An Intervention: What to do After the Plan has Been Set
We have discussed how to begin the preparation process for a formal intervention, noting the importance of what an intervention should encompass and entail. An intervention is an intentional time to sit down with someone we love and express love and concern. For many addicts, their intervention is a precious memory of something hard, but also something that put them on the path to change, on the path to recovery. There are so many factors that go into having a healthy intervention day.
The Day of the Intervention
Now that you have versed yourself on the preliminary necessities, it’s time for the day you’ve been strategizing for. You have the 3-8 people who love your loved one and want to genuinely help guide them through their addiction recovery. As a group, you have learned all you can about the addiction, and about how to help without enabling. You have prayed, shared and made plans of action. Everyone has agreed to the ground rules and now it’s time to do this thing.
Come up with a creative way to get your loved one to the intervention. Very few people with painful addictions will show up if they anticipate what is going on. Plan a family dinner, a game night, small party, or another engaging event. Have someone designated to pick up your loved one or to ensure that they come to the intervention. Have a planned start time, plan out where each person will sit, and have every single, meticulous detail worked out before your addicted loved one arrives. Place people of high influence closest to your loved one. (Side note: one of our friends shared that having his daughter right beside him during his intervention made a huge impact!)
Implementing the Intervention
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 the light of 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 addiction recovery 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.
Once the table has been set for the intervention, go around the circle one at a time and have each individual read their letter to the addict. No one should interrupt anyone else, and no one should speak unless it’s their turn to read their letter. 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 because, in a situation like dealing with addiction, the environment could easily become a jumble of emotions, reactions and non-moving tension.
Concluding the Intervention and Taking the Next Steps
At this point during the intervention process, introduce the options for getting help, and be prepared to address any excuses that your loved one may give. Remember, 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. Their own personal rallying team who will plan to come by and check on the recovering addict, clean out unhealthy items, be with them, and pray with them through this process.
Be sure to have the chosen 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 their life will look like if they choose to not pursue rehabilitation. 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. By the end of the intervention, the should facilitator collect the letters and save them for your loved one. These letters can be a great reminder down the road for your loved one as they pursue recovery to their addiction. 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
An intervention is simply the beginning of the journey for any recovering addict. The key to implementing a successful rehabilitation process is following through with everything said and promised. By leading a faith-based recovery path, there are many ways to embrace the word of God and continue down towards sobriety.
Once the intervention has concluded there are a few key components to keep close:
- 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 – by continuing to be, the addicted loved one can’t manipulate anyone. It also helps keep everyone in the group accountable.
- Continue to educate yourselves after the intervention – seek help and support for yourself. The road to recovery is long and has many moving parts. Heal yourself too.
- Do not give your loved one money – If you have to, go buy or pay for the specific need yourself. It’s better to never financially support someone in any type of an addiction.
- When you are enabling an addict it causes stress an anxiety in your own life – Trying to help a loved one through addiction is a daunting journey. Codependency often means that your life and well-being depends on that person’s life and well-being. Understand the harmful potency of codependency especially when dealing with addiction. While your loved one recovers you too should attend meetings, join online support groups like Refuge for Families, and/or start seeing a Christian counselor or phycologist that specializes in codependency.
- We are children of God, made in His image and with a purpose – Most importantly remember our identities are those of God’s children. He/She/You are not your addictions, hang-ups, pasts or hurts. Getting out of denial and accepting the problem is important, but we can’t 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.
S2L Recovery in Middle Tennessee
Our S2L Recovery community is here to fulfill our purpose in guiding those struggling with addiction through a Christian-based rehabilitation program. 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 towards a life with God and sobriety.