The idea of detachment mesmerized me when I heard about it in Al-Anon. To let go of the ones you love seemed unloving and uncaring and certainly not Christian. But it also seemed to be the NIRVANA you could reach even while living with an alcoholic.

I detached from my alcoholic father by leaving home. And then detached from my first alcoholic husband by divorcing him, but as I was stuck in my second marriage wondering how in the heck I did this AGAIN, I truly got it.

We try to control everything because we get attached to how we want things to be. But I didn’t really get how to detach until I had exhausted everything I could possibly do and had nothing else to give. And then I got it!

Suddenly in meditation one night, I realized I could watch life like a movie. I didn’t have to get emotionally sucked into all the drama. With a movie you enjoy the show without trying to control anything.

When you are involved with an addict it is worth learning this great tool. Try these steps:

1. Walk away from the drama (they may follow you but stay determined to stay out of the chaos)

2. Take deep breaths (go to the peaceful place inside yourself)

3. Focus on something else (do the dishes, fold clothes or clean out your closet)

Think about this: has anything good ever come out of engaging your alcoholic in a confrontation? Have you ever been able to convince them they are wrong? You’re the sober one! They should listen! But have you ever been able to change their mind?

Detachment works for everyday circumstances also. You can allow others to be who they are rather than trying to correct them or convince them of your opinion.

Life is uncertain and it can’t be controlled, so you realize letting go allows life to flow like a river. And that is what makes life magical. Things outside your usual radar screen show up. The unknown is never as scary as you think it will be when you give up control. You find what is yours to worry about and what is their problem.

Detaching helps you see things differently:

1. Work – when you don’t feel personally responsible, work problems are just puzzles to figure out.

2. Kids – when your son does something silly like mooning the school bus, you don’t feel like a failure as a mother.

3. Your addict – can you really control whether they lose their job or get a DUI by monitoring their drinks or drugs?

Stepping back and allowing everyone to be responsible for themselves makes life so much easier. And that is detachment.

© Copyright 2014

Author's Bio: 

Mary DeYon is a well-respected author, speaker, radio host and mentor to women who are in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict and are ready to regain their power and take back control of their lives.

Claim your FREE Digital Book "3 Secrets to Feeling Happier Every Day Even in the Midst of Chaos" at