Are you the ocean or the wave?
Each day in the life of a family member of a loved one who is using or in early recovery offers an opportunity for growth, whether your loved one is stumbling across the room drunk, speaking inappropriately to your children, spending the night in jail for driving intoxicated, getting high and leaving syringes out in the bathroom of your house, or spending all of his or her time away from the family at recovery meetings. If you have a loved one struggling with substances or other addictive behaviors, or substances, you may be struggling too.
Today’s blog is written to invite you to see yourself differently so you can relate differently to the struggling people you love.
So, back to the question in the title of this piece: Are you the ocean or the wave?
Here’s a hint:
If you are worried 24/7 about your loved one and unable to enjoy or live your own life, you are the wave, crashing against the shore again and again.On the other hand, if you have your own life and a strong BALM and/or Alanon and/or other recovery program, you have tools to be the ocean: the calm, quiet, deep, still water that the waves always return to.
What are the tools to turn you from an agitated wave to a still and deep ocean?
- a regular practice of prayer and meditation – deeply connecting with whatever your conception of a Higher Presence is, can provide great solace and strength through difficult times, as well as the ability to think clearly and respond rather than react to your loved one’s at times irratic words and behaviors
- one or more breath practices – the ability to use your breath to bring yourself to physical and emotional calm is one of the most powerful tools and it is free of charge! Use it as many times a day as you need it.
- education to help you learn about addiction and recovery – this is essential so you do not fall victim to automatic reactions rather than schooled responses. (look no further than the BALM Comprehensive to better understand what you and your loved one are going through)
- a community to recover with – classes, groups and friends – whether in person or online – a so you are not alone (and the nice thing about online education is you don’t even have to leave home to go to class and talk to your friends.)
- one or more recovery guides – having a sponsor, a coach and a therapist is NOT too much, especially when things are really stressful.
You have a life to live my friend. And you cannot be there for your loved one in a sane and measured way without very careful and planful attention to your own recovery! To Be A Loving Mirror takes powerful inner work! You ARE up to it! Does that mean your life will never be extremely painful or difficult? No. What it means is that if something upsets you terribly and you ‘wave out’ so to speak, you will recover your calm much more quickly – along with the wisdom you need right now…and that your loved one needs you to have.
Be the ocean, not the wave.
Be A Loving Mirror!
Be A Loving Mirror!Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, MRLC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050