I read from Touchstones daily. It is a book of daily meditations for men in recovery. Normally I find it hard to relate to the readings. In fact, not relating to the readings has made me feel very insecure about my sobriety and my program in the past. Today’s reading (featured at the bottom of this page) was very relevant to where I am at in my life today, at this very moment. It really hit close to home for me.
Today’s reading was all about detachment.
Detaching, for me, has been quite the struggle. I find it very interesting that the synonym used in the dictionary for the word “detachment” is separation. You see, I am a crystal meth addict who became addicted to heroin because my best friend was. In turn, I got her hooked on crystal meth. It was as if we traded vices.
Today, I am in recovery and I pray to God every night that I never go back to my old life – a life filled with drugs and utter chaos. Today, I love myself… well, at least I know I like myself. My friend has tried to walk the path I have chosen but, unfortunately for her, she has not been successful in getting clean and sober. In fact, she has graduated from using a minimal amount of drugs to using a vast amount – more than I ever saw her use when we were getting high together.
Not having her in my life devastates me. What’s even worse is that I truly fear she will die. I know, in my heart, that she will die if she does not get the help she needs to cut drugs and alcohol out of her life. I have even prepared myself, as well as I know how to, for her funeral. I even think about what I would say if asked to deliver a eulogy.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t still long to have her in my life, and I know she longs to have me in her drug-filled, chaotic life. She longs for me so much and tries mercilessly and shamelessly to get me to partake in old habits. Her tactics have included sending me texts with videos of her doing the drugs I used to do with her and pictures she has taken of her large quantities of drugs. I have a suspicion that she might be dealing drugs, because I find it impossible to believe that the amount of drugs she has in her possession can be consumed by just her. As you can probably tell, I am still quite immersed in this person and she is still constantly on my mind.
Yesterday, I received a text message of a picture of a large amount of heroin and a Tupperware filled with crystal meth. Was she teasing me? Was she attempting to entice me? I really don’t know, but I do know that yesterday’s text message was the final straw for me – the straw that broke the camel’s back. Today, with the help of a friend in recovery, I formulated a text to her that simply stated “Please lose my number and do not contact me again. Thank You.” As much as it pained me to have to send such a text, I knew that it was what I needed to do to take care of myself.
I finally am detaching from someone whom I have great love for. Receiving texts from her had been stressful, to say the least, but the texts also allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief because I knew that she, at least, was still living and breathing. If everything goes according to plan, and she takes my latest text message seriously, it will be very hard for me not knowing that she is safe. However, I know that the plan of action I have chosen is the right one for me, and that—at least for now—I must do everything I can to detach from her. This might sound weird but in a way I am starting to go through a sober withdrawal. I am detoxing from my best friend.
Just this second, as I am typing this blog post, I received a reply from her—a text message that simply says “Deleted. Goodbye.” I can’t help but shed a tear because these just might be her final words to me. I want her to know that I love her and wish her nothing but the best and hope that she one day be given the gift of sobriety – a gift that I am so thankful to have received. I know, however, that I cannot respond to her text and that I must remain true to my words.
The reading says that detachment gradually becomes a natural response. I know that I am not quite at that point yet but I do hope to be there one day. I know that as long as I stay on the right path—the path of sobriety—that I will get there. I will continue to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings and work the steps with my sponsor.
The reading from Touchstones says that “Being detached means we allow others to be in the hands of God because we cannot live their lives for them.” For now, I will listen to the advice the reading suggests and continue to pray for her at the closing of my meetings when the person leading the group asks for a moment of silence for the alcoholic/addict who still suffers.
Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything passes away except God.
Learning to detach may be the most demanding and difficult part of this program. Detachment means being filled with closeness and love toward someone, yet knowing we cannot fix or protect that person. It means we can be in emotional contact but don’t have to react to someone else’s issues. We respond from our own center with what is fitting for us. Being detached means we allow others to be in the hands of God because we cannot live their lives for them. Detachment gives us an inner calm, an acceptance of our limits, and the freedom to live our own lives with integrity.
Detachment is a skill in living and, like other skills, we can practice it. Gradually, it becomes a natural response. True detachment takes root and grows within us over a period of time as we deepen our relationship with the Steps and with our Higher Power.
Today, I turn to God as my eternal rock for strength in learning to become detached.
—Quoted from the book Touchstones: a Book of Daily Meditations for Men
Filed under: Life, Recovery · Tags: AA, Acceptance, addict, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, clean and sober, Crystal Meth, detachment, drug addiction, God, Heroin, higher power, mindfulness, NA, narcotics anonymous, Radical Acceptance, Recovery, sober withdrawal, sobriety, Touchstones