Tough Love / True Love

Tough love is an expression used when someone treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run. The phrase was evidently coined by Bill Milliken when he wrote the book Tough Love in 1968 and has been used by numerous authors since then.

In most uses, there must be some actual love or feeling of affection behind the harsh or stern treatment to be defined as tough love. For example, genuinely concerned parents refusing to support their drug alcohol-addicted child financially until he or she enters Alcohol / Drug rehabilitation program would be said to be practicing Tough love / True Love.

Many people who are thinking about an intervention are afraid that theintervention is all about tough love. Although few, alcohol and drug interventions actually go to “tough love” or “bottom-lines,” many families place a great deal of attention on it when deciding on whether or not to do an addiction intervention. Some family members are simply afraid that when we arrive we will tell a family that they have to throw their loved one out of their life, or the intervention will make the situation worse than it is.  Families can end up being stuck between fear and hope. Fear that they will make things worse if they push the issue and the hope that one day their loved one may “wake up” and want to change. In the worst cases a family will just hang on, unwilling to make a collective move, until that terrible day when they get the dreaded phone call that it is too late.

Alcohol or drug intervention is never about us forcing you to disconnect or detach from a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol. You will only do what you feel you must. We are only there to guide and empower you through the steps that will allow you to see things differently.

HEALing sea turtle interventionist empowers you to set a healthy loving boundary

Before an intervention, a family is usually unable to set a boundary.  During the intervention day, individual family members find strength and the ability to see things in a different way.  Here are some examples of boundaries or bottom lines that some family members have chosen to set as a family as a result of an intervention:

  • “We will no longer help you financially unless you go to treatment.”
  • “I can’t have you calling me any longer unless it is to say that you want treatment.”
  • “If you do not accept help for your drug problem, you can no longer live in my home.”
  • “I won’t let you to see your nephew until you get help.”
  • “I’m taking the car away until you get help for your alcohol problem.”
  • “I’m not a liar, so I will no longer lie to people about your addiction problem.  When others ask how you are doing, I’ll tell them exactly how you are doing.”
  • “I’ve pretended not to notice your problem in the past. From now on, if you come over when you are high, I’m not going to let you in the house.”
  • “The next time I see you get in a car to drive intoxicated, I will call the police.”
  • “I won’t listen to your problems until you get help.”
  • “You can no longer work at the family business.”
  • “I will no longer give you rides or drive you to work until you agree to treatment.”
  • “I will no longer pick up your slack at work. When you don’t get your work done, you’ll have to explain to the boss.”
  • “I’m not going to tell your boss you have the flu when you have a hangover.”
  • “I will not invite you to family get-togethers until you get help for your drug problem.”
  • “You can no longer work for me unless you complete treatment and stay sober.”
  • “I’m going to take over custody of your children until you demonstrate that you are a fit parent.”
  • “Your mom and I will quit paying your school expenses until you get help.”
  • “You can no longer be a part of the lives of my children until you go to treatment.”

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HEALing sea turtle, LLC and its staff do not provide Medical Treatment and are not Medical Doctors, Counselors, or a Treatment / Recovery Center. HEALing sea turtle, LLC is a Drug and Alcohol Intervention and Consulting Firm, and its advice does not replace the advice of Medical Professionals, Counselors, or Treatment / Recovery Centers.