Intervention and the Holidays
The holidays can truly be the most wonderful time of the year; filled with the warmth of family, friends, cozy get-togethers, and opportunities to catch up with those we rarely have time to visit with during the rest of the year. We all typically want to spend the holiday season surrounded by our loved ones, but what if you have someone in your life living with an addiction? It can be all too easy to consider simply putting off the intervention until after the holidays have come to an end, but the reality is that you may just find that this is the best time for you to stage an intervention.
An intervention is a very positive step in the right direction for your addicted loved one to get the help that he or she needs to combat addictive behaviors. Brushing unpleasant things under the rug so that you can enjoy a nice family-filled holiday is not the best way to handle things, and could actually cause a lot more stress and frustration for all involved.
The Basics of an Intervention
One of the primary reasons that families tend to put off interventions is that they simply don’t know enough about the process and about how it all works for the benefit of your loved one. There is so much misinformation out there on the internet, and what you see in movies and on television shows don’t always portray an accurate representation of an intervention. Minimize the confusion and stick to the basics, perhaps even consider working with an interventionist to help get things moving smoothly in the right direction.
There are several important things that you will need to know before the intervention, including the following.
- An understanding of the purpose of the intervention. Certainly you want to help get your addicted family member or friend the professional help that they need, but you also want to take this opportunity to be honest and true about the way in which their addiction is negatively impacting your own life.
- Recognizing that this is not a time to judge or harshly criticize. Setting ultimatums and being honest with your loved one will certainly help them to see how their actions are affecting you, but there can sometimes be a fine line between honesty and outright criticizing them. Addicts are often fighting with a rather heavy bunch of demons, and this is not the time to criticize them and potentially lead them deeper into the recesses of addiction.
- Learning how your loved one might react and behave during the process. Some people certainly react passively, and agree that there are issues they need to work on. Some people act defensively, argumentatively, and even violently. Being prepared can help you to better respond during the process so it doesn’t run away from you.
- Learning the correct responses when your loved one invariably lashes out during the intervention. It can be easy to get your feelings hurt, or to be drawn into an argument with your addicted loved one. Keep in mind that this is not them talking, but rather the addiction fueling their anger and frustration with the lack of control that they have.
- Safety tips, because interventions can sometimes get a bit scary when an addict feels back into a corner
Despite your preference for calm and peaceful family holidays, this might actually be one of the best times of the year in which to stage the intervention, for a few reasons.
- Several additional family member might now be in town, and can voice their own concerns
- More free time from work, leaving you able to devote those extra hours to the intervention and guiding your loved one towards professional care
- There may be fewer distractions and opportunities for the addict to get a hold of their drug or addictive activity of choice, due to holiday closures.
The longer that you put off an intervention, the longer it could take your loved one to get the help that he or she needs. The holidays are so filled with stress and strife, regardless of how much of a peaceful time you are hoping for, that you may also find that your loved one’s addictive behavior accelerates due to the added stress. The sooner that an intervention is done, the sooner help will be provided, and you can all look forward to a much happier holiday next year, with sobriety a much more pleasant presence to be around than the negativity of an addiction.