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Month: April 2015

Detachment. How Do I Detach With Love?


Detaching with Love – How do I achieve detachment with love?

The question of detaching with love from an addict in the throws of a chaotic, confusing and damaging active addiction is always a tricky one for me, particularly when giving advice to others who are dealing with the fallout. Just how can you go about Detaching with Love, letting go in a caring manner? The idea of withdrawing emotional support may feel contradictory to the idea of loving someone unconditionally but it is a not. Accepting that you have no control over a persons actions or decisions is the first step to detachment. Often the hurt has become too much and the only way to move forward is to take a step back. This is ok, your loved one will be in a safe place, surrounded by people who can truly empathize when they are at their lowest or ‘rock bottom’ as it is often referred to. It’s this idea that outwardly being unsupportive and appearing uncaring is ultimately the most nurturing thing anyone can do that people struggle with. I did for a long time.

Detachment, Detaching with Love
Love The Addict, Hate The Disease.

The more I’ve experienced myself, from being an addict and being in relationships of one kind or another with non-addicts, is that however tolerant or understanding a person may be, they cannot understand the addict brain. This is not to say that these people are in any way ignorant or unwilling to learn, it’s just that at the root of it all they have a completely different way of doing and seeing the world. It’s not even a criticism because where the brain’s involved they cannot simply bypass their own core beliefs and personal situation because that’s not how we work as human beings. They can be sympathetic yes, but can they truly every empathize with the addict, I believe the answer is no. The selfish and damaging and often highly abusive nature of addiction is such that we alienate everyone and everything around us in order to continue in our using way of life. Aside from the people who don’t want to understand and will always see addiction as a choice and a weakness there are some wonderful and supportive people who will do absolutely anything to enable a loved one. Both in my eyes are equally damaging and will yield the same result, continued addictive behaviour and eventual meltdown leading to the inevitable institutionalization or death.

This of course paints a very bleak picture but of course it doesn’t always have to be that way. A well managed plan of detachment plus intervention can be the only chance for the addict to move forward and this is ultimately what reaps rewards for all parties. As the addict becomes aware of the damage they have caused they can work toward making some kind of amends. This doesn’t have to be dramatic or overwhelming, it can simply mean trying to remain clean and sober for a period of time. I believe, despite the massive relapse rates in treatment, every period of sobriety and every intervention from someone who is not a family member or direct carer of the individual builds momentum and confidence not only in the addict but in their families. This is the first stage of course and with support for the families going on parallel to the support for the addict, a way forward can be found and relationships can begin to be rebuilt.

The problem is, it can often be a slow process and that can become frustrating. For those who are ready and serious about getting and staying clean, recovery rates with quality intervention can be incredible so it’s not all doom and gloom! My advice these days is to detach with love. Don’t enable, let the person find their way, let the professionals handle it and sit back, have hope and practice grace, pray if it’s what you do. Addiction is a disease and treated as such can be managed. And trust me, there is no greater reward to the addict than realizing they can lead a ‘normal’ life and once again do things that make their loved ones proud. It’s rewarding for both parties and when you detach with love, life doesn’t have to be harder, in fact it gets a lot easier and the mutual respect and love comes back stronger than ever.

The best and most effective long term way to gain this detachment is for the addict to go to rehab where they will be supported and the family can get space and their own support whilst being kept informed of the persons progress every step of the way so Contact Us today for any support you require detaching with love.

Recovery This Easter With Cape Recovery

Recovery at Easter

Cape Recovery

Happy Easter from Cape Recovery! It doesn’t matter if you’re not Christian, just enjoy the chocolate eggs. Addiction doesn’t discriminate so why would we? We are all one in the Cape Recovery family and we all share the same primary purpose, to help the still suffering addict.

I want to just mention a couple of things today. The first is that it is a year ago today that I returned from hospital following a near fatal stabbing on a train in Cape Town. This was an interesting time for me in recovery as it was the first real test and the first time someone has actively tried to kill me (read a blow by blow account on my blog HERE. It was a real turnaround in the way I approached life and was helpful as it made me appreciate all that I had and focus on the present. Life is very unpredictable but to be happy in the moment is a gift that I have received through being clean and sober.

Celebrate Your Recovery

The second point that I’ve been pondering is from reports of people in the same business as us. Though we are transparent in everything we do and don’t turn anyone away, providing assistance even if the client has no money, others operate in more unsavory ways than this. Some are only interested in the top end of the market where the obvious profits are but I would question the ethics and personal satisfaction this approach portrays. I’m not into putting people down who are trying to run a legitimate business but profiting purely from desperate people and essentially not caring where they end up is worrying to say the least.

That is why at Cape Recovery we do something for everyone, regardless of budget. We only work with treatment centers and professionals in the field who have a proven record and to whom we would be delighted to send a loved one their way with confidence. We are working with our partners and funders on some exciting projects to provide free support and treatment to those who have a desire to get clean and sober and remain that way.

Contact us for help and recovery advice this Easter time and Happy Easter!