Tag Archives: detach

Set Free

11 Aug

“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it is yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”—Unknown
There is some confusion over the authorship of the quote above. Many attribute it to Richard Bach, a novelist born in 1936, while other say it is from an unknown source. Regardless, its meaning is broad and deep. It’s particularly applicable to my life right now. Someone lovingly “cut me loose” to stand on my own two feet and gain the strength I need to stay sober. It hurt at the time, and left me quite bewildered, but now that I look back, I can see it clearly and understand why.

No matter what our issues are in life, we all deal with some amount of codependency. Melody Beattie, author of several books on the topic says “There are almost as many definitions of codependency as there are experiences that represent it.” One simple definition is excessive emotional or psychological reliance in a relationship. There’s an expression I hear often in the rooms that says “detach with love”. That’s a healthy, admirable way to deal with codependency, though often much easier said than done.

While I have had a great deal of support throughout my recovery, I leaned quite heavily on one particular person who had a personal history with the other side of alcoholism. She got the texts when I longed for a drink. I turned to her to keep me from jumping off that ledge back into the world of alcohol. She had to listen to me whine and ask why I couldn’t have a drink. And I realize now that that’s an awful lot to put on any one person.

In another miraculous example of how God works, my decision to grow up and stop leaning so heavily on this person seemed to coincide almost exactly with when she decided it was time to cut me loose. She knew that I needed to develop the right tools to stay sober. More importantly, she understood that the only person who could keep me sober was me. And I knew that it was unfair to continue to lean so heavily on her, especially as she had her own trials and tribulations to deal with.

So what happened when she “detached with love”? I got my wings. I learned to stand on my own two feet and use the helpful instruments that I’ve acquired in my sobriety. I turned to my awesome sponsor and attended more meetings. I picked up some recovery literature. I learned to pray and to ask for help, and to turn things over to my HP (Higher Power).

Our friendship is stronger and deeper now and no longer allows alcoholism to dominate it. So to my friend, thank you for caring enough to let me find my own strength and plant my feet firmly underneath me. HP has now given me the strength and tools to help others. And to all the people I lean on heavily, thank you for being there for me throughout this journey.

Taking care of myself is a big job. No wonder I avoided it for so long.”—Anonymous

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