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Focus on YOUR Recovery and Be A Loving Mirror

Addiction Recovery for Families, BALM, Beverly Buncher, Family Recovery | January 10, 2015

Ever feel like you are doing everything you possibly can for your loved one, yet they are not getting or staying sober? Perhaps you are in Alanon and/or SMART Recovery…Maybe you practice BALM®…You go to Naranon…You work your 12 steps…You have loving conversations…Yet, your loved one is STILL skipping and sliding their way through their own addiction and recovery.

When family members first come into support groups, classes, coaching, therapy, or other venues to get help with their loved one, they often want only that: to get help with their loved one. But in time, the reasoning behind the BALM® approach of simultaneous self and other focus becomes clear.

That dual-pronged approach of course is to:

  1. Get YOUR life back so you can have a good life regardless of your loved one’s choices
  2. Learn BALM tools to help you better encourage your loved one to choose and stay in recovery.

So, what is a family member to do when nothing seems to be working???

Here are some tips to keep you going through the tough times:

  • Remember that your recovering presence in a loved one’s life serves as an inspiration and role model, even if they want you think it is an irritant.
  • Stay out of denial since ‘Denial is the Lynchpin of the Addictive System’.
  • Do NOT give up on them. If they are still alive, they could decide to get and stay sober at any time.
  • LIVE your own life fully and powerfully!
  • Acknowledge that your struggling loved one  is on THEIR OWN journey. Respect their process.
  • Use your tools of as-needed BALM® mini-interventions in the expert way you have learned to do so.
  • Let go of mental obsessions about why or whether they are not getting sober RIGHT NOW in YOUR time, and go back to living YOUR life.
  • Being a Loving Mirror is also about observing and mentioning the beautiful, positive things you are seeing in your loved one.
  • Enjoy the person under the addiction. Laugh together, share memories, let go of judgment, and savor the moments of intimate conversation and laughter that can return, even in active addiction, when YOU make room for them! (This does NOT mean enable or go back into denial! It simply means look for moments of joy and love and enjoy them.) If you are new to BALM®, stick around and learn how to do so!
  • Enjoy the moments of YOUR life. A smiling child or grandchild. A sunny day. A good book.
  • Meditate and breathe more so you CAN enjoy each moment.

Of course, these are just a few things you are learning to do as a BALMer! Keep learning, keep growing, and know that Recovery is a Lifelong Journey, not only for your loved one, but also for YOU!

See you in group and in classes!

Have a Loving Day!


Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, MRLC, CTPC

Family Recovery Coach/CEO

Family Recovery Resources, LLC



786 859 4050