This I Believe

Stephanie - Chesterfield, Michigan
Entered on March 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction, family

I believe in family. And I believe that if a family unifies and stands as a team, they can ultimately defeat the impossible. Up until recently, I never really trusted that old saying “blood is thicker than water”. My view of how much a family impacts one’s life was abstract. My perspective had changed however, because I actually saw how strong a family can be at first hand.

My cousin is an addict. He has embarrassed, manipulated, offended, betrayed, abused, endangered, cheated and stolen from almost everyone in my family. He did not even have the passion, respect or love for the safety of his mother and sister inside their own home, since his lifestyle and habits followed him. He has constantly upset, disappointed and abused the love of his intermediate family, cousins, aunts, uncles, and most important of them all, our grandmother. He simply could not be trusted.

Everyone in the family tried to help him, yet individually they failed. Since my family had been through so much with him, they eventually gave up by ignoring, denying or remaining too naïve about his saddened condition.

After seeing my cousin on Christmas day, doped up, something hit me. I couldn’t bear the sight of him. But I trusted in my heart that there was still something that I could do. I just knew it could not be done alone. I researched everything I could find about addicts online and called numerous hotlines. When I found that a family intervention was the best way to get through to him, since he refused to see the impact his drug use was having on himself and the people around him, I immediately organized a family meeting to propose my idea. Although I had expected their cooperation, I was still surprised that they were still willing to do what was needed despite all his betrayals towards them. After many more days of planning, I had finally found a mediator for the intervention and a rehab facility for my cousin to go to. Our intervention had to be well-planned and well-orchestrated, with all the loved ones participating, in order for it to work. We had to follow strict rules, so much that our individual words to him were scripted.

With all of us taking action, we broke through and got my cousin the help he so desperately needed. When my cousin admitted that night that he had a problem and was willing to go to the rehab for one full year, I could have not been more honored to be a part of his decision-making. The teamwork in my family prevented my cousin from suffering the inevitable consequences of his behaviors later, by bringing the realities of the situation into effect now. And the only way we could conquer his denial was as a team.

That is why I believe family defeats the impossible.