Making the decision to intervene with a loved one is a brave and difficult decision. If you are preparing for an intervention, you may have many questions and concerns about the events that lie ahead of you. Chances are, this is the first time you’ve been in this situation, and though you’ve been talking with an interventionist, you may not be sure how you or the person you are intervening with will react. This is why writing an intervention letter may be a very good idea. Here are a few reasons you should write an intervention letter before the actual intervention.
1. You will stay on topic at the intervention. The fact is that when dealing with addiction, emotions run high. If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you are probably experiencing feelings of guilt, anger, fear, shame, or some combination of those. The person you will intervene with is also going to feel strong feelings when confronted about their addiction, and all of this increases the odds that the discussion may become emotionally driven if there is not a “road map” to keep you on track. By sticking with what is in your letter, you can avoid being derailed by any feelings that come up from anyone involved in the intervention.
2. You will be able to avoid blame statements that come out of anger. As you will discuss with your interventionist, an intervention should always be about telling a person how their behavior is making you feel. You should avoid blaming the addict or saying things out of anger or spite. This is easier to imagine before the actual intervention, when you are in a relatively stable place. It can be easy to lose control of your words in the heat of the moment though, and sticking to your letter will help make sure that you keep what you say focused on you and your feelings.
3. You will not forget anything important. Everyone has had the experience of being involved in a confrontation, only to spend the hours, days, and even weeks obsessing over the things we wish we had said. Writing your thoughts into a letter gives you plenty of time to make sure that you cover all of the points that are important to you. You can write a draft, step away from it, and see if any other points crop up after you’ve written your initial thoughts down. You can also omit any thoughts that you realize, upon some reflection, you do not actually want to share. Having this letter with you at the time of the intervention will also help you make sure you have said everything you intended to and that nothing is left out because of anger, nervousness, or sadness.
4. You may communicate more effectively in writing. Many people are much more articulate in writing than they are in conversation. Writing your points out can help make sure that you say what you mean and mean what you say. You will be giving yourself the chance to put more reflection into the things that you say because while talking happens at a very fast pace, writing allows plenty of time and reflection between thinking something and actually putting words to page. Try writing your letter in a place that you feel truly safe and comfortable. This can subtly open your mind to thoughts and feelings that are difficult to access, and may help you tap into the real root of what you mean to say.
Staging an intervention is never easy, but having an intervention letter ready can help.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, please contact us.