This week’s guest blog is written by Beverly Buncher, MA, PCC, CTPC is a Professional Life Coach, certified by the International Coach Federation and a Family Recovery Coach. As a Family Recovery Coach, Bev’s mission is to help families of addicts blaze the trail to sobriety in their homes.
How do you deal with an addict in your life?
In facing the fact that your loved one is struggling mightily with addiction, it is important to let go of any sense of being a victim of the situation. This simply is what is happening and you are a part of it. Up until now, you may have been part of the problem. Now you can either consciously continue to be part of the problem or volunteer to be part of the solution. If you prefer the latter, here are some tips to help you become part of the solution:
1. Get out of denial and face the elephant in the living room! Don’t enable
a. Allow him or her to experience the consequences of their behavior
b. Don’t fix the mistakes they make
2. Let go of the resentment
a. Let go of ongoing anger, nagging, judgment and disrespect
3. Treat the addict in your life with dignity and respect
a. Look for their positives
b. See them as sick not bad
c. Use a respectful tone of voice that reflects their humanness and their right to make their own choices
d. Focus on the good times
4. You can contribute to the addict’s well being and recover by being good to yourself
a. Work on your self-care
b. Pay attention to you, your needs, your foibles, your strengths and successes, and not those of the addict
5. Allow the addicted person to face their own responsibilities and consequences
a. Don’t go to the ‘heart attack’ level with your addict
6. Set boundaries that work for you. Accept the consequences of your boundary.
7. Get support so you don’t have to ‘go it alone’ (Alanon, Nar-Non meetings, a family recovery coach)
8. Be A Loving Mirror™ (BALM™)
a. Go to a calm place, calm yourself at will
b. When the addict is acting out in front of you, staying calm, listening, and thinking about it objectively
c. At the right time, in a calm manner, discuss what is happening and how it affects you
d. There are only four things that will happen to an addict: Recovery, Death, Institutions, or Jail
e. Find a new way, change your attitude, your response
f. Don’t contribute to the disease, contribute to the recovery. Be there for the recovery, not the addiction.
g. Have an inner shift when you are in a bad place. This is a place of healing our attitudes and healing ourselves.
h. Be a truth teller in a loving way.
i. Develop your inner calm, breathe, lower your heart rate,
ii. share in a dispassionate way
iii. no judgment, no rancor, no rage, no resentment
9. Get calm. Here are a couple of ways to do so:
a. Close your eyes, get comfortable take a deep breath in to the count of 4, hold it to the count of four and let it out to the count of four. Repeat this as needed to restore your calm and slow down your heart rate.
b. Sit in meditation daily. As soon as you sit down, allow yourself to experience the silence and peace underneath all thought and experience. Then, sit and watch your breath without trying to control it. Be aware of the life your breath has apart from you. Not trying to control your breath is a metaphor for not trying to control the addict in our lives. Do this for five minutes 3 times daily. After each time, stretch and feel the calm.
10. Grow your recovery with the 12 Keys to Sanity and watch yourself GROW!
Does this sound like a lot? Get support so you can do all of this with ease and know-how. Start by work individually with a Loving Mirror Family Recovery Coach or join a Loving Mirror Group for family members.
Beverly Buncher, MA, PCC, CTPC is a Professional Life Coach, certified by the International Coach Federation and a Family Recovery Coach. As a Family Recovery Coach, Bev’s mission is to help families of addicts blaze the trail to sobriety in their homes. She helps families of addicts reclaim their own peace of mind and teaches them how to become their addict’s best chance of recovery. As a family recovery coach she works with parents, spouses or families individually and in small groups to achieve their goals and dreams. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a complimentary session.