Intervention is a wisdom word that can mean various things.
Today, I am going to focus mainly on what it means to you or the loved one who would benefit from one, and an INTERVENTION usually happens, when something in ones life, becomes a big “something” and disrupts, destroys, and eventually corrupts the world of the addicted, and all other options are exhausted trying to help them.
We all should care and hope and reach out, for the very things in life we are presented with, and sometimes, we can’t miss them, These, are the very things God has hoped our “peripheral vision” might catch, usually with addiction, when one is in “Denial”. I believe, Being aware of our surroundings, and most importantly those we are surrounded by, is crucial for ones internal growth, internal prosperity, and mental health. More importantly, when we focus on others, and not ourselves, we are doing Gods Work.
The Webster Dictionary has two meanings of this word, but I am mainly going to focus on the action word, (intervene) meaning: 1.The act of intervening. Intercession. interruption.
Wisdom Word definition: Being “cognizant” and knowing it is time to step in, intercede, mediate, “negotiate” and “reconcile”.
At what point do we, reach out, or when should someone on our behalf, intervene?
I will use myself for this example. It was roughly 10 years ago, when I began drinking heavily. What I did not realize, was everyday, in my life, I had a difficult time “coping with reality and the problems LIFE brought with it”. I have a pain management disease and I live at times, in excruciating pain.
I have to take medication to manage these pain attacks when they occur, and the medication wasn’t enough to deal with the emotional, psychological trauma I still suffer with, because I did not have the proper coping mechanisms.
I wish to take accountability, so these are NOT excuses; just information to explain that the effects of drinking along with the medication made the situation much worse, as these were opiates, I “truly should not be alive, today, and it is by the grace of God, I believe I am. I was on a slippery slope, and I was in “denial”. I felt somehow I was being “punished” for whatever mistakes I had made in life, so if I needed an escape on the weekends, I binge drank.
I was not sure exactly what those mistakes were, as there were many in this journey I share with you that made the decision to drink, easy. The disease I had, continued to build up a tolerance to the medication causing increasing amounts of pain, so the doctors recommended INCREASING the dosage. The same thing happened several times, and I ALWAYS took the medication “As Prescribed” and there were some high doses.
The drinking was easy. I, divorced, sharing custody of my two children, They stayed with their father every weekend. and its funny, but speaking of peripheral sight, never underestimate your children.
I was working full-time, and continually told myself, because, I only “drank” on the weekends, I didn’t have a problem. It was easy to deny. I was “successful at work”, dealing with a disease, and it was okay, to let my hair down. What I didn’t realize, is how much tolerance over time, I had built up
so many excuses over a period of five years until it happened.
There was a huge fourth of July party, and I was driving home, stumbling before I left. My “drunk” friends asked if I was okay to drive. In my mind, I knew the way home, and I was “good”.
I am on the freeway approximately a mile, and my cell phone rang. I had a hands free cell and it wasn’t working, so I took my eyes of the road, and next thing I knew, my Honda Accord, and I are in a ditch, beside the freeway, and my car is turned the “OPPOSITE” direction of the freeway.
I thought to myself: no problem. I can start the car back up and “drive it out of this ditch” (six foot deep, and the car was “totaled” but in my state of mind, it would all be okay. The police came, and due to my medical condition, I was sent to the hospital instead of Jail.
I had “NO PERIPHERAL” vision not only for myself, but for others! I could have killed someone..
Against medical advice, I left the hospital and caught a cab. I laid in my bed for four days. (the kids had gone on vacation) so I had the house to myself.
I was in the bed two days before I “reached out” to my mom. She, lived her life in fear already, thinking I might die at anytime.
She came over, and did what I call, “an intervention of the heart”. She reminded me, of past warnings, God had given me in the past. (falling off her patio, hurting myself, a year prior to this, and many other things, including driving a freeway for two miles, the wrong direction.
She told me what a good person I “used to be”, reminding me of who I had been, and who I was now.
She brought up memories, and good times we had shared when I was sober. She told me the “tight bond” we had always shared, would have to change drastically. She said in order to protect “herself”, If I chose to continue on this path, I would be DEAD.
