Monday, March 12, 2007

intervention


This is the interior of one of my favourite local restaurants which has a view onto the river at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. It has very little to do with intervention, but I really like the blue in this photo.
Saturday was a day off and Dean I spent some of the afternoon watching a show called Intervention. They followed a girl (in her early 20's, I guess) around with a camera on the ruse that they were doing a documentary on addiction. You see her driving to a dealer with her girlfriend to buy drugs, then they both shoot up in the car and she talks you through what she is feeling. Most of the conversations with her friends are about drugs and when they can get high again. In truth, the family has contacted someone to do an intervention because this girl's life is out of control and she is making bad decisions and her family is suffering for it. The cameras are an excuse to get into her life and confront her.
When the family and friends finally start the intervention, she is very angry and won't talk to anyone or come out of her room. It was amazing to watch the man in charge of the intervention start to cut off all the avenues that she has been used to using as excuses or defense mechanisms in order to get her to face her problem. After a few letters of love and fond memories are read, she is encouraged to get help. She is given about an hour to make a decision - either leave for rehab or they call the police and report her and she is kicked out of the house. At no point is physical coercion used nor are any voices raised (except for hers). Her car is disabled so she cannot run away, but she tries several times. The intervener remains calm and focused at all points, just pointing her back to the love of her family and friends and the choice she must make. She remains beligerent for most of the program, but to my surprise, when the deadline to make a decision rolls around, she begins to weep and cry, saying, "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do." Her boyfriend (who had heroin problems himself) packs her bag and encourages her to go. Finally, she gets into the waiting van of her own volition and heads for the rehab centre thousands of miles away. Three months later, they show her in her role as the manager of a half-way house and she looks like a different person. She has lost that wild, panicked, angry, and desperate look. She smiles and says that the intervention was the nicest thing anyone ever did for her. While she was in rehab, the girlfriend that she shot up with on camera died of an overdose.
These images have stuck with me, for I would like to have the same qualities that the intervention man had: he knew what was feeding the addiction and enabling it and he cut those avenues off so that this woman could see more clearly and face her real issues instead of hiding behind secondary ones. I want to be able to do this in my own life and develop the skill to help others see clearly where they are confused. God, help me see the places where I oppose you and myself and those who love me; and then help me let go.

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