A year or so ago a young lady in recovery came to my office with tears in her eyes. She was looking for a ride to go see her brother who was waiting at a local convenience store. Of course, I agreed to give her that ride. As I pulled into the parking spot I saw a young man, clearly very high, dressed in baggy clothes and talking to himself. Two men sat in a box delivery truck next to me, talking and laughing at the young man. I watched this young woman get out of my car and walk up to him, then she went in the store. The men continued with their staring and laughing until she returned with a bag of food, handed it to him and gave him a hug. Tears dropped on my cheeks as she spoke with him and turned to leave. As she got in my car, she cried over her brother, her hands trembling. She told me, she couldn’t let him come with her or stay with him because if she did, she would fall too. This moment was eye opening to me. To have to walk away from your family to stay healthy is a terrible journey to have to make. She knew that her her brother desperately needed help, she also knew that she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t risk her own sobriety to do for him. Her heart was breaking as she sat there that all she could offer him was a small bag of food and a hug.
I looked at the delivery truck men as I pulled away with a tear in my eye and noticed that they weren’t laughing anymore. In fact their faces were somber, as if they too felt the weight of her decision.