Detachment is a wonderful thing.

When was the last time you were ready to throw in the proverbial towel? Did you end up letting go, or decided to fight on anyway?

The last time? That was a long time ago. A very long time ago. The rule of thumb around here is Detachment. I learned detachment the hard way. DETACH: Don’t. Even. Think. About. Changing. Him/Her. Let Go and Let God.

If one fusses too much with a situation, the only thing they get out of it is fuss. Believe it or not, sometimes giving up isn’t the wrong thing to do especially when you were trying to do the wrong thing in the first place. If you have to force it, it isn’t right. Things that are meant to be are not a fight. They can be a challenge. They can be a growing experience as you work to obtain them but they are never a fight. There is a Zen to the right thing and a whole bunch of stomach ulcers to the wrong thing.

“Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgement or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching.


Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people

Not to allow ourselves to be used or abused by others in the interest of another’s recovery This has nothing to do with Recovery but a LOT to do with Daily Life. Recovery is not the only way to be used or abused.

Not to do for others what they can do for themselves

Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink, or behave to see fit

Not to cover up another’s mistakes or misdeeds

Not to 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 Individuals in our lives to experience the consequences of their own actions.” [And we in turn experience our own and learn from our behavior.]

When we learn from our behaviour, we learn what we create for ourselves.  We aren’t victims.  We actively take part in what is going on in our lives.  Everything done to us is with our consent unless we are chained to a wall.  We chose to accept it or not to accept it.  If we were not willing to tolerate it, we wouldn’t be where we are at.  We chose to let it continue.  There isn’t anything wrong with this but when you put the blame on someone else, there is a problem with that.  Own it and either move on or shut up about it.

Don’t mistake Detachment for letting it go the way.  Detachment is the conscious decision to step away and realize what the Nots in the above mean.  When you do that, you actively change your life and your outlook.

Detach was my mantra for years.  It still is when I feel myself falling for bullshit or trying to change things or fighting what is in a bad way.  Detach.  Step back.  Let the serenity prayer kick in.  You know the one.

The Serenity Prayer
written by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

GOD, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the
pathway to peace.

When you do this, it isn’t a fight or at least the fight doesn’t feel like a fight. As I said there is a Zen to it that is missing if you simply throw yourself bodily at something trying to make it fit or do it. There is more satisfaction with the Zen one. I know. I’ve had both.

So when was the last time I felt like throwing in the towel? A long time ago. And I am so glad I have the word Detach today.