Success Story: We now have hope and a sense of family unity
For this episode’s success story, we are featuring Carla B.’s story (she calls his brother John here for anonymity)
My mother and I have been treating my brother, John, with amino acid therapy for since June 24. John is a 37-year-old male with a 16-year history of opiate abuse. Because John had only moved back home about two years ago after living abroad for many years, we did not really know the extent of his addiction. The first step in us being able to step up as a strong support system was comprehending that John’s addiction was neither a choice nor a personality deficit. Getting that his true self has been “bound and gagged in the back of the car” helped us separate the addicted John from the family member we knew and loved. And like a lightbulb switching on, we were able to retroactively make sense out of all drama and previously unimaginable scenes we’d witnessed over the past two years in our used-to-be quiet and normal suburban and educated household. This reconceptualization of addiction was everything. A lifetime of sibling discord and misunderstanding melted away and my choice to become a nutritionist took on a deeper and more profound, even fateful, level of meaning. And most importantly, I knew how to connect with my brother. The unspeakable became easy to discuss. And my brother felt seen, heard, and supported for the first time in a very long time.
We began the protocol by supporting his Omega-3 essential fatty acid and co-factor reserves. During this three-week period, I steered the conversation around his goal of wanting to be able to sleep when he wanted to; curing his insomnia would help him achieve his biggest life goals. John started dreaming for the first time since he could remember dreaming in years. Relationship and trust developed eventually I was able to get John to choose a stop date with the intention to start the next phase of the protocol: acute withdrawal. John has now been sober for since June 24. This period has not been without its challenges. Mood swings and the intermittent return of my brother’s biggest trigger – unexplained muscle pain, are the two biggest hurdles we face. But I know he feels our love and support. We are seeing my brother as my brother – the kind sweet gentle soul that we remember from his childhood is making longer and longer debuts. And my mom and I catch ourselves wondering, “could this really work?” After trying everything from detox to rehab, to Ayahuasca and Iboga jungle ceremonies over the years, my brother – equally jaded from being an intelligent medical school graduate, feels that he is making progress. Which he admitted in an unprecedented apology text following an “episode” where he desperately but unsuccessfully pleaded for drugs the other night.
So although we are unsure of what the future will bring, and the expression, “one day at a time” has never felt more relatable, we have hope and a sense of family unity that would not even have been a distant dream without this work and the vast knowledge and generosity that Christina has shared with us.