Letter to The Family and Friend
Dear Family and Friends:
We understand that this may be one of the most difficult and perhaps frightening times of your lives.
If you have spent any time saying to yourselves “I should have known what to do”, “I should have acted sooner”, “I should have” or other similar “should have” thoughts know that it is okay to let yourself “off the hook”.
Addiction and mental illness are diseases that wear many masks and for many years can remain hidden by the victim from even the closest of friends and family members.
Another dynamic that is present in all families and friendships is that we do not ever want to think anything “bad” of a family member or a friend. As such, we are often willing to overlook many things and accept the most implausible of excuses for what is often the most unacceptable of behavior on the part of the impaired individual.
Be at peace with this simple fact: you are not alone in making this kind of mistake. Most often the disease has been in progress, on average, for at least five years before someone begins to finally understand that “something” is “wrong”. It is not unusual for people to live with this “something is wrong” situation for two years or longer before positive action is taken.
Why the delay? Very simply most individuals hang on to the hope that they will “snap out of it”. That somehow things will get better as time goes by. Sadly, for most victims of the disease, as time goes by, things only get worse, never better.
Part of the reason this process of addiction takes such a strong hold upon the individual is that this is a disease of “perception”. That is, the victim of addiction truly cannot see what is happening to them as a result of their drinking or substance abuse, and, for a long time family and friends do not want to see it. We want to make excuses for the behavior, again because we do not want to think anything “bad” about our family member or friend. Mental illness, eating disorders and domestic violence often follow similar pathology of deterioration within the individual.
Often before the impaired individual is able to begin the road to recovery, family and friends must finally achieve awareness that “something” is wrong.
As you are now reading these words, you too have most likely achieved awareness that “something” is wrong and change must occur.
Most often before the impaired individual is able to get well a crisis must occur. Crisis can take many forms. Arrest, accident, hospitalization are but a few of the more common results of untreated addiction and mental health issues.
Another crisis that can occur is through that of a “managed crisis” known as “Intervention”. Intervention presents to the victim an irrefutable body of evidence as to how not only their own lives are being affected by their impairment; but also, how it is affecting the lives of those they may love and care about as well.
This information is presented to the Individual in a non-attacking, non-judgmental fashion. Indeed the entire tone of the intervention is to be one of care, support, understanding, concern, and love.
As the participants of the intervention embark upon the planning and structuring phases of the intervention, it is not unusual for the participants to often experience feelings of self-doubt, or, that they may be betraying their friend or loved one. Know that these feelings are both normal and are to be expected.
We wish to encourage you to call the staff of Spirit & Associates to talk about these feelings. Know that you will never be asked to do anything that you either “can not” or “do not” wish to do.
Know that you are not alone in this “process”. The other participants of the “Intervention Team” may well be experiencing the same feelings. We would encourage you to talk about these feelings and again, to know that such feelings are both normal and to be expected.
If you have doubts as to the need for an intervention pause for a moment and ask yourself this question. “Is my loved one’s/friend’s situation better, unchanged, or worse than it was at this time one year ago”?
If indeed they are worse today than they were a year ago, do you feel it is likely that they will be able to get better without help?
Know that we are as close as your telephone to answer questions as they may arise while you embark upon the “process” of intervention.