April 2024 Newsletter


When will this end?

…. I bet most of us have asked ourselves this question, possibly countless times. Or variations of it. When will this get better? When will this change? Lying in bed through another sleepless night or facing another ugly confrontation or pacing through minutes, hours, days when we wonder where they are, will they come home, will they ever emerge from their room; days of hope and brightness followed by a slump or a crash. We ride along and we ride along and then, we don’t – we just can’t; no more energy, no more hope, no more goodwill, no more fuel in the tank. Empty. We wonder, when, please God, will this end?

Inside this question are a thousand feelings – desperation, resentment, exhaustion, confusion, anger, grief, hopelessness, fear… resignation, defeat. This resignation, this defeat may be our version of rock bottom for us as parents… maybe we need to get there in order to really let go, to allow something else to come in. In this state we have moved beyond the fear and dread & ceaseless solution-finding to a place of surrender. White flag – sorry folks, we’re all out of ideas, not quite out of love, but pushed to our absolute limit and maybe a bit over, probably way over. But we know this, as we are following a similar journey to our children. We are mirroring each other. Holding on, keeping up the control, staying stuck, is so much easier than surrender – the terrible fear of what might happen if we let go, it we don’t find the answer, if we don’t make it better.

What did we do, not do, where did we go wrong? If we let go, are we succumbing to the fear that we have screwed up as parents, that we are failing them? Maybe – if we believe that controlling our children’s lives and outcomes is parenting, that directing their lives is our job. Surrender feels close to annihilation, which is why we only get there when we are literally on the edge, at the end of the road, all dried-up, dredged of all resources. It means jumping into the abyss of not knowing. Standing on the edge of the cliff and just free-falling. Who would naturally do this, ever – it is counter intuitive to our survival instinct in every single respect. But only when we are desperate enough & all other paths are exhausted beyond measure, do we not only consider it but almost welcome it. There are just no other alternatives. And so we launch, we free-fall and we place ourselves & our children into the arms of some kind of grace. We might call it God, depending on our beliefs. In real & practical terms, what is this free-fall? … It is finally understanding that the only true and material thing we can do to facilitate healing is to start with ourselves, to refocus the lens back to us, to endow our own hearts and exhausted souls with as much love and nurture, learning and healing as we would wish for our children. And to give up trying to do it alone.

Beverly Buncher

Beverly Buncher is a family recovery coach in the United States. She devised her approach to helping families of those struggling with addiction and called it B.A.L.M which stands for Be A Loving Mirror. This book was published in 2018 and her website is www.familyrecoveryresources.com.

‘Our whole program is based on the fact that there is a lot you can do, for your own health and well-being – and for the health and well-being of your loved one. You have the power to change yourself and change the way you interact, which often makes all the difference in the world. When you are in recovery, you are your loved one’s best chance at recovery.’

With thanks to Nils Lechner, recovery coach, for his talk on

The common misconceptions of recovery

Nils generously shared his story with us which was a welcome reminder that recovery is not linear or smooth; it comes in its own time according to the individual. Whilst there might be recovery from abuse of substances or self-harming behaviours, the road to emotional and psychological recovery is a longer one.

We will all have taken away some things from what Nils spoke about.

A couple of things that stood out for us were when he talked about being bullied at school:

‘When I came home crying having been bullied, my mother went to my school like a warrior putting the bullies around the table with the director…. meanwhile I was sitting at home crying and I was alone. It was not what I needed.’

It was a strong reminder about what happens when we are so driven by our own responses – anger, fear, protection – and perhaps in that process miss out on what our child really needs.

“At 15 or 16 I didn’t do anything my parents said. I did whatever I wanted. They could tell me to stay at home & I would just go. The peer pressure and the connection I had with this group was stronger, and me wanting to use was stronger, than the love of my parents, so I just did what I wanted to do.’

… This is probably the reality for so many of our children at some stage and so the issue is not trying to get them to listen or to care or to save them but to put in whatever it is we need in our homes and lives to shore our own selves up in this very difficult time. When they feel that the hand of control has been lifted, they then have only themselves to wrestle with.

Nils spoke of now having ‘an amazing, deep bond’ with his parents because of all they have gone through and when asked about this he said:
“What helps me alot is that my parents are working on themselves… To see that my parents are growing gave me & still gives me the motivation to grow myself… You guys are role models for your kids, so when you guys are able to look at yourselves and grow then your are a catalyst.”

Nils’ private recovery coaching practice can be reached at

April Talk

Wednesday 17th April @ 6.30pm

Kate Shand, Director of Enjoy Education

will talk to us about how education can come in many forms & how Enjoy Education supports young people and families who are needing support, including those who are struggling with mental health, neurodiversity & other issues.

‘Kate started Enjoy Education in 2006 with a mission to deliver transformational learning for every student. Kate passionately believes in the power of bespoke, one-to-one education to transform lives. As a teenager, Kate herself had to take three years out of her education due to illness, during which she received transformational tutoring support.. Having graduated from the University of Oxford, she founded Enjoy Education, determined to bring the power of bespoke learning to others.’


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