She then, gave an ultimatum: Either get help, or she would tell my children and everyone what had happened to me, and I would lose her loving support. My mother is my best friend, and wisdom is in every word she speaks, and I am forever grateful she stepped in when she did, for I would not be alive today.
A mother knows her daughter, and she knew, that her warnings, were ENOUGH because a daughter knows her mother and I knew she meant business for I knew my mother as well.
As I began to look at the past, she had given warnings, “reaching out” and there was so many little lessons, God tested me with, and each “thing” was far worse than the “thing” prior to this accident, accelerating and all tied to drinking, First, Gods whisper in my ear, to God’ final message. telling me I needed help for another consequence someone bailed me out of, and in the end, God had to show me through action. . FOR ME, the one thing I will say, is I loved my children and for them to know about this, almost grown, would shame me for the rest of my life. Ironically, I am telling this to whoever reads it in hopes, it might help another.
I began attending AA meetings. I was shocked to hear stories so similar to mine. In the end, I did work all 12 steps, suffered a one night relapse after a year of sobriety, but with my Sponsor’s help, was able to get myself to a meeting, the next day. The sad thing was, I had to start back at step one and I had been looking forward to being able to sponsor others, which is what you can do after completing the steps.
An Intervention is best done with as many loved ones as possible depending on just how bad the problem is and how far down the addict has pulled himself, and his loved ones in the process.
INTERVENTION-WHO CAN DO AN INTERVENTION? There are Professional Interventions in which a third party, at Interventionist, is, trained to intercede on a families behalf, and there are those, as private as mine was, again depending how drastic the addiction is.
Regardless, there are the following important steps and messages an intervention should include:.
1. Each one participating, should write a letter beforehand stating what they wish to say to our loved one we wish to say. Each person should read their letter. ending with the person that is closest to the one addicted. This serves as a crucial part of the intervention. A letter makes sure we convey all of our message, and should include in it steps 2 and 3. An interventionist determines who will go first, depending on the level of relationship. Either way, remind them of how you’ve been enabling them, and ending with two choices: getting help, or what your prepared to enforce if they choose not to.
2. you need to “connect” with your loved one, first by letting them know how much you care,, and the best way to do this, is by conveying and reminiscing about memories you’ve shared with them before their addiction ruled their lives. Remind them of who they were, before this addiction took over their lives.
Next, point out specifics of who they are “NOW” and how much they have changed. Point out several consequences of their actions and how they have hurt you, and remind them you’ve exhausted every possibility within your power to help, and ending with Consequences, if they make the decision to get help or not. We let them know it is a choice of those two options. Get help or you must cut the relationship off, because of the pain it is causing, and the delay your creating, be enabling them.
3. ULTIMATUM. The next thing we do, in lay out CLEAR CONCISE consequences and boundaries that we are prepared to stick with and enforce, Specifically outline what will no longer be from that day forward should they not go to treatment. (have specific treatment plan clearly outlined, beforehand. An Interventionist is best if this is a group intervention because they are professionals, and can help you do this) Lay out what actions your taking, if they decide not to get help. If we have been helping them financially, we let them know we no longer will. If they live with you, they no longer can. Strong, clear “CONSEQUENCES”, each gives should the addicted not get help.
4. Lay out a clear plan for them such as rehabilitation, or AA, or behavioral modification programs a
Things are different now. Yes, I still suffer horribly with pain, but I deal with it with a medication, that controls the pain, without the Strong, addictive medications previous doctors had given me. It is amazing how positive change brings more positive change, and I found another doctor who lowered my doses slowly. He is still my doctor, and I credit him largely because he took the time to LISTEN and care. I enough to change my medication.
Sometimes, there are those in life, we love so much, but remember our lives are about choices, and we Intervene, as many loved ones as possible, but there is no saving them. We don’t “control” other people or other things, that, in the end, aren’t ours to control.
I believe INTERVENTION, only works with one who is truly willing to be HONEST with themselves, for to move to the road of recovery, we first must ACCEPT, we are no longer in control of whatever we are addicted to. It controls our every decision, making life, a disaster.
That requires HUMILITY, and Gods help, along with those loved ones, who are there if we just LOOK through our peripheral vision.