Kristina Wandzilak: Reflections of an Interventionist

08/24/2012

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Kristina Wandzilak, Interventionist
Being a part of an award-winning TV show was never on my radar. Nineteen years ago, I was hopelessly addicted, homeless, hungry, cold and depressed, wanting to die every second I was alive. I found recovery at the age of 21, when I slowly rebuilt my life by healing my spirit, facing the viscious and haunting memories of the street and by making amends with the people I’d harmed. I began to walk into a future that was uncertain and, with sobriety, left me wide open.

To be an interventionist is a calling. Great interventionists are not created through studies and training but come from within. Intervention is the art of connecting instantly with addicted individuals, in a way that allows them to come forward and open themselves up to the opportunity to change. This skill that cannot be taught, it is innate. Intervention goes far beyond my work, and it has been my calling and an extraordinary way to spend half my life.


Addicted
has been a life-changing experience. For this addict from the streets, jumping in front of a camera made me feel vulnerable and afraid to expose my work, my life, and my heart. I was forced to swallow hard and to stand face forward, chest out, feeling the fear and jumping anyway. This has left me with a new sense of courage. I no longer pay attention to the cameras; they truly fade away as soon as I am in front of the addict and their family. Addicted might be a TV show but the work, the families, and the recoveries are real, and that is what matters most to me.

Addicted might win awards and go onto season 3, 4, or 5, but what matters most is the families, the work and the recovery. I am proud of Addicted, and I am proud of the 16 very brave families who trusted me enough to allow their stories to be told. Long after the cameras and crew are gone, long after edits are complete, and long after the excitement and press about Addicted is over, I will still be here practicing intervention, working with addicts and their families, and waging the war against addiction.

I am humbled every time I see myself on TV. Honestly, I do not see it as my ‘success’ but instead as a shared success to be celebrated with recovering addicts everywhere. Nineteen years ago, I was hopeless as a person could be, my life was small and dark and purposeless, and if I can come back from addiction, anyone can. I hope to be an example to all addicts and their families that we can and do find recovery, sobriety is possible, change does happen, and freedom is possible.

Thank you for your continued and unwavering support. Sober and Shameless,

Kristina

Be sure to tune in for the premiere of Addicted on Tuesday, August 28th @ 10pm!

For More Infromation about Addicted:

Learn About Addicted

Meet Kristina

Facts About Addiction


The Discovery Fit and Health team brings you the latest (and most interesting) health news as well as exclusive interviews, video clips, and other juicy tidbits from your favorite shows.
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