We all know sadness one way or another. We’ve witness sadness in many ways, whether it was a loss of a friend or a loss of a family member. Not only through grief do we experience deep emptiness in our bodies and souls, but through anything that can trigger a tear or two–a piece of music, something that someone says, a certain smell that reminds you of your past lover–pretty much anything.
I have a brother that suffers through sadness daily. He’s the baby of the family and happens to live in a household full of introverts when he himself is an extrovert. He complains of the lack of going out making him feel down, and often. I try taking him out once in a while, but once in a while isn’t enough. His sadness runs deeper, however. It’s not just the lack of activity in his life that’s making him sad, but, he lacks confidence in himself. He believes to be ugly, has never had a girlfriend and doesn’t have any friends that are willing to spend time with him after school.
He’s rather lonely and anxious. His sadness runs deeper still. Not only does he yearn to run free in the world, lack the esteem that he would want, and suffer loneliness at its core, he’s in the grief of our mother that passed about 10 years ago now. Thus, this emotion he is feeling is not sadness, but depression.
As the older sister, I had to act like a mother to him. It wasn’t the same, but he often looked up to me and I felt a sense of protectiveness about him that I couldn’t explain. Even before we became motherless I protected him, and I did spoil him more times than I like to admit. I gave him things when he wanted them, I spent time with him when I’d rather be alone, and I generally gave him the love of a mother without the kisses and hugs. I actually never hugged him but only once or twice before–when I felt bad for hurting his feelings and body (we fought a lot), and during the viewing of our mother’s dead body before the funeral.
His only way to cope was through the use of marijuana. He could go on and on about this substance–write a whole book about it if he wanted to. He claims that this drug is a miracle drug, a way to treat depression, and anxiety, and to calm you, relax you, keep you focused and just happy. I wanted to throttle him every time he mentioned it as being a miracle drug because it wasn’t. The moment he couldn’t get it anymore when our father discovered his drug use, he went crazy and suffered from serious withdrawal–enough that he ended up in the hospital. Yet, on and on he goes about it–and he’s so addicted that he believes that he cannot function without it.
I have nothing against marijuana. Truly, I don’t–but if you’re so engrossed with it that you believe you cannot function without it tells me that the drug has more control over your life than you do. It’s addiction at that point. Not only that, but it is illegal–and the only reason I’d ever condone the use of marijuana is if it does, one day, not be a schedule I drug, and all the potheads in the U.S. can rejoice and just stop talking about it already and leave the rest of us who don’t want to smoke alone.
Regardless, my poor, motherless brother is at a crossroads in life and is stressed beyond repair except for the use of drugs in his eyes. What is there a sister to do? I can try to encourage him, go out and have fun with him, put him into some type of sport so that his mind can be distracted–and, that’s all I can do. I sit and talk with him as much as I can. I listen to his woes and try to find ways to soothe him. All I can do is distract him. All I can do is help him cope–after all, we are both motherless children.