The Squiggly Road To Change
The Carters came into the BALM through their son’s treatment center. They only joined because they were feeling desperate and didn’t have many options.Their son had been in three treatment centers over the past three years and each one kicked him out due to non-compliance.
When they arrived, they were hurting, lost, and feeling quite alone. The many ways they tried to get help failed them, and sometimes they found themselves mimicking their loved one’s chants of “Nothing works. This is all a lie.”
The first thing they learned in BALM was that they are contributors to things either getting better or worse for their loved one and for their family.
But they were angry. Their loved one just wasn’t getting it and, as far as the family members were concerned, recovery was a choice that their loved one could grab if he wanted to, but he didn’t.
Soon they heard that BALM was an inside out program, meaning they needed to experience a shift within themselves in order to be able to help their loved one shift into recovery.
They often heard in the recovery world that it is important to have positive thoughts about their loved one’s chances, yet all around them they hear of overdose, fentanyl, and failure. With so much sad reality to deal with in the world, how can they expect even a possibility of success in their loved one?
In BALM they soon found out that their hope of having an inner change goes much deeper than what their thoughts are. In fact, the change they were being asked to make was a change in their state of being.
BALM’s principles, steps, and approach offered a chance to change from nervous, anxious, and chaotic, reflecting the upset their loved one’s lifestyle has brought into the family to peaceful, calm, and serene, regardless of what is going on around them.
For some, this idea of changing their ‘inner state’ sounds kooky at first and nearly impossible. And often the thought arises, “Why should I? I’m not the one with the problem.”
In time, the Information they gained through the BALM 12 Principles Course, weekly interviews, and archive of recordings, gave them the knowledge base necessary to consider a new way of being.
Then, the transformation they experienced through working the 7 Steps to Be A Loving Mirror kicked in, giving them a sense of inner peace and clarity about themselves and their role in their son’s process.
Finally, the support they received from participation in the BALM through attending groups, journaling, meditations, and classes allowed them to feel connected to a solution-focused community.
All these together increased their patience with their son’s process as they saw that they were not running his show and could be a far more effective recovery advocate by running their own recovery, increasing their own mindfulness, and being present without hovering in their son’s life.
Going deep within themselves, they began to experience a more peaceful state of being that allowed them to stay in each moment without expectation of their son becoming who they wanted him to be.
The process is still in motion, but the anger and anxiety are gone. The Carters are on their family recovery path, partnering with their son’s professionals, and enjoying a loving relationship with him and each other.
It’s a work in progress, deepened and brought into harmony through their work in the BALM.