+ Love in Action: Help, Don't Enable. - BALM

The BALM Blog

See all posts

Love in Action: Help, Don’t Enable.

BALM | January 27, 2015

For a family affected by addiction, love often comes through powerfully. Compassion, resentment, anger, fear, taking things personally all get mixed in together, and often, a family member gets confused about what to do next.

As the addiction progresses, this conglomeration of feelings can move a family member into one of two directions: toward enabling or toward helping.

Love in action is all about helping, not enabling.

Here is how we define enabling vs helping behaviors in the BALM® (Be A Loving Mirror) Program:

If you are enabling, you may find yourself:

  1. Listening to and believing the lies
  2. Avoiding discussions and confrontation
  3. Making excuses for the behavior
  4. Covering for the person’s behavior
  5. Defending the behaviors
  6. Turning a blind eye to inconsistencies
  7. Giving whatever is asked for
  8. Advocating for your loved one’s wants even when they are deadly

If you are helping, you will notice yourself:

  1. Bringing up and discussing uncomfortable subjects
  2. Noticing inconsistencies and pointing them out
  3. Providing appropriate consequences for negative behaviors
  4. Requiring the person to accept responsibility for their actions
  5. Advocating for recovery by recommending behavior change
  6. Working with your loved one’s treatment center as a partner, rather than as your loved one’s complaint megaphone.
  7. BALMing (Be a Loving Mirror)

For readers currently enrolled in the Be A Loving Mirror programs, the many recordings in Principle Six of the Daily BALM® (Your Primary Task is to be a Truly Loving Person), beginning with the lesson itself on How to Be A Truly Loving Person, will help you get clear on how to move yourself and maybe even another family member from enabling to helping!

If you aren’t yet in the Daily BALM®, but would like to learn more about how you could be, check out the Daily BALM page on this website and give us a call. It is affordable and it is a LIFESAVER – definitely for YOU and potentially for your loved one! Why? Because Your Behavior Matters! The family can make a difference in a loved one’s recovery.

BALMer’s, see you on the call tomorrow night, when Don Campbell, author of Dear Ashley, which describes his experience as the father of a daughter with an eating disorder, will give his perspective on Love in Action.

Til then,

Be A Loving Mirror!




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

Family Recovery Coach/CEO

Family Recovery Resources, LLC



786 859 4050