As the end credits to the Lion King start rolling in the background, I think of the wisdom the movie imparts, (yes to answer your question- I am a fully functioning adult who still curls up and watches Disney movies by himself). Anyway, at one point in the film, the character Rafiki says, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it or learn from it.” This is a quote that really emanates and fits for so many addicts and alcoholics. We all live our lives forward and understand them backwards. This is just the way of time and life. If we do not catalog the past then we are kind of destined to repeat things in the future- makes sense right?
Well, life is kind of like one big movie you know? There are so many parts of it that most of us have missed and have to replay to catch the things we didn’t see beforehand. We want to rewind certain parts in our heads and fast forward to the other parts we anticipate. Then to mix it up, everybody has their own movie that they’re the star of. We all watch parts of each other’s movies and critic when necessary. We always compare and judge even when we shouldn’t. So as you sit in your audience amongst your immediate circle, how long do you watch an awful movie play before you end it? How long do we watch somebody sabotage themselves until the point of some form of intervention is needed? That’s the thing- everybody’s movie is different.
Enters the Director
A lot of addicts and alcoholics tend to forget the movie keeps playing even when we decide to take breaks in comatose states. Intervention is never a fun concept of course, but sometimes it’s the very thing that is needed to keep somebody above ground for another day. When it comes to chemical dependency, irrationality becomes the main role. Using addicts and alcoholics think they have more of themselves together than they do and see the world in a completely filtered light compared to the rest of reality.
Suggesting intervention is like telling some actors they need a script when they would rather just go improve it. Then we sit back and watch that actor botch the performance over and over again. We can recommend the script once again only to most likely have it declined, and then watch them fail a few more times at doing something they think they have all the answers to. Eventually, you see that person get fired off the set- for good. Addiction stops for nobody sadly. The worst part about it is most addicts and alcoholics have so much potential if they would just listen.
Intervention can be a messy situation when you want to help somebody but not enable them at the same time. We find that through our love for our addict, we end up helping them in their debauchery. We try to believe them when they tell us they lost their job for non-drug related reasons. We try to believe them when they’re nodding off and tell us they just didn’t catch a lot of sleep the night before. We even try to believe them when money has gone missing and they claim their innocence and go so far as to even “help” look for the missing dinero. Yet, if we believe everything we know to not be true, at what point are we really helping them? After any form of enablement has come into play and the addict’s life is clearly in shambles, THIS is the time for an intervention.
It’s never easy for friends and family to accept that their beloved has a problem before he or she can even admit it themselves. As mentioned previously, irrationality takes place and will tell the addict or alcoholic that things aren’t as bad as they seem. There is just this obsession that runs all aspects of productive thinking as morals and values are tossed aside. A part of them might recognize that things aren’t too great, but the addiction will be the voice of unreason that constantly steps in as intervention from them seeking help. It’s a disease and once we really understand that, the need for intervention starts to become more prominent as disaster after disaster continues to unfold.
So we take a deep breath and plan to mediate the chaos that is happening before our eyes. Intervention can be as simple as cutting somebody out of your movie and walking away if necessary. The idea is to get a message across to our chemically dependent friend regardless of how they have to receive it. Sometimes jail and/or hospitals are good intervention segways due to the nature of what has led them to that point in time. Then there’s the conventional way of intervention which can be as simple as gathering a few loved ones to express their concern to the addict/alcoholic in question. These are just a few methods of getting involved right here and will depend on a person to person basis what is called for. The main point that all this boils down to is that if intervention is even beginning to be questioned, then the situation probably calls for it. The truth is that the concept of such involvement wouldn’t even be on the set if everything was all hunky-dory. Trust your gut feeling when the red flags are being thrown.
Produce Good Ideas
All the film metaphors and jazz aside, watching somebody we care about struggle is a tough thing to go through. Sometimes it’s on us to intervene but to remember that we are not responsible and that there is only so much we can do. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that’s happy, joyous, and free.