Our society in America has this generally accepted conception of the ‘perfect family’ or the ‘perfect life’. Often times we look at other people and their families and think: I wish I was as strong as that guy, as pretty as that girl; I wish my family lived in that house and got to go on that vacation. We live in a culture of constant comparison, which is problem because most of the time we are not comparing apples to apples. People often tend to compare their insides to peoples outsides. For example, on the popular social media websites like Facebook or Instagram, we tend to compare how we feel about ourselves on the inside to the highlights of people’s lives on the outside. Let me clear something up right now; social media life IS NOT reflective of reality. For the most part, people are portraying what is good in their life and leaving out what is not. There is a tendency to portray an outward appearance of having it all together, when on the inside we are broken.
Working as an interventionist, I have had many conversations with family members who are concerned about their loved one using drugs or alcohol, and I hear about how it affects not only that individual, but the whole family system. Often times, family members feel that they are alone, scared, and do not know what to do. They feel that they have tried on their own and cannot seem to help their loved one. I am writing this to tell you that even though it may seem that you are alone and it looks like no other families are going through what you are going through, that is an illusion. You are not alone, and we at Compassionate Interventions are here to help you. I have seen, time and time again, families not only get their loved one into treatment and into recovery, but I have seen whole family systems changed for the better.
Through the process of an intervention, often times the initial concern is getting their loved one out of the current situation they are in, and into somewhere safe, like a residential treatment facility. Over time, however, the focus shifts to help all members of the family find the resources they need to work on themselves as well. A family system becomes healthy when everyone does the work on themselves to be able to come together again as a family, address unresolved issues, and grow together.
One of the most valuable resources I have seen help families is support groups. Support groups vary from 12-step programs and religious communities to individual therapy or local groups that get together due to similar interest (hiking, sports, reading, meditation, etc.). The value being around individuals who are going through similar experiences and hearing that you are not alone is so helpful. Also, the ability to share life with someone and feel that you are heard and listened to is very healing. Overall, being tied into a support group is beneficial because through that connectedness you feel like you are not alone anymore, and you will be able to have peace on the inside, even when there is chaos on the outside.