Let’s talk about feelings
One of the most challenging things for a family member when first practicing BALM happens as they watch their loved one go through the ups and downs of early recovery and, instead of reacting emotionally, the family members simply observe, document and prepare a script.
This work, and have no doubt it is work, requires a great deal of inner peace, which is often not readily available to new BALMers.
So what we often see are families practicing all they are learning and still walking around describing themselves as raw inside as they see their loved one struggling with their newfound recovery, dealing with cravings, boredom, stress, and the pressure that comes with early recovery.
Recovery is not for the faint of heart. Changing everything about the way in which we face the world around us takes discipline, knowledge, and, as mentioned before, inner peace.
I wonder sometimes if our uncomfortable feelings as family members in early recovery are designed to help us empathize with our loved ones as they go through their uncomfortable feelings…or, if it is simply that we too are going through withdrawal: the withdrawal from ‘being in control’ of our loved ones as we learn how to Be A Loving Mirror.
Facts are not feelings. We learn that in the BALM. And yet, we still have feelings.
Recovery is not about pushing those feelings down. It is instead about accepting the presence of discomfort and doing the right thing anyway.
Our loved ones have a process in their recovery. We have one in ours.
Allowing ourselves to feel the whole panoply of emotions as we walk through recovery – the fear, the angst, the resentment, the anger, the pounding heart, and to still practice BALM, that is what recovery looks like. Then, as we practice more and more, we do find that we begin to Be that Peace that we wish to see in the world and, in time, we often find our loved ones growing into their recovery too.
With love to our BALM families as you walk the path to Be A Loving Mirror,