he has never taken a "real" job. He has always looked for the pie in the sky and tried all kinds of things because he refused to work for someone else. He has never put money into SS and any day he could be in a world of hurt. He has managed to survive by using AA members to help him out. Whenever he gets in a bind he moves to a new state or town and contacts AA people for support.

Somehow he manages to get them to support him while he "gets his act together". He has lived in California, Florida, Texas, Louisianna, Maine, and who knows where else. Whenever he is around the rest of us he tells stories from the 70's (high school) and "brags" about how he can go anywhere and call up AA and find friends to be with.

I am not trying to change him (I know the prayer) but would like to know if this is normal, not unusual, or is he just plain nuts.


Thanks for writing in with your question.

I'm sorry about what you
and your siblings had to go through growing up. It's horrible that these kinds of things happen.

I don't know if I can really answer your question or not. If I were to tell you that he is normal or not normal or anything else, I would feel like I am making a judgment that I can't really make.

I can say that as someone in recovery, I pride myself on working hard and taking responsibility for myself and my behaviors. For me, that means finishing school and getting a job and settling down somewhere. That doesn't have to be the case for everyone, though.

Everyone is different, and everyone has different goals in life and different expectations of what their life will bring them. It's not that your brother's behavior is normal or abnormal, but I can see why you might be worried about it or wonder if it's really okay or not.

Generally speaking, I would expect someone with 14 years of sobriety to be self-reliant and settle down a little bit. People have problems and when people in AA have problems, it is totally normal for them to lean on the other people they know in AA - but this is usually a short term solution.

I honestly can't really judge your brother - I don't know him, and I don't really feel like I have the right to judge anyone else's recovery, or life, really.

If that's how he chooses to live his life, as you said, there isn't much you can do about it. Hopefully he is happy, and if he's not, then maybe eventually he will change and do more of the things that most people consider 'normal' - getting a job, having a house and staying in one place, etc.

I hope that was helpful in some way - feel free to write back in with any questions or comments.


Comments for megalyman

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Nov 03, 2014
To Megalyman
by: Anonymous

This comment is for Megalyman....who obviously cares a great deal for his brother's well-being. I want to tell you, sir, that I know a man a lot like your brother. Oh my gosh! The same exact story....I just want to tell it from my perspective.

The friend I know who is so much like the man you describe is an awesome guy, he is a real man. He has been through so much pain, and he has been on his own journey of searching. You could say, in some ways, he is a haunted man. But he always tries. He battles his demons every day, and he gives back to the people he accepts help from. He is blessed with charisma, a sense of humor, he knows how to relax, and I believe he truly seeks peace. He is a contributor. He is gifted with eloquence. He is extremely competent in some areas.

For certain women, he is a heart-throb beyond compare because he is simultaneously handsome, sexy, chivalrous, sweet, intelligent, eloquent, graceful, tortured, and funny. And he's a damn leader! He is strong. He's an alpha male. He's got an adventurous spirit. I feel safe with him. I feel joy with him. He is so hot. And he knows his stuff. I *adore* that man. He is one of a kind.

As we speak, my friend is engaged in a struggle to make his business profitable. And he's making progress. He jokes that he's got a boss who doesn't like him.

I pray for him that he does find reasons to truly like and esteem himself,and believe in his own ability to make a go of it. because maybe that way he will find the patience to go back to it every day. My hope is that you can encourage your brother and show confidence in his strengths. Which are formidable.

Believe in him! He can do it. We are not all the same, and he does bring something to the table. sometimes it takes years for people to master their demons.

You indicated that it's a problem for you that he has a network of built-in AA friends wherever he goes, implying that he uses them, before running off to another place. I don't know if my friend uses people. I don't think so and I don't feel used. It is incredibly refreshing to meet someone like him who knows some of my own pain and struggles first-hand. I count myself lucky to have a friend with his good qualities, as I'm sure the AA friends of your brother feel about him. He is a fun and delightful guy. Do not underestimate the contributions he makes.

You gotta love that man. And you're lucky to be his brother! You must have some of that awesomeness in you too! Go, man, stay awesome! Your brother needs strong, positive male role models who believe in him, and can fulfill a fatherly role. Keep believing in him until he believes in himself. Keep praying, and keep loving him. He is so worth it.

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