Detachment at face value seems harsh when you are talking about people you love.  When you are dealing with dysfunction, whether that be drugs, alcohol, drama or abuse your only recourse may be detachment.  Detaching from people who are lying, stealing, abusing or otherwise being selfish and creating drama in your life, detaching may be the only thing you can do to save your sanity.  Detachment does not mean you stop loving or caring about the person.  It does not mean you will stop thinking about or worrying about the person.  It means that you are no longer trying to save them from themselves.  You are allowing them to accept the responsibility for their own actions and not allowing them to take advantage of you, use you as a buffer for when they get themselves into trouble or lie to you, steal from you or cheat you.  They will have to take responsibility for what they do and will probable hit bottom sooner because you are not present to fall on and help them out of whatever they got themselves into this time.

Watching them go through whatever they will have to go through will not be easy.  It will be painful and heartbreaking.  You will want to help because it might seem easier than watching them self-destruct.  Don’t do it.  It will just start the cycle over again.  You will need a way to relax and help yourself to stay sane while you watch.  Joining Alanon, Alateen or ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) will help because there are people there dealing with the same things.  You will be able to see that you are not alone.  Relaxing through the difficult times and being able to give away what is not yours to take on, will also help to put it all into perspective. It allows you to remain detached until you are able to rekindle the relationship.  That can only be when the person has stopped the behaviors that caused you to detach in the first place.  You will have to clearly set that limit in your mind because they may not remember your saying it if they were high or drunk at the time.  The videos below will help you to relax and give away what you have no control over.  Link to the videos     Enjoy!


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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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