I almost never miss an episode of Intervention.
After Matthew died, I stopped watching it for a full year. One of our last conversations became heated because I’d said the wrong thing. I’m sorry now that I didn’t push past the discomfort of having him so angry at me. I wished I’d hung on, gotten to the softer side of it; maybe opened him up a bit.
On the surface my comment was so innocent. He was telling me about a new friend staying with him, and the situation reminded me of something I’d seen on Intervention the night before so I told him about the episode.
Inside though, the more he described their relationship, the more my panic rose.
On some subconscious level I must have brought up the show on purpose; a passive aggressive confrontation.
I wish I’d been more forceful with my opinions, more insistent that he get help. I wish I’d not let him talk me out of taking things more seriously every single time something like that happened.
I know I wanted to believe there was nothing I could do to help him.
It’s not that I like the stories – I watch with bated breath every week. It’s not a mindless escape like Parenthood or Law and Order. I watch out of fear. A need to know that there is a reason things turn out the way they do. I wait for that part of the show, after they’ve cursorily described the addiction, exposed a few clips of the person using; the part where they go back to the beginning.
The mother usually says something like, the happiest day of my life was when she was born. She was the sweetest most beautiful baby and I could rarely get through the grocery store without people stopping me to comment how adorable she was. Then they get to the parents’ relationship, how things were blissful at the beginning and a few years later one of the parents start drinking or drugging again. Everything changes.
I look for this part. I need it. It’s when I breathe a sigh of relief. It confirms for me that there was a reason the addict went down the road they did. They didn’t just end up like this for nothing. It gives me some hope.
I know that sounds demented.
The story doesn’t always go this way though. Sometimes the person hooked on booze or meth is suffering from a mental illness, something no one ever diagnosed them with. I find this as heartbreaking as when one of their parents wrecked their childhood with their addictions.
I won’t pretend to know how an addiction can impact the person directly afflicted. It’s easy for me to stop drinking after one or two glasses of wine. I don’t like feeling drunk or out of control especially since I’ve had my boys. Life rarely seems unbearable. I can mostly handle it even if I don’t always like it.
I know so many people who aren't as fortunate. Maybe that's why I hardly ever miss Intervention. Maybe it's not about me.
We went to see Hotel Transylvania in full costume today. These are last year's getups and although this year Naveen will trick-or-treat as a monkey and Deaglan a knight, they both insisted on these.
To all of my blogging buddies, I know I've been a terrible friend. I'll be around to see what you've been up to soon!