I've never had a "formal" intervention...like those super uncomfortable, sit-down meetings where everyone reads hand-written letters and there are lots of tears.
But looking back, my husband has had interventions with me multiple times.
I can remember being hungover on the couch, desperate to get drunk again because I couldn't stand the way I felt - and my husband came up to talk to me about what I did during my blackout the night before and how much he wanted me to stop drinking. He talked about how painful it was to see me in the state I was in and how he wanted to see me healthy again.
It always just made me feel worse. I already felt like a failure. To have his disappointment and despair heaped on top of me was just more anguish.
I didn't get better until my H went to al-anon and just left me alone to hit my own rock bottom. His interventions didn't work for me.
What about you? Have you ever had an intervention? Did it help?
Post by Shreddingbetty on Mar 3, 2019 20:41:53 GMT -5
I have never had an intervention but my XRAH was the alcoholic. I was with him for 16 years. He quit a few times which never lasted. 3 or 4 times I had talked to him about it and he would quit for a while. The longest was 13 months but he was white knuckling it which never works long term. At that time I started detaching and doing my own thing mostly (didn’t know it was called detaching, it was just a natural response to what was going on). Then he started drinking again and I decided that I would not intervene until he hit rockbottom, because obviously what I had been doing never worked. It went on for a year and I hit rock bottom. I could no longer handle his drinking that had spiraled out of control. I didn’t do an internvention per se but I wrote him a letter saying that I could no longer do this, how it had affected our family over the years and that I was willing to give him one more chance but only if he actually sought professional help. I was ready to walk out at that time which had never been the case before. It only worked because (he later admitted) he himself had gotten to the point where he felt he could not go on like that. He just needed a kick in the butt to get him over that final hump of taking action. He had been an alcoholic for many many years (started at 13) but was always relatively functional (although I later learned he really wasn’t except maybe at work because emotionally he was not functional at all in our relationship). Interventions only work if the addict is mentally ready to quit as well. There were a couple of people at rehab that were forced to go. They play along for awhile but will relapse as soon as they get out. It is tough for us non addcits to understand but no matter what anyone does/says/threatens, nothing will happen until the addict choses recovery for him or herself and even then they need to do it on their own. I have learned more than I care to know about addiction in the last couple of years. Not sure I would have had a different outcome if I had been more educated before I hit rock bottom but people don’t get addiction unless they have dealt with it on a personal level (either as the add it or a loved one). Glad you were able to find recovery and that your marriage was able to overcome it as well. It is very hard for both parties. My XRAH got clean but our marriage did not survive. Too much damage over the years for me to get past it.
For a long time I tried to recover for the sake of other people in my life (to make my H happy, to recover other damaged relationships, etc.). But recovery didn't stick until I wanted it for myself.
I'm grateful I still have my marriage. I live an amends every day to my husband. I know I can't make up for all the crap I put him through, but I can be a better person to him today. We were very close to separating several times. I completely understand the damage alcoholic drinking does to relationships.
Post by Shreddingbetty on Mar 6, 2019 0:15:51 GMT -5
SwimDeep, I am really glad that your marriage survived because I think many do not, even after recovery. The second to last time when he quit for a year I was in a much different place. I strongly believe that if he had sought treatment then (as in he had been ready then) our marriage would have survived. But the 2 years following that I really detached and there was a lot of resentment and physically I was very much turned off by him. Walking into the the bedroom at night and being greeted by the smell of alcohol (I swear heavy drinkers metabolize alcohol different) is not pleasant. he also had had a few instances of incontinence which I didn’t realize until later that that was related to the drinking. That is really hard to come back from. I am sure people do it but I could not. I struggled for a long time with guilt over not being able to get past that even though he was (and still is) clean. But we both had to change a lot and we are no longer the people we were when we met. He is not a bad person but things changed too much and I felt we were no longer on the same page for a lot of things. I was also amazed at how many people are affected by alcoholism either themselves or a family member. Anyway, congrats on getting sober. I know it is a hard thing to do and I don’t wish that on anybody. It takes a lot of strength and commitment to truly recover. I also do admire my ex for doing it finally, I know he worked hard and it wasn’t easy. Too bad he couldn’t have done it 2 years earlier.
To me "intervention" is the formal action: a group of friends and family led (hopefully) by a "leader" to confront the alcoholic/addict with concrete evidence about how their lifestyle is affecting others. My personal opinion is those types of interventions do more harm than good.
I think the intervention you're referring to is when a spouse or family member or friend lets the alcoholic/addict know on no uncertain terms how damaging your actions are to them and to yourself. This happened ALL the time to me when I was active in my addictions. It did little good, except make me more miserable, until I finally decided MYSELF that I was going to get sober, and that I was going to do it for me, and for me alone.