To fully recover from a substance use problem, we need to look at the places where our expectations don’t line up with reality.
I don’t know how a trauma in my family a few generations back might show up in my life, that is until I recently passed up buying a pumpkin. I stood in front of a beautiful pumpkin at a farm stand. It was marked half price and I stood in front of it, frozen, unable to decide if I wanted to buy it. I walked away from that pumpkin feeling sick to my stomach.
After a person completes treatment, there need to be changes at home. Prior to entering into recovery, there was a dynamic that allowed and perhaps even supported active addiction.
I don’t like to do a lot of things in my adult life, and yet every day I do them. From courses in college I hated, to going to the grocery store and unloading the dishwasher, adulthood is filled with tasks that range from mundane to miserable. Everyday I do things that I don’t like or want to do and I still get them done and the same goes for attending 12-step meetings. I have to do it. Still, people entering into recovery have a lot to say about why they don’t like 12-step meetings, why they don’t want to go, and why it won’t work for them.
The process of intervention is an opportunity for the family to come together and manage the addiction in a proactive way. For years, families respond to the chaos of addiction. Intervention is the opportunity for a family to look at that pattern and determine how they will handle future situations.
Families know in their guts that something isn’t right. When they address the concerned person, a process of gaslighting, or turning the warranted concern around on the person that voiced it. As a result, loved ones start to question their premonition and offer the person the benefit of the doubt all the while, the addiction is unknowingly in control of everyone affected.
When talking to a POC it is important to change the way that you have been talking to them in the past. Below are some Invitation to Intervention: This is not an intervention; we are creating a plan for the family to recover from this. You put us though a lot, and we need to clean it up. We will create a plan for you to recover to; the plan will be there for you when you are ready. I understand that I chose the date and time for this meeting, and that must be uncomfortable, but I just can’t go along with this any longer. I understand that your not ready, we are creating a plan for when you are. We are having a meeting tomorrow to talk about your addiction, we will not be fighting, we will not be arguing, we will not be crying, but we will be taking actions, we think you should attend. Let’s be honest, we didn’t call an intervention, you called for it. Life has really big moments that you remember forever, some are planned, like our wedding; others are a total surprise, like Billy’s goal in that game. I know that we… Read More »Talking to A Person of Concern
An intervention is not a one-off event; it is a recovery process. I commit to working with families for 90 days to ensure that the person suffering begins treatment successfully and has a plan that will ensure long term recovery. Committing the first time can lock in lasting recovery, making the intervention a process that only has to be done once.
Thinking about recovery is about as effective as thinking about going to the gym. it does nothing to help the person actually recover.
If you consider yourself a functional alcoholic, are you really functioning at your highest level? Or have you lowered the bar of what’s acceptable to cater to your addiction?