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I lost my brother to drug abuse and poor mental health

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Home Forums Loss of a loved one I lost my brother to drug abuse and poor mental health

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  • #23062

    I was never close with my brother and he was 2 years older than me. He struggled with mental illness and kept it quite from the family until he got onto drug abusing and then told the family about his problems. His drug use got worse each week and I watched him slowly destroy himself every day. I got scared of him so i stayed clear when I could. when he had a good day i would hangout with him and i would enjoy it but would deal with a high anxiety and i was always tense. I woke up one day to him over dosing in bed and that was when it got to real for me and when he woke up from it in hospital he said he didnt want to wake up and he wished it worked. My parents never took it seriously and i said to them he will try again but me being the youngest i wasnt taken seriously either. 2020 beginning of the year and he was coming down from meth and crashed his car into a tree. Worst part is everyone else gets to know if it was a suicide from a letter or they would get a while to say their goodbyes. I didnt get either i got a call from the cops only a few hours of seeing him before this happened and all of a sudden he was unconscious and brain dead in a bed in hospital. I could barely look at him and be in the room with him.I numb myself out to protect myself mentally so i dont have a break down crying.
    Since losing him i am struggling more and more everyday being proud of myself and happy sounds so stupid cause he isn’t around to see it and how can i be happy after seeing my only brother dead in hospital. I guess I’m here writing this cause it’s somewhere where i can and people with other losses can read it if you want.

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  • #23088

    Dear @sharna, I’m so sorry to hear about this massive loss that you are going through, it must be incredibly hard to have lost your brother and incredibly difficult witnessing his struggle in the time before his death. Thank you so much for reaching out and speaking courageously about what you are going through and the emotions that you are feeling. Not only have you lost a close family member but have also had to witness that family member experience drug overdose, mental illness, and suicide which is incredibly hard and you must be extremely strong. It is sounding like an incredibly difficult thing to process especially when you discuss having to numb yourself to protect your mental illness, which is completely normal and fair considering what you have been through. Although, it is important to process what you are experiencing in knowing that you are not alone, and so, Griefline Helplines are available to call 8 am-8 pm AEST at 1300 845 745.

    I have also attached a link on how to cope with Grief which may be beneficial to have a read of:

    I encourage you to keep posting on the online forum as it can be a great avenue for support through this hard time. Please know that you are not alone in this and thank you so much for providing support to others in letting them know that they are not alone.


    Hello Sharna,
    Thank you! For your courage to reach out to people who can relate to your heartbreak, we are listening and willing to help you


    Good morning @sharna,

    it’s been a few days since you posted this, how has this week gone for you?

    I know you said it seems silly to be proud of yourself as your brother isn’t here to see it, but I do feel you should be proud of yourself, I truly do – you reached out, you shared an incredibly painful and powerful story, and that takes both insight and strength to do. So many people keep their pain locked inside and don’t take that step, so well done for coming here – and I hope you keep coming back.

    No loss is easy, but often there are layers of pain placed over the top of the grief we feel. It takes a long time to grow around that pain, and whilst there aren’t shortcuts there are ways to keep your strength up – eating well, sleeping well and exercising can all help a little. I hope you find at least a little time to do that much for yourself, to give yourself the best chance you can have.

    Just because we lose people doesn’t mean we have to lose our relationship to them, we can carry that into our future.

    Let us know how you’re going.


    Heartbreaking @sharna,

    I too just lost my brother, he took his own life this month. He struggled with his mental health and he had abused drugs in the past as well. So hard and sad to know they didn’t believe they could recover and improve.

    I miss him a lot and have great memories of our childhood together, but I was also scared of my brother because he would be violent and abusive towards me. He had a lot of rage and he would act it out and was too proud to ask for help to process it and release it.

    I will grieve him but I will also survive him. I know he was struggling and I know he would want me to be happy.

    Take care of yourself @sharna and reach out, make connections, find resources like you are doing already.


    vm Lollie

    Sharna, thank you for reaching out and sharing your story. As you mentioned, absolutely this is somewhere you can write about your brother, what you experienced, and also how you are going.
    Have you found any of the resources specifically helpful for you or speaking to any of the volunteers?
    Grief can be so complex and we can be surprised in the different ways in which it affects us at different moments so having the courage to reach out and share your experience is commendable and I am proud of you. It was hard for me to discuss my grief journey for awhile.

    Is there a particular way in which you ‘numb yourself out’ that maybe you would like to discuss in terms of protecting yourself?
    We are all here to assist and discuss any aspect of this with you or just listen to your thoughts about anything you would like.

    Take care Sharna and look after your self
    Please do call the helpful volunteers if you do feel like having a conversation


    It’s a late reply but I still wanna add that it’s unfortunate that your parents didn’t take his situation seriously, and it must have been frustrating for you not to be taken seriously as well. Losing someone close is never easy, and it’s totally normal to struggle with your emotions afterward. You don’t have to feel pressured to be happy or proud of yourself right away. Grieving takes time, and it’s okay to give yourself that space.
    If you ever feel overwhelmed, it might be helpful to reach out for support. Consider contacting the national mental health hotline or talking to a counselor who can help you navigate through these difficult emotions. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. There are people out there who understand what you’re going through and can offer guidance.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by hahanghan.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by hahanghan.

    Hi Sharna, I want to second @vm_lollie and thank you for your courage in reaching out and sharing your story about the loss of your brother. I can see how incredibly strong you have been in carrying the pain of this loss. How have things been going for you recently? Like @hary mentioned reaching out and making connections is a great start, if you like, feel free to phone the helpline (1300 845 745) and have a chat with one of our friendly volunteers. I really love how @hahanghan emphasised how it is more than usual to feel overwhelmed by emotions following a loss, especially the pressure to feel good right away. I too lost, a loved one to suicide, and at times the pain of moving forward without them is so unbearable! I often feel so many complex emotions as I too did not have the gift of saying goodbye. I hope you know that although it may not always feel like it, you will come through this experience of grief, and you will not have to go through this alone.

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