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Having had almost 4 months to think about the loss of my brother to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs and adjusting to life without my brother, I've discovered so much about the world of addiction. In another thread, I write letters to my deceased brother, in hopes that anyone who reads it, that may be struggling with addiction, would read the thread and say to themselves "I don't want my family to have to go through these emotions." or " I don't want to place myself in this situation that the letters could be addressed to me!" That thread was not successful, but has helped me to vent tremendously.

Tonight while talking to my sister in law, I finally put this whole situation in perspective. Nothing in our conversation really set it off, but just out of nowhere, I was overcome by a feeling of peace and understanding.

I've questioned a thousand times, why my brother would not come to me for help. I've questioned how my brother could hide an addiction. There have been so many questions. I've said before, that my brother was my super hero. I admired everything he did and thought he was invincible. Truth is, he knew this, and super hero's never want their one weakness revealed. Like Kryptonite was Superman's one weakness, my brother had his own Kryptonite in the form of drugs. He didn't want anyone, even me, to know his weakness. Super hero's don't have weaknesses, not in the eyes of those who admire them the most.... They are indestructible.

He wanted to always have that hero image when it come to his little sis, that's me. Somehow, he felt if he revealed his weakness, he would lose that hero status. He wouldn't have, not to me. I wish he would have understood that his Kryptonite just made him human, not weak. All of us have a weakness.

Though I've gained a new understanding as to why he didn't approach me, and I no longer blame myself for his death, my deep grief and heartfelt pain still controls my life everyday. No longer is my hero there to catch me when I fall or to save me from the super villains. I'm left vulnerable to attacks.

Is a weakness such a shameful thing? Is it worth a life? No, it's not. Revealing one's weakness does not make them less of a person. I've been lost in this life, knowing God had a plan for me, just not knowing what it was. If I can reach one person, save one life, from the devastation of drugs, then I've done my job. I've decided I'm going to take my story and tell it, and reach out to those who struggle with addiction. This is what my brother would want me to do.

I know now, Brother, the struggles you had. I understand more. I love you the same as I did before I knew of your addiction, if not more. You will always be my hero. I miss you.

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Jenna, I'm so sorry for your pain and for the loss of your beloved brother. :) I can imagine there are many questions that you're asking yourself in all of this confusion and sadness. It's true that we all have vulnerabilities. It's good that you are expressing yourself and feeling your feelings in this. I'm sorry it hurts. :)

Are you able to connect with the positive places in your heart where you feel love for Charlie? I find this is very comforting to me and it allows me to feel the presence of my loved ones within my own love. This stays with me always. This may not work or be helpful for everyone, though. Just something to think about.

Take gentle care of yourself today, Jenna.

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Oh absolutely, this is not intended to be a sad thread by any means. I feel like the thing that kept me from coping with his loss was feeling responsible by being negligent. I felt that I didn't know of his addiction through some negligence of mine. I felt I should have noticed, I felt I should have known. And I felt like he should have felt comfortable enough to tell me he was struggling. I just know now why he didn't tell me, and it had nothing to do with me being unapproachable. He wanted to keep that "hero" status. He felt he would lose that by revealing any weakness he may have had.

I can look at his pictures and remember the good times now, instead of dwelling on his absence. Me and my sister in law laughed last night for over an hour over stories of him. He was so funny. We were remembering the good times. We are at that point in our healing process that we can do that. I'm thankful for that.

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