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“What Do You Mean ‘Let Go’? My Kid Could Die.”

BALM | April 11, 2015

When family members hear that to help their loved one they need to ‘let go’, they sometimes get VERY upset. They’ve heard about this idea of ‘let go and let God,’ and, quite frankly, to them,  it makes no sense.

As one parent put it to me, “For one thing, I don’t believe in God. For another, if i did before, this experience of having a child on the verge of death due to an addiction, has killed any sense of faith I might have had before.”

So what does BALM® mean by let go? And how does it work for someone whose faith may be battered, bruised, or non-existent?

The way we say it in Principle Three of the Be A Loving Mirror (BALM®) Programs is this:

“It is important to let go without giving up or giving in.”

In BALM®, we don’t define letting go as not doing anything and waiting for a Higher Power to take action. We also do not define it as letting go of our loved one completely and walking away, though some people may, after a protracted situation, choose to do so.

For the purposes of BALM®, we define letting go as letting go of results, not action.

In other words, we admit that whether or not things work out the way we want them to is well beyond our control.

But, being engaged in the process of our own family recovery and being engaged as advocates for our loved one’s recovery is NOT beyond our control. In fact, it is what we do when we are BALMing.

So, how does that work?

As you go through Lesson Three and listen to the  recorded experts, recovering persons, and their families, you will get a much better idea of how that works.

To give you the cliff version:

1. Avoid flooding (explained fully in lesson three)

2. Learn how to use your breath consciously so that you can stay calm regardless of what is going on around or within you.

3. Help rather than enable – for more on this, lessons 3, 4, and 6 of The Daily BALM® will really help you!

Liz Burki, this week’s expert on the Wednesday night call, runs yoga classes at her treatment program, in addition to being a therapist. Yoga is all about getting in tune with yourself, and the world within and around you. Practices like yoga, meditation, and conscious breathing will strengthen you for the days, and possibly months, ahead, giving you the inner stamina to live life from a place of inner calm.

And if you haven’t been calm through all that has occurred in your family, you may not know how to get there, but you probably yearn to experience a sense of peace in your life.

This peace is crucial to help you not give up and not give in.

So, principle three is about getting peaceful, having practices to help you stay peaceful, and on that basis, having the stamina to have Be A Loving Mirror conversations, set and stick to boundaries as needed, partner with treatment professionals, and encourage your loved one to do what they need to do to get and stay in recovery.

Yes, our loved ones could die.

And they could LIVE!

Practicing BALM® will help you be a part of the positive possibilities for YOU and them. When you do so, you are encouraging them to LIVE by practicing proven family recovery principles that often help loved ones get better and ALWAYS help the family member who practices them to LIVE a meaningful life.

The other option is to die inside due to the possibility of losing a loved one.

Which one do you choose?

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

Family Recovery Coach/CEO

Family Recovery Resources, LLC

786 859 4050


If you are wondering how the BALM® program could help you or the families you serve, drop me an email at, subject line ‘Complimentary conversation with Bev’ and let’s discuss the possibilities.