How to Use a Family Recovery Support Group Optimally
Often, BALM® students and clients will share frustration at the sharing they hear at Alanon meetings. “People are just complaining.” is a common lament. “Here at BALM® we are learning solutions. What can I gain from going to Alanon, if people are still in the problem?”
Okay folks. First of all, there are amazing Alanon meetings! If you haven’t found one yet, keep trying new ones. It is healthy to find healthy meetings in which to replenish yourself between BALM® calls and recordings!
Secondly, here is the scoop on how to boost your recovery forward when you attend support groups, whether others share strong recovery or not:
Recovery is a pass it on game.
If you have found solutions to YOUR challenges, share them. NOT to promote BALM®. Rather, to help another struggling family member. Meetings are places to share YOUR experience, your strength, your hope. Once you are living in recovery, or solidly on the path to doing so, share what you are learning with the people you meet in meetings and BALM® groups.
Share a tool, an idea, a skill you have learned that is helping you to move forward in your recovery.
Find someone to help.
If you hear someone complaining during a meeting, go up to them afterwards and listen to their challenges. Allow yourself to relate to their pain.
Empathize with them. But DO NOT go down into depression with them.
Instead, share a tool you have learned in BALM® or Alanon or SMART that you feel could help them as it has helped you.
First, tell them a bit of your story so they can see how you ‘get’ what they are going through.
Then, share a tool that is working for you now. Maybe it is
- ‘Focus on the Task at Hand’ or
- ‘Breathe through Transitions.’
Perhaps it is
- the BALM® conversation or
- the importance of developing a deep calm within to be there most helpfully for your loved ones (and the tools you have to work on that)
- the importance of documenting facts objectively before having a BALM® conversation with a loved one
Maybe it is
- how you use the One Day at a Time concept ( using the practical tools that help you achieve that)
- what it means to you to Let Go (as we say in BALM®, we speak and act as advocates for our loved one’s recovery, AND let go of results).
If you have been around Alanon and have worked through the steps of Alanon, offer to take them through the steps. Become a sponsor in order to raise the level of recovery around you.
You have learned so much from your own recovery work. At a certain point, it is time to give back.
And lo and behold, when you give, you receive far more than you ever got when you asked for help!
Recovery is a giving game. A pass it on game.
Pass it on!
Don’t lecture or push. Instead, share, hug, give a phone number so you can help them during the week if you are willing. Tell them about Alanon or other support meetings where there IS a lot of recovery. Let them know about the free BALM® calls if you think they would benefit.
And of course, keep listening to BALM® recordings and attending your classes, coaching groups and coaching sessions so you yourself are continuing to move forward at lightening speed in your quest to Be A Loving Mirror with yourself and all those around you.
Happy Holidays everyone!