Detachment is one of the keys to overcoming codependence. We've discussed it many times in this blog. Before I compose today's entry, I will remind everyone again, the definition of the term:
First, let's discuss what detachment isn't. Detachment is not a cold, hostile withdrawal; a resigned, despairing acceptance of anything life and people throw our way; a robotic walk through life oblivious to, and totally unaffected by people and problems; a Pollyanna-like ignorant bliss; a shirking of our true responsibilities to ourselves and others; a severing of our relationships. Nor is it a removal of our love and concern, although sometimes these ways of detaching might be the best we can do, for the moment.
Ideally, detaching is releasing or detaching from, a person or problem. We mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically disengage ourselves from unhealthy and frequently painful entanglements with another person's life and responsibilities, and from problems we cannot solve, according to a handout, entitled "Detachment" that has been passed around Al-Anon groups for years.
Detaching does not mean we don't care. It means we learn to love, care, and be involved without going crazy.
-Melody Beattie, "Codependent No More"
Detaching oneself is one of the hardest things a person who loves an addict can do. One of my most faithful readers has had to learn to do this over the past year or two. It didn't happen overnight. It was a gradual process. But I do believe it's happened. Alcoholism is claiming the sister of my friend, and it's grip is so tight on her, my friend is expecting the worst. It's hard to sit there and say the words "I fully expect my sister to die soon", particularly when they come out of your mouth without tears, without panic, without much emotition at all. But after years of tears, panic, and emotion, and trying to help someone who doesn't want to be helped, after years of worrying about a person, and trying to think of what you might say to help them "see the light", you finally know you must "detach or go crazy". That is what my friend has had to do.
I wish the best for everyone. The children involved, the parents involved, the sister involved. Alcoholism is a terrible, terrible beast, and I hate it with every bit of my heart and soul.
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