I do not have a television in my dorm room.
I decided to leave my majestic 13-incher at my boyfriend’s place.
Partly to be kind, in case he ever wanted to watch TV while in bed.
Partly because he hates it and thinks any set below 50 inches is a waste of money.
Therefore–I have been watching a boatload of Netflix on my laptop. Which may be the best invention since soap. Or double fudge cookie dough Blizzards.
Since I quite enjoy reality programming, I have decided to tune in to “INTERVENTION”–the fascinating and heartbreaking stories of real addicts in the United States. (This title is always capitalized in my eyes due to its seriously ballsy fabulous factor.) From the old standards of cocaine and heroin, to the newbies, like video game and shopping addictions, these people legitimately are consumed by their behaviors and needs. I am engrossed.
The show has a simple formula:
1. Introduce addict. For some reason they all have to spell their names.
2. Trail addict to see uncensored behaviors.
3. Interview stricken family members who reminisce about the good times, wave photos with addict in a Little League uniform or covered in birthday cake, whine about their predicament (even though they are ALL enablers).
4. Stage an INTERVENTION. (the bald guy will always say the phrase “these people here love you like crazy”).
5. Shuttle the person off to treatment immediately after reading the letters to the addict. The agreement to “accept the gift of help” will either
A) take one letter to dissolve the addict into a blubbering, twitchy mess
B) result in the addict fleeing (awkwardly, due to intoxication)
C) take some major ultimatums/cajoling/wrestling
This show, while mindlessly entertaining me for hours on end as a loll about in my teeny/flat/lame dorm bed, has also brewed up some startling realizations. Mainly:
1. I am lucky.
2. I am scared.
I am remarkably lucky because the only obstacles I have to face in any of my relationships is my mother sending me too many emails and A not being able to separate laundry. The reality many of these people face, where they have to attempt to keep their loved ones from gradually killing themselves with controlled substances or bankrupting their family, is unimaginable to me. The most horrible existence. I do not know how I got so fortunate that I have yet to encounter something as devastating and seemingly unavoidable as addiction. These people hail from all over the United States, in every class and ethnicity. It cannot be escaped–yet I have, thus far.
I am scared. I am scared because each of these people have a similar story: My son/daughter was a fantastic student/athlete/child and never showed signs this would be their future. An addiction seems to be unpredictable.
It worries me how to avoid this situation if I ever have children. I try to see trends or patterns in some of the addicts’ stories, but there are few. Having parents that are present, stable and supportive and being involved in their lives seems important–but that’s not the only answer. The frightening reality seems to be that addiction cannot always be side-stepped. I would never want to raise a child that has to experience the horrific effects of addiction, or have my family go through the strain either.
I suppose “INTERVENTION” can be seen as pure entertainment. Or voyeuristic–watching the pit of other people’s lives.
But further, I feel this simple, potentially sensational program is training me for being a better supporter in the future.
excuse me while I resume watching a logger/meth addict: