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June 19, 2022

The Carters came into the BALM through their son’s treatment center. They only joined because they were feeling desperate and didn’t have many options. Their son had been in three treatment centers over the past three years and each one kicked him out due to non-compliance.

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June 12, 2022

Have you ever felt like the world was pushing in on you?

For many families, being in a relationship with a person struggling with SUD is like being in a room that is constantly shrinking…More and more the pressure builds, as if the walls are caving in. Each problem or issue your loved one experiences brings another plank closer to you, another brick falling on your head. And yet you go on, feeling the push, the crush, the decreasing ability to get out from under it all. Continue reading

May 22, 2022

I remember when I was trying to figure out whether or not to sign up for coach training. Admissions Reps called me almost daily to discuss the pros and cons, my husband weighed in on how expensive it was, my stepson let me know his thoughts on my career change…and as for me, I just knew it was time for a change away from someone else’s office (even though it had my name on it) and into my own. Continue reading

May 15, 2022

When families come into the BALM, they have often been on the recovery journey for a while. Their loved ones have been in jails and treatment centers, often more than once.

Family life over the years leading up to finding the BALM became more and more centered around the comings and goings of their loved ones’ use, dealers, cravings, crimes. Continue reading

May 8, 2022

This blog is an invitation to become aware of how you are using your focus.

Just notice where your mind is taking you and what feelings arise when you think the thoughts you think.

For instance, you may have thoughts like, “My son is drinking too much.” Continue reading

May 1, 2022

Excellence in athletics is driven by passion and love for the sport. But, what happens when the drive for excellence takes over and winning becomes paramount? Passion can become pressure that feels insurmountable. When it comes to the Olympics, for instance, is all that glitters truly gold?

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April 24, 2022

Contrary to previous research, a new study reveals a prior history of mental health disorders or substance abuse does not prevent a person from thriving and leading a high-functioning life.

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March 27, 2022

I don’t know about you but I loved the I Love Lucy show when I was growing up. I remember sitting around the TV laughing at Lucy’s physical comedy routines, Desi’s music and bravado, and Ethel and Fred’s supportive and funny roles. We watched it regularly, and as a child, I had no idea we were watching reruns from a show whose six year live run ended the year I was born! Continue reading

March 6, 2022

In the BALM Family Recovery Program, we learn we are always contributing; either to our loved one’s addiction or to his/her recovery.

BALM Principle 4 goes on to tell us, “You can be your loved one’s best chance at recovery.”

You may be thinking something like “What does that mean?” or “How do I do that?” Continue reading

February 20, 2022

Carol’s husband Stan uses marijuana. She has been begging him to stop for a long time and used to spend a lot of mental energy on ways to wake him up to how bad it was for him to keep smoking.

“It’s even harder now that it is legal,” she said when she first came in. When I try to get him to stop, he says, “After all, what could be wrong with a legal substance?”’ Continue reading

February 13, 2022

Francine was beside herself. Her son Jeremy was using drugs. His girlfriend had just left him, his boss was threatening to fire him, and his kids wouldn’t give him the time of day. As his life began unraveling, he turned to his mom for emotional support and money. He told her he needed her help and would die without it.
Francine didn’t pause for even a second. She would do whatever it took to save her son’s life. After all, wouldn’t you? Continue reading

February 6, 2022

A family came into the BALM a couple of years ago adamant that their son MUST get into recovery, and they wanted to get into the BALM to learn how to fix him.

As always, we explained that we cannot promise the family that their son would be "fixed," but that we could promise they could become his best chance at recovery. Continue reading

January 16, 2022

My Life Coaching Journey
In 2008, I studied to become a life coach. The depressed economy made it easier to be a student rather than an office worker. Yet, the online nature of the studies put me off. And the thought that I might be expected to help people through my phone was simply unacceptable.

I thought I had to see and touch people in order to work with them. Or at least that's what I thought until I began coaching by phone and taking classes on conference calls almost every day of the week. Continue reading

January 9, 2022

January often finds individuals reevaluating all areas of their lives, including relationships. Recently, we received this question on our website: Is it bad to want to leave a marriage with a person who has an alcohol or substance use disorder?

No, it’s not. But before you do, I’ll ask you the question one of my mentors asked me during the dark days of my husband’s addiction: “Do you love him?” (her/them) Continue reading

January 2, 2022

Our experience of other people has much less to do with their objective behavior and much more to do with how we see them and their behavior.

This is a lesson I learned from my relationship with my dad, may he rest in peace, who was one of my greatest teachers.

Dad was an amazing handyman who served as the unofficial handyman for the neighbors, two of which were my grandparents and great grandparents. Continue reading

December 26, 2021

What kind of year will this year be for you?

Unless you are psychic, you probably don't know exactly what will occur with the people in your life or in the larger world.

Yet, if you love someone struggling with a use disorder, you can increase the odds of their moving toward recovery. Continue reading

December 19, 2021

As the holidays reach their peak, so too can the stress.

This week's Bev's Corner features the "ABC's of Family Recovery" contributed by BALM coach, Susan DuBois. Continue reading

November 28, 2021

As the holidays reach their peak, so too can the stress.

