My younger brother, Steven, was my best friend when we were growing up. We lived in a rural area and so we were pretty much it. We went on great explorations deep in the woods, played amongst corn fields and scaled tall trees. And even though I had a fairly large tomboy streak, Steven was pretty hard to keep up with sometimes. I remember that he was always getting injured because his wild adventurous spirit would drive him to be the eternal daredevil. Who could know that he would die at such a young age suchasenseless death? He died at the age of 41 with the body of an 85 year old man. His liver just shut down from all the drugs and alcohol. And no one in my family had any real clue what this disease of addiction was all about, including me. I shutter to think on how ignorant we were. How ignorant some of us remain. The death of my brother, although unthinkably sad, did not disrupt my day to day life. The pain of having an addict for a brother had assured that there would be no way to remain involved in a life so traumatized. I recall the hopelessness and despairof watching this slow and protracted suicide and feeling absolutely helpless amidst bouts of guilt for not being able to "save" him. Children left to save children. It just doesn't work out, for either of them, unfortunately. Now, I see the role of my brother's addiction in my life. I have healed my own addictions and continue to heal my life wounds. In fact in my middle age I came to the realization that addiction had been such a pervasive part of my life, even though I could hardly myself take a drink and was way too chicken to take drugs. I discovered that the acting out addicts in our life are the more honest of the two. For I had no idea the depth of my own codependency and addictions cloaked and asinvisible to the world as to myself under the guise of do-gooding, perfect size 4 and unerring control. Equally as deadly, did my brother bring to light the distress of my own failed life, relationships and loves. Until I finally came to hear the message, but only through my own brush with death. I started a program called Addiction Alchemy. I became a lightworker, a shaman and an alchemist in my own life. I transmuted my addictions and took all that misguided passion for my own DOC's, as hidden as they were, and transformedthem into devotion to a cause. It is now my life's work to be in service to those who still suffer. My brother now works with me from the other side. And no I haven't gone batty...at least not yet, anyway. He is a knight in partial armor and he helps me help other people learn about how to use armor in the proper way, to set boundaries, both internal and external...so that they can be free. Free to love, free to live and free to just be. Bless you Steven. We continue the fight for freedom in your good name.
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