I’ve never met another recovering drug addict or alcoholic that doesn’t count themselves lucky for having a family that cared enough, in the face of a lot of terrible behavior, to get them the help they needed through an intervention. I’ve been involved in two interventions, one was for me, and I was a participant in a friend’s…and although this sounds funny to say, I don’t know which was tougher on me.
I think that in some ways the apprehension of the event is worse than it ever is, and everyone feels better after getting an opportunity to speak the truth, and speak from the heart. An intervention is what finally got me into treatment after years of destructive drinking, and too many failed attempts to quit or cut back. The intervention was planned by my family and friends and run with the help of a professional intervention service, and really left me with no alternative but to accept the treatment they had arranged for me.
They say that admitting the truth is the first step to recovery, and I think that’s true, but what I believe that really means is admitting it out loud to those close to you. This may not be true for everyone, but I knew I had a problem, and I knew I couldn’t beat it on my own; but I could just never seem to ask for the help I needed, and I just couldn’t seem to stop drinking.
Although a lot of the things I heard at my intervention were painful, it was almost a relief for me to know that I couldn’t keep on as I had been, and that faced with the love and concern of my family and friends, I would have to get help. Obviously everyone is different, and what I felt and how I reacted won’t necessarily occur in another intervention; but after speaking to a lot of recovering addicts about their experiences, I’ve never met a single one who regrets what their family did, or blames them in any way for the confrontation.
An intervention is an expression of love, and is generally only considered once things have gotten pretty bad. If you’re wondering if an intervention may be necessary for a family member or close friend…then it probably is! It’s normal to feel apprehensive about doing an intervention; you just need to remember that you are doing it because you care and because you really want to help. It won’t be easy, but in the long run it’s the best thing to do.
You may want to run your own intervention, but getting the advice of a professional is always a good idea. My sisters did when they planned my intervention, and said that without the help and guidance offered by the service they may never have gotten past the family quarrelling in the planning stages. An intervention is tricky, and can be an emotional mine field, and an impartial expert can help to keep things on track, and always keep things moving in a positive direction.
You need to remember that an intervention is only the first step to healing, and while it is an empowering experience for the family, all the pain and suffering caused by any addiction won’t be erased overnight. Very rarely do interventions fail, and even when the addict won’t accept help right away, they’ll usually come around with time. Have some planning sessions with the participating members, include a professional, and remember that you’re only doing this because you care.
Stay strong, say what you need to, and the rest is ultimately up to the addict. Alcoholism and drug addiction never gets better on its own. If someone you love is suffering with addiction, think about whether they might benefit from an intervention leading to treatment. I know it saved my life!