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The Virtue of Letting Go

In early sobriety we often find that we project our addictive behavior into other areas of our life. Whether it be relationships, money, or material possessions, we are still in the mindset that our happiness is contingent on the things that we have. However, we are focused on healing our souls as well as our minds and bodies. Recognizing our potential for unhealthy attachments can be a great step toward changing our behaviors for the better.

The Dalai Lama said, “Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering”. As men and women suffering from the disease of addiction, we often have a desire for control. Letting go of this control by detaching from our selfish wants helps us find peace, even in the chaos around us. 12-Step fellowships incorporate this into their recovery programs. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that we go through our day without allowing ourselves to develop unhealthy attachments, instructing us to “constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day, ‘Thy will be done.’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.” The concept behind this is acceptance through letting go of all the minor annoyances that we are unable to control. We find that by accepting things for what they are, we aren’t wasting our energy or exacerbating our internal conflicts. It’s important to remember that letting go is not about being uncaring. Andrea Matthews, in her Psychology Today article “How to Let It Go”, explains that “letting go means looking realistically at whatever the situation, taking personal responsibility for what one is going to do to protect, or take care of oneself, and then doing it.  Beyond that, it is allowing oneself to grieve, learn from what just happened and begin again.” When we stop trying to assert control and let the events surrounding us unfold as they will, we begin to find a sense of peace. We can respond to situations as they come without allowing our fear, anger, or worry to build up inside of us. The “Serenity Prayer”, a prayer used to open up most 12-Step recovery meeting, states: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” When we learn acceptance, and allow ourselves to let go of unhealthy attachments, we find ourselves one step closer to attaining a sense of serenity in our daily lives that allow us to happily maintain our sobriety.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with benzodiazepine addiction, Resilient House offers you the help you need. Cultivating resilience for lasting wellness, our co-ed programs offered on a full continuum of care provide holistic and clinical expertise for recovery. Our 50,000 square foot facility in Shreveport provides the tranquility and serenity you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit. It’s time to live. Ready, set, go: 833-CHANGE1