Drugs, Mental Illness, and Heartbreak


Watching someone spiral into madness is heartbreaking. I have bipolar disorder and mental illness runs in my family. My brother has bipolar disorder too but he self medicates with meth. When he’s clean and things are good, they are so, so good. He’s my best friend and I adore him. He’s creative and artistic. He can sing beautifully and can transform the layout of a room from eh to amazing with just a few tweaks here and there. He has an eye for beauty and is the most charismatic person you’ll ever meet. I love him so much and because of that, he’s breaking my heart. He’s been through a few rehab programs but he continues to use whenever life gets a little difficult. Then the suspicious paranoia sets in and everyone’s a suspect in his mind’s play.

He was living in his car in San Francisco. My 16-year-old daughter has recently moved in with her grandparents so we have a spare room. So I asked him to move in with my husband and me. I was going to “help” him. I was going to show him how to get his medi-cal straightened out, and get him into the Adult Access mental health program. All of that was fine until he went out the other night. He didn’t come back until 2pm the next day and was so unhappy with himself because he used again. He was crying and scared and I spent hours trying to console him and listen to him and just be there for him. Then he started on his conspiracies. The government is spying on him. Our dad (whom has been emotionally and physically abusive in the past) is out to get him and is trying to sabotage all of my brother’s efforts to get clean and have a happy life. My brother was unable to log onto our home wifi and the Bluetooth connection in my car was spotty so I must be in on it too. Suddenly I, in conjunction with our dad, am some mastermind and am out to get him. I “lured” him to my house in order to what? He can’t answer that question. All he knows is that I’m “in on it.” So he’s leaving because he “can’t trust me” and I’m crying because my heart is breaking for him and my inability to help him. And this is a glimpse into bipolar disorder at it’s rawest form mixed with drugs.

I don’t know where I went wrong but all I want is my best friend back.

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