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.
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?
Addiction drives people into their basements; they may spend a lot of time down there. When they do come upstairs and look around, they observe what has changed: while their yard is still a mess, their neighbors have cleaned up and moved on with their lives.
The road to get someone into treatment is always difficult. Usually, the family has put an enormous amount of energy into just getting their loved one to the front door of the facility. But what comes after someone checks in?
A few common roadblocks come up with almost everyone heading to treatment – always asked after the decision has been made to goto treatment and always used as road blocks to not goto treatment.