Here are a few favorite BALM tools that may be of use to you:

4-4-8
This breathing practice can really help. Here is how it works:
- Breathe in to the count of 4.
- Hold your breath to the count of 4.
- Breathe out to the count of 8.

November 25, 2021

On behalf of everyone here in the BALM organization, I'm writing to tell you all how grateful we are to you for bringing us into your home, into your online world, and into your lives.

Whether you've been simply reading our blogs, or watching us on YouTube, or coming to our free events, or you are a member of one of our family or professional communities, knowing that what we say and do is having a positive impact on your life and hopefully that of your family member means more to us than we could ever say.

November 2, 2021

And the beat goes on...and the beat goes on…
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain…
Ladadadadee….
Ladadadadie…

When that song was written in 1967, I was 10 years old and too young to realize what it was really about…

October 31, 2021

How do we make sense of these losses and of the air of conflict and opinion that somehow surround Covid and SUD?

The BALM gives us guidelines for handling conflict, trauma and loss. Most of these we practice applying when we have a loved one in the throes of their SUD or Mental Health Disorder. Then, if and when these horrific traumas come our way, they are there for us.

October 24, 2021

How do human beings comprehend death tolls such as 600,000 + COVID-19 deaths in the US and 95,000 overdose deaths in the past year? The mere thought of so many people dying is almost incomprehensible, especially from maladies that so many find controversial, as in the case of COVID or supposedly based on choice, as in the case of Substance Use Disorder.

October 17, 2021

After waiting for the 7 Steps to BALM Retreat to start for 3 months, it came and passed almost in an instant!

Fortunately though, participants reported it to be a rich and fulfilling instant to say the least! Many of us left with new insights, skills, and tools, along with determination to put them into practice.

How, though, do you leave a retreat, continue a change process, and sustain it without losing motivation? That is the question.

October 10, 2021

When Cassie first arrived at the retreat, she felt alone. After all, she was the only one there from her family and she didn’t know anyone. But as the first evening went on, she realized her situation wasn’t that different from the others in the group.

October 3, 2021

Cassie called one day last week. Her mom was bugging her again about her hair and her weight, and she had had enough. On top of that, her husband made fun of her in response to her mom’s comments, rather than supporting her, his wife.

September 26, 2021

Every fall, as the leaves start falling to the ground and the northern hemisphere prepares to go into hibernation, we in the BALM (Be A Loving Mirror) program hold a retreat that we watch breath new life into families, using the BALM’s core process for healing relationships: The 7 Steps to Be A Loving Mirror.

September 19, 2021

Certain days and times of the year feel different than others. Whether it’s the anniversary of one’s recovery, a birthday of a person who is still with us or no longer with us, a holiday in one’s faith tradition, the anniversary of the first time we met the love of our life, or the anniversary of the first day we found out about a loved one’s illness that led to their passing, these days stay with us.

September 13, 2021

In the BALM Community, where we work throughout the year to bring recovery to families and loved ones across the globe, every day is about awareness and every month is recovery month. Yet, it is valuable to set aside time to pay special attention to how to avoid the tragedy of overdose and to celebrate the possibility of recovery.

September 6, 2021

Faith is a beautiful thing. It gets us through hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, robberies, illness, and other God- and man-made challenges. If we live through these situations, we often realize at a certain point, that our God (whatever we refer to it as) is bigger than any fearful thing that comes our way.

August 30, 2021

Awareness is, in and of itself, what mindfulness is all about. There are, of course, other segments of my daily practice: focus on the breath, focus on the body, focus on thoughts, focus on the silence. All of these add together to create an inner stillness in the midst of both inner and outer activity.

August 23, 2021

Relapse can be a nightmare, not only for the person experiencing it, but also for the family members impacted. In fact, sometimes, when the loved one is numbed enough, it is more of a nightmare for the family members as they go through it without being medicated.

August 16, 2021

If you have discovered the presence of addiction in your family, whether for the first or fourteenth time, your first reaction may be shock or it may be resignation.

In the BALM®, we say, You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. BUT you CAN contribute to their recovery!

August 2, 2021

How To Help An Alcoholic Spouse Consider a Life in Recovery (Part Two)

To contribute to recovery is to know that addiction to alcohol, drugs, eating, sex, gambling, are all treatable maladies. As a person in long term recovery from alcoholism once shared with me, “When I was drinking, I told everyone I was choosing to drink. In reality, I had no choice at all. Once I initially ‘chose’ alcohol, it chose me, over and over and over again, until I was able to stop. “

In his case that stop came after 16 years, when his wife let him know she would no longer share her life with alcohol. The declaration, followed by actions to back it up, helped him make a decision to live his life with her, rather than with alcohol as well.

 

August 2, 2021

How To Help An Alcoholic Spouse Consider a Life in Recovery (Part One)

To contribute to recovery is to know that addiction to alcohol, drugs, eating, sex, gambling, are all treatable maladies. As a person in long term recovery from alcoholism once shared with me, “When I was drinking, I told everyone I was choosing to drink. In reality, I had no choice at all. Once I initially ‘chose’ alcohol, it chose me, over and over and over again, until I was able to stop. “

In his case that stop came after 16 years, when his wife let him know she would no longer share her life with alcohol. The declaration, followed by actions to back it up, helped him make a decision to live his life with her, rather than with alcohol as well.