Recently a friend sent me these words of wisdom. It moved my heart and so reflected how I felt about this year that I have chosen to start of this blog with these words.
“A lot can happen in a year. People die. You outgrow old friends and get tired of mundane jobs. New careers come. New friends find your soul. But no matter what, you grow, you lose your mind a bit and most importantly you get a little wiser. Your circle gets smaller because you get stricter with your energy and time, If you are really lucky, you’ll find love inside yourself, inside of friends and family, and just maybe the universe will bless you with a lover that laughs at your really lame jokes.” .S. Mcnutt
As I contemplate the beginning of September with leaves rustling, bright shiny yellow school buses skipping down the roads and stores filling up with the make believe of Halloween wear, my heart cries out with empathy to the millions of families who are suffering from the ravages of addiction. Not a day goes by in every city, township and municipality, that a family is not faced with the torrential rainfall of hearts broken and lives lost to this disease.
Just as hurricane Dorian has ripped apart Bermuda and today lies dormant in wait, slowly choosing its next victim, so too does addiction. We do not know who the next victim will be. It could be an up and coming baseball pitcher like Tyler Skaggs, or our son or daughter, our brother and sister or our neighbor next door.
More than 70,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses in 2017 and that does not include drugged driving. We know all too well the celebrities who lost their lives and yet countless thousands of others often remain nameless, or may be immortalized at Shatterproof.
Addiction holds all of us hostage and all are scathed. I have spent much of my life helping families overcome the throes of addiction, mental health and chronic pain. I ask you to join me today and become part of the solution.
If you have a friend or a loved one in the throes of addiction, do not look the other way.
Do: Your Research: Learn all you can about addiction and the effects it is having on your friend or loved one.
Do: Talk about the Problem: Keeping Secrets can be deadly.
Do: Seek Help from a Professional: Confronting a loved one with compassionate directness is not easy. Most people fail when they go one-on-one with someone active in addiction. Get the help of a licensed clinician who is also a Certified Intervention Specialist like myself.
Do: Seek Help in Choosing the Best Treatment Center- Use a professional clinician /interventionist like myself who is able to discern what good treatment options are based on your loved one’s diagnosis and the economic realities. The web is a maze of confusing information and not all treatment centers are alike.
Lastly, Do: be a supportive influence. Learn how to set compassionate boundaries and be an advocate for health and wellness.
I welcome you sharing how your year has been, and hope you know that you, and your loved ones, deserve to thrive.
Louise Stanger is a speaker, educator, licensed clinician, social worker, certified daring way facilitator and interventionist who uses an invitational intervention approach to work with complicated mental health, substance abuse, chronic pain and process addiction clients.
To learn more about Louise Stanger and her interventions and other resources, visit her website, https://allaboutinterventions.com.