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Dealing with A Loved One’s Early Recovery Over-Confidence

BALM | June 29, 2020


“My daughter called to say she is going on a weekend trip with a guy she met in the program,” a mom wrote to me recently. What should I do? What do I say?

This mom, well versed in how to have a BALM conversation had only one problem. Faced with the fear that her daughter’s 3 months of recovery could be in danger, she began to flood, and everything she, the mom, knew, about how to help her daughter navigate early recovery left her brain and dispersed into the universe.

“How’s your BALMing going?’ was my first question. She shared that she is regularly listening to recordings and practicing building her own reservoir of peace, but being new in BALM, this was a process still  under construction.

We talked about how sharing the facts of what is going on is one of the most important things a family member can do to help a loved one face their situation and her 7 steps class had just moved through the documenting lesson, so she was getting better at observing and recording the facts everyday.

Second, I invited her to hold back from telling her daughter  all of her thoughts and opinions on the impending trip and to talk to her BALM coach to get a second opinion and prepare what she would say to her daughter thoughtfully. “Vent to your coach,” I advised her, Breathe, practice patience, and practice the old Alanon THINK method before responding.”

Next I shared something I will share with all of you:

Someone once told me that in early recovery, it’s best to make a decision not to make any decision.s With that in mind, here is a conversation to share with your loved one when you sense they prematurely feel ready to conquer the world  and it seems that they are distracted from the inner work that the first year of recovery often requires…

‘Honey, for years you have done it your way and your results have been what they have been. Now you have an opportunity for a new beginning…

‘Just for this first year, follow the directions of your professionals and your sponsor and program friends with strong recovery. Let go of the ‘magnificent opportunities’ coming your way in your first year – whether those are in the arena of relationship changes, job changes, or business deals.  When you look back after 2 years or even 3, you will see how differently the world looks to you and sigh with relief that you allowed yourself the time to simply grow in recovery without complicating your life before you were ready to do so.’

Then, let it go!

Love, Share, release.

Thanks BALMers for moving yourself peacefully toward deeper recovery as you learn new ways to interact with yourself, your loved one and the world.