I Thought I Had Tried Everything Until I Tried BALM
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?”’
For Carol, the issue is the way he acts when he is on it that is troubling her. And alcohol has been legal for a long time, yet, its overuse killed her father and is ruining her brother’s life and marriage. Now she sees her husband Stan’s use as ruining their marriage. In Al-Anon she learned it was none of her business what he does and so, she feels guilty every time she says something.
When she arrived at BALM she asked what to do. We asked her what she would be willing to do to make things better for herself, her husband, and for the family when it comes to his pot smoking?
Most people with a struggling loved one will say they would be willing to do anything to help their loved one. Then they come into the BALM and only those who follow through with that commitment get the results they seek.
What is it that keeps a family member from doing whatever it takes to help a loved one the BALM way?
Just like the struggling loved one, the struggling family member often faces inner as well as outer resistance to change.
The outer resistance often comes in the form of other plans and activities that may need to be reduced for awhile in order to pursue BALM recovery such as: - upcoming trips or vacations - upcoming visitors - jobs that need to be done - a busy schedule filled with work, play, family, and friends - and/or other family members or friends who have their own ideas of what’s going on and how to help such as.
The inner resistance is often seen in thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes such as: - It’s his/her problem, why should I get involved? - How could getting peaceful possibly help? - Why waste time on education? - Al-Anon is free, why do something that costs money?
Overcoming inner and outer resistance can take a level of commitment greater than the one the family member has. Yet, once they ‘get it’ they realize that: - Putting time, energy, and money into recovery that works can save so much more time, energy, and money in the long run. - Putting off recovery for vacations, play, work, etc., will often result in missing more of those important events in the future. - It’s NOT his/her problem, it is OUR problem. - Cultivating inner calm allows for much greater clarity and better communication in situations which require both. - Becoming an expert in addiction, recovery, and family recovery allows for greater effectiveness in helping your loved one and yourself on your family recovery path. - Al-Anon is wonderful AND learning the dual-focused path of BALM enhances any work you are doing in Al-Anon or any other support group, as you will learn how to both get your life back and help your loved one get theirs back too.
Carol faced many of those obstacles in her path, but in the end, she saw that the peace, love, and connection were beginning to change her relationships with herself, her husband, and the rest of her family.
“He’s not abstinent yet,” she shared recently, “but I am able to clearly and briefly share with him what I am seeing him say and do and I think it is making a difference. Before I was contributing to making things worse. Now I’m a force for good in his life and in my own. Thanks to the BALM!”
So if you are wondering if there is anything you can do that could really help, take a look into the BALM Program. Check out our website at bealovingmirror.com and to get answers to your questions, call Karen at 1-888-998-2256 ext 5.
And to find out how the BALM program and coaching work together to help family members become peaceful, loving contributors to recovery, join us on Tuesday, February 22 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time to hear families share how they renewed love and connection in their families the BALM way.
About the author
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.