The BALM Difference – Reawakening the Al-anon of Old
Can we talk?
Yesterday my husband asked me to write an Ask the Expert column for his treatment center newsletter. It was fun. I took the role of both family member and expert and invited the person to seek an assessment and if necessary an interventionist and a treatment center.
Afterwards, I asked him how he liked what I wrote.
“It was great,” he said. “Except for one thing. You forgot to tell the person to go to Al-anon.”
“Well,” I answered, “I really wanted to tell them to go to BALM® but I wasn’t writing about the BALM® so I didn’t write anything.”
“But Al-anon helps millions of people. Why didn’t you tell them to go there?”
“I know it helps. But when someone needs help getting their own life back AND helping their loved one, they need the BALM®. Al-anon is just not enough.”
At that point, my husband laughed and said, “Bev, Al-anon has helped millions of people and the BALM® is only in the thousands. Come on!”
Seriously, I know Al-anon helps. It helped me get my life back when my husband was in the throes of his addiction. But it was the ideas we emphasize prominently in the BALM® (which I gleaned from years of studying the oldest Al-anon books and the newest evidence based practice) that helped me help HIM.
And, for most of us, the search for tools and guidelines on how to help a loved one most effectively are what bring us in to Al-anon or any other support network, though we also need the peace that self-care and spiritual connection bring.
In BALM® we prominently teach BOTH: how to get your life back AND how to help your loved one get their life back!
Those original Al-anons knew that BOTH are critical and so they lived, taught and breathed that. With so few of those old-time sponsors available in the Al-anon program, there is still a great need for a dual focus family recovery program. Enter the BALM®.
I would not tell people NOT to go to Al-anon.
What I would say is this:
If you are worn out from the chaos of being in relationship with a person with a use disorder, utilize Al-anon to hear how others are helping themselves weather the storm of that behavior.
If you have a loved one you want to help, Al-anon is a starting point to get your life back. Don’t discount the importance of getting your life back! Inner peace will give you the clarity of mind to know what to do next.
But beware of listening to the rants of those uneducated upset jaded Al-anoners who will tell you to disparage, discount, or desert your loved one. Feeling hopeless about a loved one’s situation is not the same as knowing there is no hope.
Are they still alive?
My Al-anon sponsor taught me that if there is life, there is hope.
So the BALM® just takes recovery principles and evidence based information on how to help a person with a use disorder (AKA addiction) and teaches families how to utilize those principles and methods.
So, if you are finding that your gut is telling you to help but you don’t know how and a part of you wants to turn your back, STOP!
Before you give up on your loved one, find your nearest BALM® Coach, BALM® class or BALM® book to learn how to help your loved one get THEIR life back too!
You CAN be their BEST chance!
And that is what the BALM® adds to the equation. In my experience, both getting one’s life back AND helping the loved ones get THEIR lives back is the path of love that we CAN get educated to live and practice.
Of course there is no guarantee your loved one will get well.
No one can give you that.
Just know that if you are sensing that the tough approach you are hearing is not resonating with you, there is another way: The Non-enabling Path of Loving Family Recovery! The Al-anon of Old. The path of love and connection.
Be A Loving Mirror!
If you would like to learn more about the BALM® Family Recovery Program CLICK HERE
If you would like to purchase the BALM® – The Loving Path to Family Recovery Book by Bev Buncher CLICK HERE