A&E’s Intervention TV Show – Michelle from New Jersey
On August 22, 2011 the “Michelle” episode of Emmy-winning TV series Intervention premieres on A&E. Michelle of Williamstown, NJ is a 30-year-old mother of two. Interventionist Candy Finnigan brought her to Malibu Beach Recovery Center on May 26, 2011. Michelle’s story is that of four generations of an American family living under the same roof. Michelle, an exotic dancer, making daily trips to a local methadone clinic, has a sugar daddy. She also has two young daughters who are being raised by her ailing, overburdened elderly grandparents. This is a show about a family who wrote to Intervention for help after years of hearing Michelle’s excuses, and witnessing the domino effects of her addiction on her increasingly-defiant daughters. Can’t wait to see the show. I was told to have Kleenex on hand. Michelle’s aunt and uncle are bringing her daughters to California next week to attend Betty Ford Center’s Children’s Program. Michelle will also attend these four days of workshops and seminars, designed to help 7 to 12-year-old children from families who have been hurt by the disease of addiction.
Here are updates on our other two Intervention clients, both by chance also from New Jersey.
Angelina: Candy Finnigan brought Angelina to Malibu Beach Recovery Center in September 2008. She was a heroin addict, so hardcore that she forced her mother to strip in front of Intervention cameras to prove she was not hiding Angelina’s drugs. Angelina had already overdosed so many times there was a “Do Not Resuscitate” order at the local New Jersey Hospital. While in sober living she got a job waiting tables in a local Italian restaurant. She still has the job, but only goes in on weekends; weekdays she runs the medical practice of one of our very first alumni, who she is set to marry in November. She is an AA stalwart, with several sponsees. She has repaired relations with her family.
Rachel: Candy brought Rachel in May 2010. She was homeless, sleeping on the steps of a Fifth Avenue Manhattan church, panhandling to earn a living. She had blue and orange hair and a tough “street” attitude toward life – but when she saw the bed she was going to be sleeping in for the next 90 days, she began jumping up and down with joy. She is an amazing artist. Rachel’s story was reality TV at its best, filled with fireworks and drama. She has had a lot to overcome, including a bench warrant that appeared out of nowhere, and almost got her extradited back to New Jersey and prison. With the help of an MBRC counselor, Rachel has put together a resume, and seems ready to enter the workforce for the first time.
Two days ago I drove to a 12 Step Women’s Meeting here in Malibu to meet the three girls. While my photographs of Angelina, Rachel, and Michelle reveal how fabulous they now look, especially compared to when they first arrived, the big news is how much each has changed thanks to the amazing opportunity this reality TV show has given them. We are very proud to have had a role in those transformations.