Well my husband and I had a good session with my counselor last night. We came to some agreements on dealing with my brother. We have agreed that he will no longer live on our couch. We will offer to take him to the mission or to mental health to get meds for his bi-polar, bring him food if we see him on the street and he looks hungry, give him love without living with him. This was a little tough for me because I just lost my mom and sister in the past 1 1/2 years, and I tend to look at my brother as being helpless due to his mental illness and his never living on his own before, plus many years of prison for bad drug tests. Discussed that with the counselor who advised that he had been medicated in jail/prison, he knows what it is like and he does have the ability to choose medication over running around homeless and using. My husband and I both agreed that if my brother appeared to be having a "good" mental health day, we could have him at our home to eat, take a bath and maybe do some laundry. No resentments over these agreements.
We made agreements about my son also. We have given him guidelines to follow. If he falls through with any of the chores or commitments, we will write them down, then tell him we don't appreciate it and when can he get to it. We will do this only so many times, then re-negotiate. We will take him into town if he shows up at our home high or we suspect he is using. He is making some strides so time will tell. My husband learned some important things about addiction last night (how addicts aren't really grateful until they reach Step 8 or some other means of recovery). This was HUGE for him, most of his resentment was built up over his views of my son not being grateful and also setting out to personally hurt or disappoint him. He feels quite a bit of relief knowing we have a plan and that we can re-negotiate that plan if needed. She also suggested we obtain the Big Book and read it together.
On a sad note, my counselor, whom I LOVE dearly, is taking a medical leave of absence for probably 4 months. I have been seeing her for over three years and she is more like a life coach to me. I will miss her terribly and even though she has given me alternative names of other counselors to check into during her absence, I just feel sadness and a bit of fear. Kind of like the baby bird leaving the nest...not really but kinda:) I truly pray that she heals and mends, which is of course the most important issue.