My husband was battling addiction to alcohol and pain medication. Not only was I at my wits end wondering what to do but his family had also written him off and I started fearing for our two daughters growing up in an unsafe environment. I was contemplating getting a divorce when I was asked to talk to Jean Mackie, an Addiction Strategist. After our first meeting I discovered I did have some options to try before resorting to leave my husband. Jean helped me reach out and talk to some of our friends who instantly got on board and supported me in moving forward in doing a full on intervention. Two of our friends even wondered why I’d waited so long before finally doing something like this.

We had to move fast since my husband works in the entertainment field and had a job pending that if he got would take him overseas. I was scared stiff of the possibility of him being fired again from another great paying job opportunity since his addiction had progressed to advance stages. Looking back I’m grateful the intervention happened as quickly as it did. If I’d had more time to sit and think about it, I would’ve talked myself out it. Working with Jean helped me release the fears and doubts ruminating through my head. The one thought that kept resonating was the definition of insanity being someone who does the same thing over and over again thinking they’ll get different results. All I could think was that would be me if I didn’t press forward and do the intervention. The constant misery of trying to stay two steps ahead of him and his drunkenness before it would get out of hand had my own health deteriorating.

Our friends were a Godsend to the process. I never thought we could manage it without my husband’s family being present, but that was impossible due to the collective past episodes that finished their relationship for good. Jean said the process had a strong possibility of working with his friends backing him up in a caring and supportive manner. She couldn’t have been more right. My husband’s friends, Jean and myself gave the best we had in communicating our thoughts strongly and verifiably. I will never forget what he said to me before he agreed to go. He said he appreciated his friends being there and helping me in this way, but the thought of loosing his two girls and me was enough. The rest after that was a blur as I remember sobbing and calling the neighbors to bring our two girls over to help their dad pack because he was going away to treatment.

-C. Eagle Rock, CA

Looking back, I can’t believe how serendipitous it was being driven to treatment by my interventionist, Jean Mackie. As I got in the car I said to myself, this is going to be a painful four hours. Then I started feeling even more sorry for myself and began thinking about the intervention and who all was there. Suddenly I said, “How in hell did you ever get these people in the same room together and say such wonderful things?” We both burst out laughing and the next thing I knew we were talking a mile streak and before I knew it we were there already. After unloading my things from the car she hugged me and said, “Keep on talking. A lot of people in there need to hear your story.” My sobriety birthday is Sept. 10, 2010. She was right. A lot of people do need to hear my story, but only when I’m sober and not skunk-face wasted.

-Mahal, Goleta, CA

I’ve got more than two years in recovery. Before that I went to all kinds of doctors getting pain medication for a back injury that happened over a decade ago. I figured it was legitimate stuff to take since a doctor prescribed it. Those yellow vials with the official Rx labels became my sacred secret. Nothing was ever enough and I was up to 40 – 60 pills a day. I was thankful for the Internet being my black-market foolproof fail-safe. There was nothing like the feeling of a Fed Ex package at my door and the anticipation of ripping it open and finding silver sheets of pills each separately encased in it’s own little temple—their individual bubble plastic dome.

I owe a lot to my big sister Lilly. According to her, she contacted Jean to help get my family together and deliver the last eulogy to me. I have to hand it to everyone involved because I know I probably wouldn’t have shown up for me the way they all did. I wouldn’t wish addiction on anyone, but everyone should have the opportunity to have their family shower them with good words before they make a life changing decision. Jean has an uncanny ability of delivering the goods. You don’t see her coming and definitely don’t expect her to be who she is and do what she does.

-Russ, Beaverton, OR