Two months back my wife and I gave up cable. Carter and Aiden had their select shows they watched on Netflix or Hulu. We spent even less time flipping through channels. After talking about it, we decided it was a monthly expense we could do without.
So, this requires us to work like Carter and Aiden and find shows available on the streaming services. One of our favorites is A & E’s Intervention. If you are not familiar with it, the show is a documentary that follows an addict around and ends with a surprise intervention and the family trying to convince the addict to go to treatment.
Every episode is set up the same. You have an Intro, Biography, Dramatic Addict Footage, Intervention, and Post Intervention follow-up. As the show progresses, you see how deep some of these people are in their addictions and, if you do some research, you find out that not every one is a success story. Some end up losing their lives in their struggles.
As as writer, and father, I am fascinated by what finally convinces the addicts to go to treatment. After watching about 98,154 episodes, I think I’ve seen some patterns. Here are four things I’ve learned from Intervention:
1/Learn to Process Tragedy– Every addict has a catalyst. No one wakes up one morning with the desire to try heroin for the first time without any reason. Some of the episodes had horrific back stories. So many were molested or lost friends and loved ones to crime or accidents. One of the hardest things we do in life is process tragedy.
What happens when you break? Do you have somewhere to fall? Someone to call? Friends? Family? Faith?
2/Set Boundaries– Co-dependency is present in almost every episode of the show. It is rare to have an addict out on an island with the rest of the family looking away. Spouses and family members hook their happiness on the addict’s happiness and the cycle spirals out of control.
This year Val and I have determined to have more discipline in this house. It is so easy to let your kids run the place. If they understand cause and effect and that they have limits, it will help improve things in the future.
3/Fathers are Important- If I had a dollar for every episode where an addict said they would go to treatment because their father cried/showed emotion at the intervention, I’d be set. When was the last time, as a dad, you showed and told your kids that you loved them? They remember everything and they need it, especially coming from fathers.
4/Believe Your Kids- In many of the episodes where the addict was molested, they went and told their parents who then did nothing about it. The parents either brushed it off in ignorance or told their kids they were lying. If your child comes to you with something as horrific as a molestation claim, why would you not handle it?
If you haven’t seen the show, be sure to check it out and, soon, you’ll find yourself making these lists like me. And if you, or anyone you know are dealing with addiction, please get help. You are worth it.