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.
“It had to hit us sooner or later…after all, my father was an alcoholic..”
“With all of those late nights out, I knew something was wrong.”
Anger, dismay, helplessness. Any or all of these hit families hard when a loved one is found to have a use disorder.
At first, all you want to do is shake the problem out of them. You yell, you plead, you beg, you cajole.
“How could you give up that scholarship you worked so hard for?”
“What were you thinking by hanging out with those ‘bad' kids down the street?”
You play the blame game, trying to shame your loved one into stopping. It’s probably not his fault, you think. It’s those awful friends of his…
School was too hard for her after all, you ponder…or… all we did was pressure him…
And then you realize that you pressured your other kids too and they didn’t end up with an addiction…
You can turn the ifs and buts around and around in your head until you feel dizzy…But how will that help? Will anything help?
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! Furthermore, we say: You are always at choice.
By that we mean that you get to choose what your attitude will be about the problem facing your loved one and your family. And based on that decision, you can either move forward toward a solution or stay where you are in self-pity, blame, or shame, as you spiral downward into your own negativity about how unfair life is.
As a solution-focused program, we recommend the first choice: move forward toward a solution.
To help your son recover from his alcoholism or your daughter from her drug addiction or your spouse from their gambling addiction some things you do will help you make things better. Others will often make things worse.
That’s what we mean by contributing to recovery or addiction…
So which are which? And how do you know what to do first, second, third?
The BALM® is here to help families help a loved one recover as they simultaneously free themselves from the chaos of the loved one’s choices along the way.
You CAN help someone with an addiction. It starts with you having an attitudinal shift. Change your mind, change your life is an old saying, and it is true.
But that is not all. Change your mind, your words, and your behaviors toward your struggling loved one and you have the potential to change everything.
You CAN help your loved one recover from addiction. Don’t give up.
Learn and practice the BALM®.
Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly Buncher, MA, PCC, CBFRLC, CTPC, known as the "Foremost Family Recovery Life Coach in the Nation", is the Founder and CEO of Family Recovery Resources, LLC, and the BALM® (Be A Loving Mirror®) Institutes for Family Recovery Coach Training and Family Recovery Education.