What Does it Mean to Let Go?
When it comes to “letting go,” you might find yourself thinking of the term as a reference to loss. Letting go of something that no longer serves you might be a foreign concept. Most individuals who have struggled with alcoholism or drug abuse are used to desperately clinging to the things that no longer serve them – namely substance abuse. Of course, addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease and far from a personal choice. If you want to overcome addiction it is not simply as straightforward as “letting go” of your desire to drink and drug. You must become willing to accept professional help in order to get clean and sober long-term. However, along the way, you will be asked to let go quite a lot (in addition to drugs and alcohol). Surrender is a major component of every successful recovery program. So, what does letting go in addiction recovery look like? We have listed several things that you will undeniably benefit from letting go of – take a look!
Letting Go in Addiction Recovery
Some things that you will be asked to let go of while in addiction recovery include:
- Self-victimization and self-pity. You might have heard the phrase, “Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink.” Once you enter into recovery you are going to need to give up self-pity – something that certainly will not serve you in the long run. It is important to recognize that things simply happen; they do not necessarily happen TO you. As soon as you begin taking responsibility for your own actions you open yourself up to positive change.
- Comparing your successes to the successes of others. As the quote goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Not only is constantly comparing yourself to others not productive in the least, but it holds you back from tapping into your full potential. Create your own personal goals based on what you want to achieve, and stop comparing your success to the successes of your peers – there is truly no comparison! Move at your own pace.
- Perfectionism. Many individuals who suffer from addiction also suffer from some degree of perfectionism. The sooner you recognize that you are perfectly imperfect the sooner you will be able to let go of the detrimental pressure you put on yourself.
- Beating yourself up because you are simply human. All humans are flawed – and that is okay! Let go of self-abuse. We truly can be our own worst enemies.
- Fear. You may have heard that fear and faith cannot exist simultaneously. On the contrary, we believe that fear, nervousness and uncertainty are normal human experiences. It is not realistic to assume that as soon as you get sober all of your fears will dissipate. We all experience fear from time-to-time. The trick is understanding that no matter what it is you are anxious about; you will be okay in the long run. You can experience fear and still have faith that things will turn out the way they are meant to. However, living in a place of constant fear is far from healthy. Do what you can to let go of this constant fear – it will not serve you in your recovery.
- An overwhelming and crippling sense of self-doubt. We all get down on ourselves from time-to-time. But daunting everything we do every single day of our lives is likely to leave us in a very bad spot. It is important to let go of self-doubt and replace that self-doubt with humility and confidence.
- The idea that you can successfully control your own life. Your best thinking has gotten you to where you are today – don’t forget that!
- “Someday I will be able to successfully control my use of chemical substances.” This is perhaps the most dangerous negative thought pattern to those who are in recovery. It is absolutely crucial that you let go of this way of thinking and understand that you will never be able to safely use chemical substances.
“Let Go and Let God”
If you have been involved in any 12-step program of addiction recovery, you have probably heard the phrase, “Let go and let God.” What does this really mean? In the context of recovery, this phrase is referring to the belief in a higher power of your understanding, and the acknowledgement that this higher power will guide you through your recovery so long as you do the necessary footwork. Most individuals who have struggled with active addiction will have a hard time asking for help and a hard time recognizing and understanding that help is readily accessible. Those who are new to recovery tend to believe that they can successfully handle things on their own. However, in order to maintain sobriety long-term, some level of surrender must be achieved.
The phrase “let go and let God” can deter some people away from seeking the help they need because of its religious connotations – the word “God” in and of itself turns many individuals off to 12 step programs as a whole. It is important to understand that there is a major distinction between religious practices and spiritual practices. Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of spiritual advancement – what you choose to believe in is completely up to you. The higher power that you choose to put faith into can be anything from a “group of drunks” (like your AA homegroup) to the ocean or your favorite book. The concept of a higher power simply lends itself to the understanding that you cannot stay sober without outside help.
Addiction Recovery – A Lifelong Process
The process of addiction recovery does not end once medical detox and inpatient treatment come to a close. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process – one that will become easier the longer you spend in recovery. You will eventually get a solid recovery routine down and keeping up with your personal program will become all but second nature. The first step on every lifelong journey of recovery is medically monitored detox. Once your system is free of chemical substances and you have been physically stabilized you will be free to continue on in your personal journey of recovery.
Intrepid Detox Residential – Comprehensive Clinical Care
At Intrepid Detox Residential we offer a comprehensive continuum of clinical care geared towards helping men and women of all walks of life overcome addiction long-term. As early on as medically monitored detox, we offer a wide range of recovery-related services from therapeutic intervention to 12 step immersion. Our team of experienced clinical professionals has developed an integrated program that relies heavily on the thorough introduction to the 12-step model of addiction recovery. We believe in comprehensive clinical care, meaning that we effectively treat every component of substance abuse – from the psychological and emotional implications to the spiritual requirements. If you have been struggling with a substance abuse disorder of any severity and have been unable to quit long-term on your own, reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your own personal journey of recovery as quickly as we can.