Trying to unwind from a busy weekend, I turned on the TV last night hoping for mindless entertainment to put me to sleep. Instead, I found myself watching yet another episode of Interventionon A&E. The show depicts individuals struggling with addiction and the people that love them coming together for, you guessed it, an intervention. I should have known I wouldn’t be going to bed for at least an hour but, once again, I was captivated by the people and their stories of how their addiction came to be.
Since I first started watching Intervention, I have had a different outlook on the people I see on the street corner asking for money or the people on the news arrested for drugs. I always ask myself, “What is their story?” “How did they get there?” “Where is their family?” I am not taking responsibility away from the individual, but I can’t help but find compassion. If you have experienced addiction in your life or family, you know that addiction can affect any person from any walk of life and for a thousand different reasons. I guess my compassion isn’t for their addiction but rather what got them there, the hopelessness in their eyes and that they didn’t feel there was another way.
When I watch the show I wonder, what if that was me? How many times would my family try an intervention before they said “enough?” If that was my family member, what would my bottom line be before I walked away? I think that is what makes this show so intriguing. On many levels the show is so relatable because we all have fallen and need help getting back. Unfortunately, it is also relatable because too many of us know what it’s like to lose someone, in one way or another, to substance abuse. How would you handle it? What would you do if they were in denial, like so many people suffering from addiction are? Read this week’s communication for tips on dealing with an addict in denial.