"16 years ago, I tried to carefully let Joyce understand that an Intervention would not work on my late stage chronic alcoholic husband. He would throw chairs at our three children, his two sisters, one brother-in-law, a friend and me and declare that we were all nuts, then continue drinking.
Three days before the intervention occurred I apologized to Joyce, that I had wasted her time because my husband had not had a drink in 20 days, thirteen hours and 43 minutes. What was I thinking that I thought there was a problem after 10 years of good day, bad day, good day, bad day, good day, good day, bad day, bad day, bad day?
Also, my oldest son was not liking the whole scenario that would occur. Who were we to judge another? We all sometimes eat too much, or overindulge-why fingering his dad into a corner? As I look back, I see the genius behind Joyce. Without having to condescend in any way whatsoever, Joyce met each of us at our individual toxic and codependent level. I did not have the clarity to recognize that our oldest son had inherited the disease of alcoholism. She handled my oldest son beautifully. Joyce asked me, how much "wonderful" did I have in my marriage right now? I admitted the wonderful was getting smaller. To which she stated, "If you continue to do nothing, what you have will get smaller and smaller and the disease will grow larger and larger."
I remember that day so clearly I could explain in detail how shallowly I was breathing.
My husband did not throw chairs. Each objection my husband raised was answered in a calm and wise response. To my surprise my husband agreed to treatment.
Joyce was such a professional throughout the entire group session. While transporting him to treatment his best friend and I stopped at a bar to watch him have a double vodka on the rocks, before checking into treatment. My husband spilled tears into his drink as he saw what a risk we all took and how much we all loved him to hold an Intervention. He got it that it came from a whole lot of love. He knew we were afraid he would die. He had a tolerance break and was late stage chronic. His liver was losing its ability to function. After one drink he would slur his words.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Joyce. She cared enough to make sure I understood about the disease and how my going to Al-anon would help his sobriety and my sanity.
My husband now has 16 years of continuous sobriety. He and our son have been going to AA together every Thursday night for 5 years. (My son got a DUI and after 2 years of court ordered AA meetings and having watched his dad be sober (at the time for 11 years) he "gets it". There is no happily ever after to sobriety. But the rewards are great.
Seven days into treatment my husband had a light bulb moment: "I am an alcoholic". Two weeks into his treatment I visited him. His eyes were clear, he held me and said 'Thank you for saving my life.'"