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Dealing with the Stress of an Intervention

InterventionWhen a loved one is addicted to alcohol or drugs, you may feel powerless and frustrated.[1] Feelings of anger, sadness, and guilt are common as well.1 Staging an intervention may be the next step you and your family have decided to take to try and get your loved one into treatment. However, although interventions are stressful and emotionally taxing, they are also productive and helpful.1 Ultimately, only an addict can decide to pursue treatment, but interventions often help to influence that decision.1 Interventions allow you and your family the opportunity to communicate your feelings about your loved one’s addiction.1

When you have decided to stage an intervention, you will encounter a whole new set of stressors.1 During this time, taking care of yourself is extremely important, as it will help you remain sane and strong.1 Here are some tips to help you deal with the stress of staging an intervention:

  1. Take Time for Yourself. Contacting an interventionist, writing down your feelings, battling guilt and sadness: it is easy to get completely caught-up in the upcoming intervention and the loved one you are planning it for.1 How will they feel? Will they be mad? Will I lose contact? Will they go? What if they don’t? Don’t let these questions overtake you. Your own health and wellbeing must be a priority as well.1 During all of this intervention planning, remember to set aside some time for yourself so that you can unwind.1 Put it in your calendar, and don’t allow this time to be intruded upon by anything else.1
  2. Exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym, but exercising little bit each day can help increase your endorphins, which naturally elevate your mood.1 Going for a brisk walk can also give you a few minutes of peace and quiet.1 Yoga classes give you the opportunity to learn to release muscle tension and create a calm state of mind.1
  3. Write Down Your Thoughts and Feelings. Feeling overwhelmed is tiring, especially when you are dealing with a sea of emotions.1 Writing down your feelings can often make them seem more manageable.1 Just write. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or any of those rules you learned back in school. It doesn’t have to flow well or make sense to anyone else. Once you have finished, read it and reflect upon it.1 You’ll understand your emotions better and will be able to pinpoint the things that most upset you.1 From there, you can find techniques to help you manage these feelings.
  4. Talk to Others. You should never feel as though you are going through this intervention alone.1 Leave the lines of communication open with other family and friends who are involved in the addict’s life.1 They are more than likely experiencing similar emotions, and together, you can share tips on how to deal with the stress.1 Sometimes, speaking with a therapist who is removed from the situation can be an immense help.1 They can lend a sympathetic ear and help you sort through your thoughts and feelings.1
  5. Do Something You Enjoy. When you are feeling depressed or anxious, try to take your mind off of it for a bit by doing something that you love to do.1 You may not feel as eager to partake in your hobbies or other activities, but try it out anyways.1 Watch a movie, go out with friends, or start a craft from Pinterest that you’ve been meaning to get around to.1 Focusing on something else for an hour or two can be a huge relief and may help to curb some of your worrisome thoughts.1


[1] Seeley, K. (2013, October 15). 5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an Intervention. Psych Central. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/10/15/5-ways-to-deal-with-the-stress-of-an-intervention/

One Comment

  • Alejandra

    October 18, 2013, 7:46 pm

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Appreciate it!

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