In “It’s Time for an Intervention” pt 1, we discussed how to prepare for a formal intervention. An intervention is an intentional time to sit down with someone we love and express love and concern. For many, their intervention is a precious memory of something hard, but also something that put them on the path to change. There are so many things that go into having a healthy intervention day. If you missed it, check out pt1 here, and learn how to best prepare yourselves for the journey.
Ok, so now you are prepared! You have 3-8 people who love your loved one. You have learned all you can about their addiction, and about how to help without enabling. You have prayed and shared and made plans of action. Everyone has agreed to the ground rules. It’s time to do this thing!
Come up with a creative way to get your loved one to the intervention. Very few hurting people will show up if they know what is going on. Plan a family dinner, game night, party, or other engaging event. Have someone designated to pick up your loved one or to make sure that they come. Have a planned start time, plan out where each person will sit, and have every single detail worked out before your loved one arrives. Place people of high influence closest to your loved one. One of our friends shared that having his daughter right beside him during his intervention made a huge impact!
When your loved one starts to realize what’s going on, they may start to think “Oh great. Here it comes.” However, the idea is to shower them with love and to show them Jesus through your words and actions. The greatest thing they need to take away is that you care deeply about them and so does God. Nothing else you say or do will matter if they don’t first hear your love and the Lord’s love.
Have the designated facilitator open up and share why you all are there. Everything communicated should be said with respect. Avoid any temptation to talk down to your loved one. It’s very important that we help them maintain their dignity through this process. They are already telling themselves all the worst things, and believing all of it too. Your goal should be to see them as Christ sees them, and then to treat them that way.
Go around the circle one at a time and read each letter. No one should interrupt anyone else, and no one should speak unless it’s their turn to read the letter. This is harder than it sounds! As emotions rise, the temptation to jump in, defend yourself or your loved one, or to react to manipulation will be strong. You want to do your best to keep everything calm in a situation that could easily become a jumble of emotions and reactions.
At this point, introduce the options for getting help, and be prepared to address any excuses that your loved one gives. This is scary for them! Their addiction is their comfort zone, and leaving it behind is terrifying. Let them know who their support team is. A support team is the group planning to come by and check on them, clean out unhealthy items, be with them, and pray with them through this process.
Have the facilitator review the consequences laid out in the letters. Make it clear what life will look like if your loved chooses to get help and what it will look like if they choose not to. Everyone will need to be prepared to follow through on their consequences. Having your own healthy boundaries is the most loving thing you can do to encourage your loved one to get the help they need. By trying to love and care for them in the past, you may have been enabling their behavior for years. Change can be just as scary for us as for them! Have the facilitator collect the letters and save them for your loved one. They can be a great reminder down the road for your loved one as they pursue recovery! If your loved one chooses the path to healing, it’s time to put your plans into action to get them the help they need.
Some things to remember after the intervention:
• Don’t forget to pray. Every day, over and over. Nothing that we can do for our loved one is more powerful than prayer!
• The intervention team should keep meeting so that the loved one can’t manipulate anyone. It also helps keep everyone in the group accountable.
• Continue to educate yourselves after the intervention, and to seek help and support for yourself!
• Do not give your loved one money. If you have to, go and buy or pay for the specific need yourself. However, its better to never give financially to someone in any type of an addiction.
• When you are enabling a love one it causes stress an anxiety in your own life. Codependency often means that your life and well-being depends on that person’s life and well-being. Don’t ignore that! Get help for yourself too! Attend meetings, join online support groups like Refuge for Families, and/or start seeing a Christian counselor or phycologist that specializes in codependency.
• Most importantly – Their identity, and yours, is that we are children of God, made in His image and with a purpose. He/She/You are not your addictions or hang-ups or pasts or hurts. Getting out of denial and accepting the problem is important, but we cant stay in the “I’m an addict/alcoholic/codependent/etc” mentality. We have to see who God calls us to be in order to move forward and to heal.
If you or someone you love is in need of recovery,
please reach out and let us walk with you.
We are here to help you through this process!