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
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
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,
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.