Alcoholism and indeed, all addictions, are a family disease.

Living with the effects of someone else’s addictions is devastating. It is important to learn individuals are not responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it.

The goal is to let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights; lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves.

Here are the NOT’S for family members affected by addiction:

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;

Not to do for others what they could do for themselves;

Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not act out;

Not to cover up for anyone’s mistakes or misdeeds;

Not to create a crisis;

Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.

Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgment or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person’s addiction can have upon our lives. Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible.  (From Al-Anon  Detachment)