Detachment and recovery from alcoholism
Like alcoholics themselves, the families and friends of alcoholics display symptoms
- guilt and
- require treatment.
Al-Anon groups have proved to be an excellent resource for these people.
But Al-Anon’s central concept, that of detachment, is resented and rejected by many prospective members of Al-Anon.
Detachment involves realizing that the family member or friend
- cannot control the alcoholic’s behavior,
- accepting this powerlessness, and
- separating one’s self from the behavior though not from the person.
It also means that family life must not revolve around the alcoholic’s problems and behavior and that the alcoholic must be allowed to take the consequences of his or her behavior.
It does not mean a block in communication; in fact, as a family practices detachment it will learn to let the alcoholic know its feelings.