S.O.S.

He made it through almost eight weeks of an intensive outpatient treatment program. But it was a complete scam. He had been using meth the entire time. He faked the urine tests. What now? I was at a total loss.

I Googled for contact numbers for the Texas Department of Health Services.

I have no clue why I started there. I dialed and a sassy woman answered. I simply said that I didn't know what I was supposed to do. I needed help. After a brief overview of the last few months she paused and said, "He's an asshole". I laughed. Yeah he was acting like a total asshole but he also was an addict so I had a hard time deciphering the two.

She said, "Honey, I am going to give you a phone number and I want you to call this woman. She is a certified interventionist. Her name is Kay Cauthorn. She will know what to do and she will help you."

The woman's directness and confidence were reassuring. I was lost and needed someone, anyone to guide me. I called Kay and left a voicemail.

When Kay returned my call her voice immediately soothed me. It was like caramel. Smooth and thick. She asked some questions and we talked for a while. Her knowledge of drug addiction and interventions flowed through her words and felt like a comfort I had not known and that I needed. Badly.

For the first time I felt like I was talking with someone who really knew a person like Michael. An addict. We agreed to hold an intervention and she talked through what I needed to do. Before ending the conversation we decided on a date and time to meet. Knowing that I now had someone directing a plan and telling me exactly what to do, I felt a weight lifted, yet the plans we were hatching were big and scary.

My Dad and I met Kay one afternoon at her office. She was a large woman and her experience showed on her face. Her velvety voice extended to her physical presence. She had slow movements. I felt sedated. We talked for about an hour and when we left my dad and I drove away with some semblance of hope.

Within a week, I gathered family and friends with Kay’s oversight...either through in-person conversations, email or phone calls. My dad, sisters, Michael's mother and my best friend who was also a close friend of Michael’s, were on board to be in-person at the intervention. Other family members and very close friends agreed to write letters. And these were not just any letters...the letters had a purpose, a format, and they were reviewed by Kay before being handed over to Michael at the intervention.

***

It is incredible how resourceful we can be even in the most excruciating times. Addiction was territory I had never dealt with before. Reaching out beyond my inner circlehonestly we were all at a lossprovided the guidance I (we) needed so desperately. 

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*Photo credit: Samara Doole