Tammy Aug 24th 20223 

Acceptance & Detachment: Necessary coping skills to overcome the chaos of addiction that you don’t realize you need, until you do.

Discover a mother's journey of acceptance in her daughter's addiction, emphasizing healing and relationship growth amidst chaos

Acceptance & Detachment: Necessary coping skills to overcome the chaos of addiction that you don’t realize you need, until you do.

When a loved one is searching for the answers & the what am I supposed to do with this, you will see these terms a lot in reference to how we move forward & find healing for ourselves but what they don’t tell you is how to apply it and I am going to share my lessons for you with the hope it may help someone.


Not long ago I found myself consumed in the chaos and I had to find a way out of it for my own sanity and health. There was a brief period where my daughter seemed ready for help, and we were having regular conversations about treatment options and I really thought it was going to happen but it was just a fleeting moment. During that time, I made numerous calls, turned over every rock to try and find the help she needed to start the process for her and figure out what steps we needed to take. I knew that if she was accepting and willing to get help then we needed to act fast because it could all change on a dime, and I felt like we were in a race with a potential fatal overdose situation. I have never experienced a panic attack but if I had to describe how I felt during that I would say I felt like I was in a state of panic and felt compelled to do something, anything that felt like action. Sitting idle waiting is pure torture for me. By nature, I am a go getter and make it happen type person, so I found it so difficult to be patient with the process. 

Once it became clear that she wasn’t ready to take those steps, I realized that my approach was not effective, nor was I helping her like I thought, and it was me that needed to change. I’m the one that is ready to recover from this, I’m the one that doesn’t want to live like this anymore. I am the one that wants to let go of the constant state of sadness and fear. I don’t want my first thought of every day when I wake up to be – is today the day I lose my girl? I want to move forward and focus on what I need to do to be happy. I came to realize that the missing link is acceptance. Acceptance is understanding that I can’t control her substance use or behavior but I can control how I respond to her behavior. I needed to change my attitude towards our addiction journey and fully accept this is not in my control and the harder I push for the outcome I want; I am only creating more pain for myself and those around me. Learning to accept that the outcome is out of your hands is not easy by any means but it is necessary in the healing process. Through this process , I learned that it’s not for me to carry this pain and I learned how to take a step back. The only thing I can do for her is to love her unconditionally.

I struggled to comprehend what detachment is & how to apply that, the concept of it seems to clash with the nature of motherhood. How do I possibly detach myself from my own child? As I was going through this process of trying to adapt to this concept it did click for me – she isn’t a child anymore, she is a full grown adult and it’s up to her to decide if and when she wants to change her lifestyle and it will be on her timeline, not mine. I am not detaching from her as much as from her addiction, I no longer make space or participate in the chaos. 

I have noticed some small changes in her response to the change in my attitude and it has helped. She has noticed the shift and is acting more respectful and a lot less demanding of my time. She is also getting better at accepting “no” instead of trying to apply the guilt trips she used to do.