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 circle—honestly we were all at a loss—provided the guidance I (we) needed so desperately.
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*Photo credit: Samara Doole