Wednesday, July 15, 2009
A&E TV's Intervention covered Bret and how Alcoholism destroyed his family. Before Bret's alcoholism progressed out of control he was a successful real estate mortgage broker, but that all changed when alcohol started to take its toll. Two years ago Bret's family attempted to offer him the opportunity of treatment via an Intervention which he accepted only to end up relapsing. Everything in Bret's life spiraled out of control after his relapse; he lost his wife, kids, and his career in the grips of his severe alcoholism. His family decided that they would give an Intervention one more shot before they turned their backs on him out of love.
Bret's story is not too dissimilar to every alcoholic's or drug addict's story, the circumstances are different for sure, but where every addict ends up is generally the same - jails, institutions, and death! Bret's disease told him that nothing would work and until he was mentally ready to rid alcohol from his life he would continue to drink. His relapse in a way reaffirmed the belief that an alcoholic can get better on their own, saying the same thing that many who try working a program of recovery say, "I tried that, but it didn't work and I won't put myself through that again". When a program of recovery does not work for someone it is usually because they did not let it work and they let their disease continue to influence the choices they make. When this happens, a relapse is only a matter of time and where they pick up is usually a lot worse than where they left off.
Intervention did a great job painting a picture of the pain that Bret was inflicting on his family and friends. Tears and anger are common themes in most families plagued by alcohol; the feeling of helplessness is present in everything. Intervention, with the help of Ken Seeley, a professional interventionist, gave Bret's family the tools to help Bret make the decision to change his life. I'm glad to report that they were successful in their endeavor to get Bret into treatment at Hope by the Sea in Laguna Niguel, California. Unfortunately, the years of drinking had done its damage to Bret's body and after 80 days of treatment he had become very sick and was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. With 104 days sober, cancer spread throughout his body, Bret passed away this summer on June 19th, 2009.
Bret's 104 days of sobriety was a major achievement for him and he was able to give his family back the husband and father they had known. As sick as he was he made a point of being emotionally available to those who love him right up until the end of his days. Bret was able to make amends to those he had hurt before he died, giving his friends and family the ability to remember Bret for who he really was. I invite everyone to watch the show and the memoriam on A&E and send me your thoughts so that next week we can discuss this more...