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Have you called your Family Recovery Life Coach?

BALM | July 17, 2015

One of the most powerful connections a person in family recovery can have is to their sponsor. Having a sponsor for me has been essential to my recovery over the 30+ years that we have worked together. And yet, there came a time, when things were not going well in our home, that my sponsor could tell that our work together was no longer helping me. And so, she chose to fire me. I think it was a very good call. When a family member is in relapse along with their loved one, a sponsor may not be able to help them and the relationship may start to pull the sponsor down.

“I can no longer be a part of your insanity,” I remember her saying. “For my own well-being, I need to fire you. I care too much and am losing my serenity as well. ”

And so, she fired me.

Sponsors were originally created to walk people through the 12 steps, with the thought in mind that helping another person is the most helpful thing you can do for yourself. And there were many times over the years when I thanked her profusely and she made it clear that she was helping me to help herself.

Whatever her motive, my sponsor was and is an excellent mentor to me. She walked me through situations she had gone through and helped me find new ways of living a life in recovery. She walked me through the 12 steps of recovery of two anonymous programs valiantly, sharing her experience and hope along with her deep, hard earned, life wisdom.

But at a certain point, she had to let me go, because my issues at that time were beyond her ability to help me and the relationship was no longer as helpful to either of us as it had been.

I remember that moment clearly – as if it just happened today. I was on the phone with her in my kitchen, sitting at my desk. My husband was in the Florida room of our home, watching TV.  I hung up the phone and walked over to him and said, “My sponsor fired me.”

He looked at me in disbelief. “What?” he said, as if he didn’t understand.

“She fired me, because, she said that my enabling your obviously serious addiction and not kicking you out or requiring you to go to treatment was killing you and me, and she could no longer be a part of it.”

For once, my husband’s rage didn’t kick in.

This was a woman he took seriously, even in the depths of his addiction.

We sat across from each other, each lost in our own thoughts…


During those dark, dark days, I was very lost, as many family members are when living with a using loved one.

Because I had many years in recovery, isolation was not an option for me. I was going to lots of meetings, making phone calls, trying to get all of the help i could get.  But it was not enough.

I hired a relationship life coach, a spiritual director, a Mindfulness teacher, and a therapist. Each of those professionals helped me build on the 12 step foundation my sponsor had helped me build.

The therapist helped me continue to deal with long term issues of abandonment and relationship challenge.

The Spiritual Director helped me face the inconsistencies in my husband’s behavior and helped me gain the courage to share all that i had seen with him, even though all past attempts to do so had been a disaster.

The Mindfulness teacher gave me a daily practice to help me grow calm regardless of what was happening in the world around me.

The Life Coach helped me look at my situation, see what was working and what was not, and eventually to draft a letter that would capture my ideas and emotions in writing and give them to my husband.

And, once I had my head screwed on right, my sponsor continued to help me move forward with my step work.

For me, all of those people played a crucial role in my life, most of which I and the coaches I train, are able to play in a client’s life today. The simplicity of having a single address to go to in order to deal with the non-clinical, non-12-step issues involved in being related to a using loved one cannot be overestimated.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more, give me a call or click here!


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

BALM Family Recovery Life Coach/CEO

Family Recovery Resources, LLC



786 859 4050