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Courage to Change:

I tried so hard to learn detachment. Living with active alcoholism was confusing, and the idea of detachment seemed vague. The alcoholic in my life was a restless sleeper who fell out of bed almost every night. Feeling it my duty, I would always help him back into bed. One night, after attending Al-Anon meetings for a while, I stepped over his body and got into bed, leaving him on the floor. Triumphantly, I went to my next Al-Anon meeting and told them, “I finally learned detachment!” “Well,” they said, “that’s not exactly what we meant. We meant detachment with love.”

I left that meeting with a new understanding that I put into practice the very next time my loved one fell out of bed. When I found him on the floor, I still didn’t help him into bed. But I did put a blanket over him before stepping over his body and going to bed myself. This, to me, was detachment with love.

Today’s Reminder:

With my Higher Power’s help, I will keep a loving blanket of detachment with me. I will cover my loved ones with it, whether or not they struggle with a disease, keeping in mind that when I am dealing with other human beings, I am dealing with children of God.

“Detachment is not isolation, nor should it remain focused on not enabling the sick behavior of the past. Detachment is not a wall; it is a bridge across which the Al-Anon may begin a new approach to life and relationships generally.”
– Al-Anon: Family Treatment Tool in Alcoholism

From the book “Courage to Change”. Copyright Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1992