20 May Letting Go in Recovery
When you enter rehab for addiction recovery, you will be giving up a lot. The first thing that you will have to give up in order to begin making progress is the addictive substance or substances, such as alcohol or drugs. In order to continue on the path to recovery, you will need to give up a number of other things, as well. Finding true happiness is essential to maintaining sobriety and avoiding a relapse, and the only way to be happy is to let go of some of the habits and pains of your old life so you can start fresh. Here are some things to consider letting go of as part of your recovery process:
The Past: You can’t change the past, but tomorrow is full of potential. Rehab is the place to let go of past mistakes, embrace the gift of the present, and plan for the future.
Resistance to Change: Bad habits are hard to break because people form an attachment to the way things are now and don’t want to face the discomfort of trying something different. Freeing yourself from unhealthy attachment and embracing change will yield greater success in recovery and greater happiness overall.
Criticism: Focusing on the negative in yourself and others will only bring you down and slow your progress. Everyone is doing the best they can for their own situation, so avoid criticizing and judging yourself and others. Just focus on getting better.
Limitations: You’ve probably heard the saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Almost all of life’s limitations are self-imposed through doubt and negative self-talk. You can do anything you set your mind to, so forget what you think your limitations are.
Other People: You don’t need to disregard all of your relationships and loved ones, but you need to let go of what other people think of you, especially if their opinions are negative. You also need to stop blaming others for your problems and take responsibility for your life. Improving your opinion of yourself and owning your own life is what matters most now.
Control: Addiction is a disease that is all about loss of control. Many addicts will try to counteract this lack of control by being overly controlling in other areas of their life. The best thing you can do for your recovery is to give up your notions of being in control, of being right, and of knowing what’s best for yourself. Instead, hand your life over to God or a higher power and be willing to be led.
Stalling: Some activities, like complaining about life or making excuses, are a waste of time and will only delay your efforts. You may feel temporarily justified when you lodge what feels like a valid complaint, but in the end you will have to get over it and move on. Don’t stall your progress with negativity and complaints.
Fear: Life without addiction is an unknown to you in rehab, which can lead to fear. Fear can be limiting to growth and letting go of it is freeing. Replace fear with the confidence that can be found as you set goals and get healthy.
It may be hard to know where to start when you have so many things you need to let go of. The rehabilitation program is there to provide you with the support and tools you need to leave your past behind and begin moving forward.