Preparing our Relationships for the Holidays – Jackie Stein, BALM Family Recovery Life Coach

    The Norman Rockwell version of the family holiday party exudes warmth, peace and connection. In a family with a loved one in early recovery, the mere idea of a family gathering can cause enormous stress. Before our loved one entered recovery, their method for dealing with this stress likely involved drinking or drugging. While intoxicated they could deal with the insanity surrounding preparation for and engaging in holiday parties. For those who are now in the early stages of recovery, especially in the first year, attending these functions will likely involve a great of fear, regarding how they can manage these festivities and stay clean and sober, while still enjoying the family time together. Several ideas come to mind. First, both the person in recovery and the family need to have a plan for how they will handle the holidays for themselves and for the family as a… Continue reading

The Importance of Effective Listening When Dealing With an Addicted Loved One – By Jackie Stein

  Stephen Covey is said to have communicated the following concept: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” In my opinion, truer words were never spoken.  Effective listening is a skill to develop where the listener is truly doing so with the intent to understand what is being conveyed.  In the life of a family dealing with addiction, effective listening is one of the more important skills that we can use to help us to communicate effectively with our loved one and with each other. As many of you know, I am a Balm© Family Recovery Life Coach, but before beginning my coaching career, I was a family member with an addicted loved one who attended the BALM© Comprehensive Family Program. One of the most important skills I learned as a family member of an addicted loved one and continue… Continue reading

Are You a Victim or a Volunteer? – Vicki Tidwell Palmer LCSW, CSAT

  The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. − Alice Walker Don’t get me wrong, as a human being you have been victimized. Any time another person violates one of your boundaries, there is the possibility of victimization. Being lied to, cheated on, and ignored because of another person’s addiction are common forms of victimization. It is likely, if you are reading this article on this website, that you may have both experienced and perpetrated these types of victimization. The good news about victimization is that once you become aware of the fact that one of your boundaries has been violated, you can make choices that prevent further victimization. So, except in rare circumstances like unjust imprisonment or being held against your will, the experience of victimization lasts only a brief time (unless you become a volunteer by allowing it to… Continue reading

How To Deal With A Loved One Actively Using – By Annie Highwater

  I am the daughter of someone who suffers with addiction. My Mother is a Bible believing, non-swearing, French speaking, dignified lady who has struggled with Doctor prescribed opioids and mental health issues for 30 plus years. I have also been through an addiction adjacent experience as a Mother; my son is almost 5 years in recovery from a prescription opiate dependency following an injury in football. I know the ups and downs, the misery in the midnight hour, the hopes and subsequent hopes dashed that one goes through when they love someone caught in the death grip of a substance dependency. In the midst as well as the aftermath of some of the worst days of our lives as a family, I have gathered great strength and wisdom from the journey as well as those who carried me through my own recovery from the effects of it.  I write not as… Continue reading

Free Online Recovery Workshops for Adult Children of Alcoholics – Dawn Clancy

  The brilliant Dawn Clancy is doing it again! I have so much admiration for this woman and the tireless work she does to inform, support and educated ACOAs and all those who have experienced childhood family dysfunction. Below you will see that Dawn is offering some free online workshops. I really hope you register and gain the benefit of her personal experience and insight regarding these topics…….details below!     Hi Everyone, I just wanted to pop in to say hello and let you know that I’m going to be hosting a FREE recovery workshop for Adult Children of Alcoholics. On Wednesday, October 4th at 8pm Eastern and Thursday, October 5th at 1pm Eastern, I will be hosting a FREE, online recovery workshop for Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs). In this workshop, I’ll be teaching you and hundreds of other Adult Children of Alcoholics how to eliminate the FEAR, OVERWHELM and FRUSTRATION of recovery. During… Continue reading