Six years before I started to consider leaving my addict partner, he had a major relapse and disappeared for the weekend. I stepped into the room of an Al-Anon meeting. I went, half-hearted, because I thought it was something I should do. I learned the terms,“let go and let God,” and “detachment,” in those meetings but I wasn’t ready to do that. I thought if I let go that I would be giving up on him. When my husband would use, I went to meetings to get away from my problems. After a few months, I stopped going.
Years later, when things were spiraling out of control in my marriage, I started to go again. I was desperately looking for answers. I saw the same people, some still living with the addict. Al-Anon teaches that you can emotionally detach from an addict while still being with them physically if they are actively using. I would never be able to accept a life with my husband if I was in recovery, and he was not. I wanted to be with him but refused to continue living with him while he was actively using.
The concepts and approaches discussed in Al-Anon were enlightening. They helped me realize that I had to put the focus on me. Even with this new refreshing insight, I felt a disconnect in the meetings. Though I realized it was not for me, I was still able to take what I needed from those rooms. I forced myself to get up and leave my husband and make a new life for myself and my daughter. I needed to start treating codependency and behaviors associated with it.