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“I had to act out. I couldn’t control myself!”

BALM | June 6, 2014

One of the most common calls I get between sessions from clients in need of a short coaching conversation is not about their using loved one. It’s about the client him or herself!

It starts like this:

“He’s being so nice, and really trying, but I’m so angry I can’t stand it anymore.”

Or might begin:

“I have to be involved in this one. I just can’t stay calm when my (spouse, daughter, son) does things this crazy.”

And then it evolves to:

“I know you said I need to focus on me and stay in the moment, but I feel like I’m going to explode.”

These calls dissipate over time, as new skills are practiced and learned. And yet…

If you have ever loved a using addict or one in early recovery, chances are you have heard yourself say one or more of these things. Sometimes you blame it on him or her, other times, totally on yourself.

But what if i told you that blame is irrelevant? That all you need to do is notice that you are spinning out and come back to peace? What would you say then?

If you are like many of my clients, you might be startled. You may think I don’t understand or that your situation is much worse than that of others.

And I would say, “could be, but still, let’s pretend, for conversation’s sake that I do understand. Let’s also fantasize that your situation is really pretty common among  families of users. Plus, just for the moment, let’s just suppose that your job isn’t to fix it or pull your hair out or even pay the insanity any mind. Instead, ….”

And then our coaching would begin.

But you aren’t my client and here we are at a blog.

So, here are some pointers I’d like to invite you to consider in case you ever lose your marbles in a round of family addiction at your house…

  1. Deep calm, based in the present moment out-trumps insanity any day. Have a daily practice to make calm your natural default
  2. Observe yourself and your loved one in action one day. Stay as objective as possible, just to take a peek from another perspective.
  3. See how your emotions are flowing. Watch that rage, resentment and sorrow as they rise and fall…and allow them to recede from your awareness.
  4. Find a quiet place to jot down JUST the facts you are observing.
  5. Review your notes and if it would help things for your loved one to be aware of the facts and consequences of their behavior, script a calm conversation you could have with them.
  6. Have the conversation at the right time and in the right place.
  7. If necessary for YOUR sanity, set a boundary that will allow you space from the behavior that you choose to NOT  be around.

If learning more about how to pull this off or how to help your clients do so intrigues you, join me next Thursday for a free introductory call about how to Be A Loving Mirror using these 7 steps! To join me click here