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Melissa’s Friend

BALM | October 12, 2013

“Shit. I have lots of veins left for this ride. Getting caught and stopped is not on my agenda at all…”

There was a mixture of silence and grunts in response.

When your loved one leaves the action, she or he is often leaving behind friends at various levels of readiness to follow. But often, given the chance, they will pull her back to them, rather than join her on the recovery path – at least immediately. It’s important to be aware that you didn’t just help your child come to and come to a new way of life, you also got her to leave behind other people, places and things, that could still have some pull on her.

Back at Millie and Tom’s the phone rang.

Millie got there first:

“Hello, is Melissa there?” a young woman asked.

“May I ask who is calling?”

Do you know who your loved one’s sources were? Her friends? Those who support her new lifestyle and those anxious to bring her back to theirs?

In Millie’s case, she did.

“HI Sandy,” she said. “How are you?”

“I’m good Mrs. M. Just missing Melissa.”

“I understand. Did you know she got arrested?”

“I didn’t know that.” Sandy replied. “How? Why?”

At this point, you have a choice. Play the charade. Be A Loving Mirror. Tell her Melissa is unavailable. Get Melissa to the phone. Which will you choose?

You and your family recovery coach ought to discuss this. It’s a big decision –When it comes down to it, the person with the decision to make is your loved one. But your attitude and approach can contribute to their decision.

>>>Tip #15:

The BALM® 7 C’s:

  1. You didn’t cause your loved one’s use.
  2. You can’t control it.
  3. You can’t cure it.
  4. But, you don’t have to contribute to it.
  5. Your connection to your struggling loved one transcends their using.
  6. You CAN learn how to better communicate with them.
  7. You Are Always At Choice!!!


“Sandy, I know you know,” Millie said without even a hint of anger or sarcasm. “Melissa told me. Listen, she is not here right now. How about I have her call you back when she can talk?”

>>>Tip #16: When it comes to old people, places and things, change best happens without their interference. If that is not possible, put a plan in place to help your loved one move ahead without being drawn back in. But understand there are no guarantees about what she will choose…”

When Millie got off the phone, she called me. “I think we’d better step up our timing for getting help for Melissa,” she said. “Her druggie friends are starting to call again.”

We moved forward with our plan and within a day we thought Melissa would be in treatment across the country. With her friends behind her, a 90 day program along with a recovery coach to work with during and after the program, she would be learning skills and have the support to deal with their ideas much more effectively. But, she had other things in mind.

That day was more of a challenge than anticipated and in my next email, I’ll share why…

You may have missed parts of Melissa’s story. If you’d like to read more about Melissa, her family members and the tips I mentioned earlier, you can go to the upper right hand side of this page and add your best email address to receive a free guide to being in relationship with a loved one who is dealing with addiction. It tells you a bit more about “Being a Loving Mirror”. You’ll also be able to follow stories like Millie’s through regular emails delivered to your inbox.

One more thing… Do you know a Millie, a Salllie, a Tom, or a Melissa? Share these stories with them.