Sunday, November 02, 2003

Update on Toby

An update on my brother Toby, about whom I wrote on October 19:

Toby got out of the hospital on the 21st. I had him at the local mental health/substance abuse counseling center the next morning at 8:00 for an assessment. They determined residential treatment to be appropriate for him, however, there weren't any beds open--there was a month to six-week minimum wait for an opening. Keep checking back, they said. Welcome to the wonderful world of substance abuse counseling services.

In the meantime, Toby's been going to AA meetings and staying with me. I really didn't want him to go back to work yet, but he went to the doctor Friday, who okayed him for return to work. The odds are he won't go to treatment when an opening comes up once he's back at work.

I've laid down certain ground rules for him living with me:

* He stays sober
* He attends daily AA meetings
* He attends counseling
* He goes to church with me
* He lets me know where is he is and what he's doing
* I stay in touch with his supervisor at work, who will let me know of any problems
or absences

Toby wasn't thrilled with all the rules. He didn't want to go to church with me today, said he could go to an AA meeting instead. I explained that if I didn't care, I would just kick him out. But I do care, I love him, and I will be tough about what he needs and does. He went to church with me today and attended AA afterward.

We'll just have to see how things go. Toby's behavior patterns are well-ingrained, but I've got good "BS" radar, and haven't hesitated to call him on it. I've spoken openly about my feelings. We both grew up in a household with too little communication, with too little outright speaking about feelings and too much withdrawal and passive aggression. It's okay he got mad at me--I'd rather he show his anger than do the passive revenge stuff.

I'm still praying for Toby. That he was at church is a good thing--the Holy Spirit can get past crossed arms and closed ears! Toby did find out that people have been praying for him. For real!

Oh Lord, open his ears and his eyes to You.

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