Letting go is easiest to understand when it is put in contrast with its opposite, holding on. Through this imagery, we can see the difference in what letting go truly means. Letting go means finding a way to stop holding on. When we hold onto things that hurt us, we have to first recognize that these things hurt us, and holding on hurts us more. We hold on for a reason. As addicts, we have to have a payoff, a way that we benefit- otherwise we could be little enticed! Holding on has a benefit for us, even if it is a negative one. Letting go, on the other hand, is the unknown. We aren’t sure of what will happen if and when we let go. If we “try” to let go, we might not get back what we let go of. What if we won’t be the same? What if letting go doesn’t make things better?
There’s nothing simple about letting go except that when it happens you realize it’s been simple all along. Getting to that point is the complicated part. Becoming willing and ready to let go is where all the difficulty comes in. Once it’s time to let go, all we have to do is trust.
Trusting is hard for addicts in early recovery. Many of us have been hurt by parents, partners, and friends. We’re traumatized, beaten, broken, and bruised- literally and metaphorically. Out of our own self-hatred and low self-esteem, we’ve put ourselves in situations which continued our abuse. Relationships and environments which made us feel as worthless as we believe ourselves to be encouraged the thought that we can’t trust anyone. When they start to talk about a “Higher Power” in recovery we’re skeptical. If there were a higher power we could trust and just let go of everything for, wouldn’t we have found it by now? More importantly, wouldn’t they have shown up already?
Trusting means firmly believing in the “reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Once we finally let go and realize there isn’t imminent death or destruction, we can build a little trust. After a while, we start to notice the great benefits of letting go, which can even include feeling better, moving on, and healing. Learning to trust in trust is one of the hardest things addicts in recovery learn to do, yet it is one of the very first things they do when agreeing to treatment. For at least one second, you trust that treatment and recovery are the answer for you, that you’ll be able to find a way to live without drugs and alcohol. You learn to trust the idea that maybe, just maybe, everything is going to be okay.
Trust the process. If you believe you need help for a drug or alcohol addiction, trust your instincts and call Design For Change today. You can be victorious in your fight against addiction. For information on our treatment programs and recovery services, call us today at (877) 267-3646.