I Might Need An “Intervention” Intervention

Dear Kitty,

I’m addicted to watching the show “Intervention.” In fact, I watch it so many times, I might need an …. Yeah, that.

I usually don’t watch reality shows. I’m just not a huge fan of them. Some days I have a little too much reality in my own life that I don’t care for anyone else’s.

Episode after episode, I get caught up watching one or two persons at the lowest point in their lives. Scraping the bottom of the hole they are in, they are selfishly unaware or uncaring of those around them. Living only for the next “high” they barely exist in their addiction to alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, prostitution and homelessness.

There is this one brief moment in the hour long episode that I watch for, the switch during the intervention itself. That brief second that you see the hurt collide with hope in their eyes. One minute you see all the anger, hurt, stubbornness and despair creating a wall and then it crumbles. Vulnerability and the briefest flutter of hope’s wings cross their face. That’s the moment and I begin cheering from my side of the screen.

Often times it is provoked by words from someone in their life that is a damaged relationship. A father who had walked out of the family assures the one struggling that it wasn’t their fault and they are loved. A mother who had expressed disappointment in the one that is struggling all throughout their childhood, vocalizes how she had messed up and how she knows the burden she put on the child.

Ultimately, what is said is exactly what the person needed to hear and all the defenses crumble. The burden of the struggle is lifted and hope is offered. It’s the moment that all their hurts were acknowledged.

It’s the moment they were heard.

That’s the healing stuff right there. No matter the despair, the hurt or how far down a person might be; the healing starts when they are heard. To be listened to is powerful.

One thing the therapists recommend to the family is to not worry about what is going to happen in one, three or six months. Just focus on today and wait for the moment that the hope is accepted. Wait for the “yes” that signals that help is accepted and everything else is noise. Keep reaching out and keep loving them until you hear the “yes” and ignore the noise.

Can you be this person to someone who is struggling today? Will you be willing to listen past the noise and continue to offer hope? Can you just listen?

Maybe you are someone who is in that dark spot. Do you feel hurt and unheard? Maybe this has hurt for a long time and you have given up hope that it can change.

I’m listening to you.

I don’t have all the answers. None of us here on Earth do, but I do have hope enough to share. I hear your noise and I see your defenses. I’ve had some pretty steep, thick walls in my past and I was capable of making a lot of noise, but then I was heard. In a moment of despair deep enough to swallow me, I was reached, loved and assured that even if I didn’t have someone to hold my hand that I was being carried.

“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” Psalm 68:19 (NLT)

I’m listening.



Categories: Faith, restored

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. A week ago tomorrow I picked my husband up from the psych ward of a local hospital after his spending 8 days there. It was 8 of the hardest days of my life. I wanted my husband back, though. My real husband. Not the guy that was taken over by pills.
    I watched Intervention this weekend also. It was hard to watch because, although my husband was not as far gone as many on there, I could relate to the family members. You love the person you know is in there but they are hurting you as much as they are hurting theirself and you know that is not the person you love. Does that make sense? It’s still scary to think that he could go back down that road selfishly dragging us with him. I have faith, though. I have to.

    • Amy,

      Yes that makes sense and although there can be relapses, it’s an illness really. Just like people can be in remission for cancer and then it comes back, the same with mental health/addiction, right?

      You just keep treating the illness, rejoice in remission and love the person, because they are still the person you love. Their actions are hurtful and may change, but it never changes the person inside. They are still there, they just may be buried under a bunch of crap that needs to be dug through and removed.

      I’ve seen (and done) where you have to pull away for your own mental or physical health while the person is struggling and not taking the help. I think the thing to remember is you are never taking your love or hope away, you are just taking away their ability to act out and it affect your actions/reactions.

      Thank you for sharing, I’m listening…

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