Friday, July 04, 2003

codependents are attached to the people and problems

Most codependents are attached to the people and problems in their environments.

Attachment is becoming overly-involved and can take several forms:

* We may react instead of choosing how we will respond in a situation
(our physical, emotional, and mental energy is attached).
(Don't react, remove yourself from the situation if it is escalating.)

* We may become obsessed with and controlling of people and problems
in our life (our energy is directed at the object of our obsession).

* We may become excessively worried about,
or preoccupied with a problem or person
(our mental energy is attached).

* We may become emotionally dependent on the people around us.

* We may become caretakers, rescuers, or enablers to the people
around us firmly attaching ourselves to their need for us.

Overinvolvement of any sort can keep us in a state of chaos
and the people around us as well.
If we are focusing all our energy on people and problems,
we will have little time for the business of taking care of our own needs.

We forfeit our power, our ability to think, feel, and act and we lose control.

When we are obsessed with another human being, we cannot think objectively.

We not only have a problem or person that is bothering us, it is controlling us.

What is Detachment?

Detachment is not a cold, hostile withdrawl;
a resigned, despairing acceptance of whatever is thrown our way.

We are not unaffected by people and problems,
we cannot ignore our responsibilities to ourselves
and others by severing our relationships with others.

Detachment is releasing or detaching from a person or problem with love.

We find it necessary to mentally, emotionally, and physically remove ourselves
from unhealthy or painful entanglements with another person's life and responsibilities.

Detachment is based on the premise that each person is responsible for himself or herself
and that we can't solve problems that aren't ours, and that worry is not helpful.

We adopt a policy of keeping our hands off other peoples responsibilities.

We allow other people to experience the consequences of their actions.

And we stop trying to change things we can't fix.

We try to focus on what is good in our own lives.

Detachment is living in the moment; living in the here and now.

We cannot live in the past and we cannot change it.

We must learn to "accept the things we cannot change" and to "change the things we can".

Detaching does not mean we don't care, it means we care enough to
"let go and let God" take care of the details.

We learn how to make good decisions, and how to develop healthy relationships with others.

The rewards of detachment are the freedom to live our own lives without feeling guilty or responsible for others. We learn to mind our own business.

Many people who have chosen to live with serious problems such as alcoholism, drug addiction or a severely handicapped child have learned to cope with these problems.

They have grieved their losses and found a way not to live in resignation, martyrdom or despair but with a true sense of gratitude to the 12-Step programs available. They have learned to take care of themselves and have improved their self-esteem through the use of self-help books and programs.

We learn to detach by using a three-part formula from Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon: through Honesty, Openness, and Willingness to try to abide by the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. Many different organizations use the Steps and Traditions.

"We need to detach when it is the least likely or possible thing to do."

Adapted from Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie, (c) 1987.

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