August 23, 2021

My Loved One Keeps Relapsing.
What Should I Do?

Relapse Doesn’t Mean Things are Hopeless
If you have a loved one who has relapsed several times over the past several years, you may be feeling fearful of continuing to believe that this next time they will make it.

And who could blame you?

But what if I told you that it is not your job to believe everything is going to work out okay?

What if I told you instead that your job is to learn all you can about what is going on with your loved one, learn all you can about what it means to help or hurt their chances at recovery, and then act on that with the greatest chance of helping them to recover?

What if, instead of taking it personally when they struggle AGAIN, you see it as their journey and see yourself as a loving companion, there to witness their ups and downs, share with them the facts you are seeing, and encourage them without pity, scorn, or impatience?

You Can Make a Difference
What if staying connected and loving, without expectation that you will be rewarded with smooth sailing ahead, is a spiritual practice in and of itself that will improve the quality and tenor of your life regardless of your loved one’s choices?

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.

Unless the family member is learning how to Be A Loving Mirror - to love without expectation, connect during good times and bad, enjoy even the smallest bit of joy or humor in the relationship, hold memories of precious good times near, and let go of those memories lived in pain and suffering, except when appropriately using them for a BALM conversation.

Love is Never Wasted
To love someone in the throes of an addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Love is never wasted. A person who today is caught up in an addiction, may have been the sweetest of sweet people not long ago. Find that gleam in their eye again and use it to remember the good times and share them. Bring that part of your relationship back to life.

Allow yourself and your loved one to share a loving moment, not focused on criticism, fear, blame, or interrogation.

Let go of your obsession that it must all turn out in a certain way. How it turns out is well beyond your control. How you speak and behave in the middle of the maelstrom is within your control. Learn how to appreciate the deepest aspects of the people you love so that when times are especially bad you can remind yourself and them of the best times you once shared.

Learn how to Be A Loving Mirror.

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.