Saturday morning was bright, sunny, hot and sticky. The 'intervention team' went to breakfast. After eating more than we should, we wrote the 'bottom line' letter. A bottom line letter tells the addict in no uncertain terms what will happen if he or she refuses the help. It includes the consequences of their refusal, including what the family will do to take further action. It informs the addict that he or she is no longer invited to family functions and the family will not listen to their problems until they are ready to accept treatment. This letter is held by the interventionist until it is obvious the addict is not going to accept the help being offered. Often times treatment is accepted after this letter is read.
At breakfast I informed the others that Denise thought she looked so bad that she didn't want to be seen by the family. I asked them to wait outside until I could make her more comfortable about her appearance. At 10:00 a.m. I called Denise to tell her I was coming to her house.
"I'm asleep." She said.
"That's alright. Just get up, unlock the door and go back to bed. I'll let myself in. I want to see Bobby."
"He's asleep, too."
"He'll wake up. Just get up and unlock the door."
Ten minutes later, I entered the dark, dreary, less-welcoming-than-the-Adams-family house. I groped my way down the hall to Bobby's room, knocked on the door, and announced that I was there. He immediately opened the door, let me in and then sat down on the bed.
"What's going on?" he asked.
"Your sister and your grandmother are one their way over here to do an intervention on your mother. We are going to try to get her to go to rehab tonight."
"Tiffany has suggest it would be best if you are not here because your mother gets so angry with you."
"So, you want me to get lost for the day?"
"Do you mind?"
"No, it's okay."
He immediately went to the shower and I went to Denise's room.
"Denise, wake up. There are some people coming over to see you."
"No, I don't want to see anybody. I don't want them to see my house. I am hurting so bad. I had a bad night."
"Well they are coming, so do you want me to help you put on your wig?"
"No, I'm not vain. I just don't want to see anyone. Who's coming? Is my mother bringing her preacher over here to pray for me? Is this some sort of intervention? Because if it is, I don't need it. I am not a drug addict. I don't even take all my pills prescribed. I have pills left over every month. I'll show you?" She opened a draw to show me all the pill bottles. The addict will always try to deny the addiction, defend his actions and justify his need for the pills. "I have to go to the bathroom" she announced. While in the bathroom, she began crying, claiming she was in pain.
By the time Bobby got out of the shower and dressed, the rest of the team was at the house. He walked out of his room, hugged his grandmother and sister. I introduced the interventionist. "Do you want a hug, too. Come here." He said as he embraced her in a big bear hug. After a short exchange of farewells, he left the house.
Denise came out of the bathroom crying uncontrollably. Her mother and daughter attempted to hug her, but she claimed she was in too much pain and went back to bed. Immediately, Tiffany began gathering chairs and stools. "Here take this to her room" She told each one of us. She was determined that nothing was going to stop this intervention.
We all crowded into the small room and sat beside the bed. I introduced the interventionist to Denise. There was no response, which was a good sign. I fully expected her to tell the interventionist to go somewhere else; her services were not needed. Not in polite words that I would print.
"I am here because your family has some concerns about your health." Sharon began.
"I'm fine. I don't need any help."
"Well we think you do." Sharon continued. Then she instructed each of us to read our letters.
Denise was defensive and somewhat argumentative during the letter reading. She claimed we didn't understand her pain and again defended the amount of drugs she took. She asked me to open the drawer and show them the pills. She pointed to the calendar and informed us of each upcoming doctor's appointment. "I am doing everything I can for my health. I have been waiting for surgery for 3 months. They keep passing me from doctor to doctor."
I did most of the talking because Denise is less argumentative with me than others. "I have found a program that can take care of your whole body. Then you won't have to go to different doctors trying to find out what is wrong."
"I like my doctors."
"I know you like your doctors, but you have been waiting 3 months already and still don't have surgery scheduled."
"Yes, I do. I have an appointment on the 30th."
"You have an appointment for surgery on the 30th?" The addict will try to confuse the facts.
"No I have a doctor's appointment to be released. Then I can go to the next doctor who will schedule the surgery."
"If you go to this program, they won't pass you around like that."
"I like my doctors."
"Mom, please go for this treatment." Tiffany pleaded.
"I'll go after the 30th. I can't go before then. I have a surgery scheduled." Again attempting to confusing the facts.
"The 30th is two weeks away. Then it will take another two weeks to schedule surgery. That's another month. I have talked to these doctors and told them about your health. They have set up some special tests to try and help your Chordoma tumor."
"Mom, please go for treatment."
"I'll go tomorrow."
"Well actually, we have flights book for 7:15 tonight." Tiffany exaggerated this a little. Sharon had placed two flights on hold, but not booked.
"Tiffany, how could you do that to me. I'm not going anywhere tonight. All of you need to get out of my room so I can put in my suppository." The other three left. Before I could leave, Denise began telling me why she could not leave that night. I slammed the door and we had a 'come to Jesus meeting'.
"I can't go. Who is going to take care of Bobby?"
"I'll take care of Bobby."
"What about my bills?"
"I can pay your bills online just like you do now."
"What if I get out there and they find something that takes three months to cure? Am I going to stay out there three months?"
"Get out of my way, I'm going to the bathroom."
Denise went to the bathroom and I went into the living room. The other members of the team looked up at me and said, "What do we do now?"
Answer tomorrow. Please check the appropriate box if you have a loved one who suffers with an addiction. If you marked an answer yesterday, please do not mark again. I will add all the posts for a total at the end of the series.