THE BE-SIDES: INTERVENTION BY TEXT
By B. E.
The word intervention has become much more prevalent in the American vocabulary thanks to shows like A&E’s appropriately-titled ‘Intervention,’ which takes the docu-drama approach to one’s battle with addiction, and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ which had an entire episode centered on interventions, like when your friends have to reason with you to stop wearing red cowboy boots, as you can so not pull them. This is what loved ones are for, to keep you in check. To let you know when you’ve gone too far.
Traditionally, interventions are for people with an addiction, usually alcohol or drugs with the occasional gambling problem thrown in there for good measure. Said intervention gives the people who are nearest and dearest to you the opportunity to confront you, detailing your missteps on the path to self destruction and how it is not only affecting your life, but their’s as well (insert guilt here).
I used to smoke when I was very young and kicked the habit with little more than a bump in the road. And aside from the fact that my co-workers from college remember me as the tequila swilling coquetta, I have never been much of a drinker. With one slot machine under my belt, I thought I was in the clear. I thought I either lucked out in the genetics department or my power of restraint was so great that I didn’t even realize I was doing it.
However, utilizing modern technology to its fullest, I received an intervention by text message recently. Addictions move far past those with substances and, although I have talked about being addicted to love before and have had to face that battle head-on in my life on several occasions, this was different. This was a problem I had yet to identify, however, those closest to me had: I am addicted to work.
Now sure, work isn’t going to kill me. It isn’t going to make my life pass me while I sit on the sidelines in a daze, or is it? I live in a perpetual state of stress where I am eager to cross things off of my to do list with a big black Sharpie in order to find some sense of accomplishment; to have something in the bag so I can, as Jay-Z says, move "on to the next one." Now sure, I am not injecting drugs intravenously to spend my day nodding in and out of consciousness, but it could be argued that the quality of life in both of those scenarios is lacking.
Not only do I feel like I can relate to making the conscious choice to create the problems in your own life, but I can also understand how it feels to be reminded of this by those who you love and trust and, be irritated. Logic would dictate that a loved one expressing concern would illicit a warm response, however, much like your run of the mill meth addict, it instead summons the petulant teenager and awakens the beast. When you’re in the zone, it’s hard to see outside of the box.
Sadly, I know that my plight is ephemeral and that I will eventually listen to all of those people who love me and have tried to reason with me. I am making no promises to change my behavior in the near future and with youth on my side, I know I have a few years to go before hitting cruise control. Although I may not listen to the people who are worried about me, I would like to thank them. Their concern has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated, especially when attempted with intervention by text message.
B.E. is a photographer and aspiring freelance writer residing in New York City.