What Does it Mean to Let Go?
There is a term used in substance abuse recovery and that term is letting go. What does this term mean? What specifically are you letting go of? Letting go means different things for different people but overall it means letting go of old, worn out patterns of behavior that no longer suit you in recovery.
Letting go of people, places, and things that jeopardize your recovery efforts. Letting go of self-doubt and self-blame that keep you stuck. Letting go of pride and perfectionism that are unrealistic expectations of yourself. Letting go of negative thoughts and feelings that no longer serve you.
How does one “let go”? This will be a different answer for each person. Letting go is not just about letting go of your addiction but letting go of old behaviors that kept you in the addiction. You let go by not being hard on yourself during recovery. There are challenges that everyone faces in recovery and you do not need to change everything overnight. Allow yourself the time to heal and to rediscover yourself.
Let go of the blame game and focus on what you are grateful for in recovery. Blaming others for your hardships during recovery hurts no one but yourself. There are ups and downs in recovery just like in life. Let go by allowing life to happen and understand that you are only in control of yourself; not others.
Let go of the anger you have and the guilt and shame you carry around with you. Instead, begin to heal the wounds of past relationships by talking to a professional counselor or better, talking to the individual that you have hurt directly by your addiction. Let go of the need to compare yourself to others. This happens quite a bit in recovery as many compare number of days, weeks, months, or years of sobriety that someone else has. Be happy for them, learn from them but focus on your time. Whatever you have is an accomplishment.
No person on this planet is perfect. Let go of trying to be perfect in all areas of your life. Give life your all, learn from your experiences, and set realistic goals. Be humble, live simply, and learn to forgive.