Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgment or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. Separating ourselves from the adverse effects of another person's alcoholism can be a means of detaching: this does not necessarily require physical separation. Detachment can help us look at our situations realistically and objectively.
Alcoholism is a family disease. Living with the effects of someone else's drinking is too devastating for most people to bear without help.
In Al-Anon we learn nothing we say or do can cause or stop someone else's drinking. We are not responsible for another person's disease or recovery from it.
Detachment allows us to let go of our obsession with another's behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves. We can still love the person without liking the behavior.
In Al-Anon We Learn:
Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people.
Not allow ourselves to be
used or abused by others in the interest of another's recovery
Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink, or behave as we see fit.
Not to cover up for another's mistakes or misdeeds
Not create a crisis
Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events
By learning to focus on ourselves, our attitudes and well-being improve. We allow the alcoholics in our lives to experience the consequences of their own actions.
Al-Anon Can Help:
Al-Anon is a world wide fellowship that offers a program of recovery for the families and friends of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic recognizes the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help. Members give and receive comfort and understanding through a mutual exchange of experience, strength, and hope. Sharing of similar problems binds individuals and groups together in a bond that is protected by a tradition of anonymity.
Al-Anon is not a religious organization or a counseling agency. It is not a treatment center nor is it allied with any other organization offering such services. Al-Anon Family Groups, which includes Alateen for young members, usually teenagers, neither expresses opinions on outside issues nor endorses outside enterprises. No dues or fees are required. Membership is voluntary, requiring only that one's life has been adversely affected by someone else's drinking problem.
Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.
Let It Begin with Me
when anyone, anywhere, reaches out
for help let the hand of Al-Anon
and Alateen always be there, and
Let It Begin with Me.