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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.