Recovery Taught Me to Let Go

“There is a divine plan of good at work in my life. I will let go and let it unfold.” – Ruth P. Freedman

CONTROL. I have always needed to be the one in charge, the one in the driver’s seat.When I felt in control of my life, I felt safe and secure. Nothing unforeseen would pop up and bite me.

Yet, when I allowed my addiction to rule the roost, I lost ALL control. Being a drinker and a pill popper, I gave up on control. Without a second thought, I said, “I don’t want to feel, therefore I will numb my emotions and let chemicals lead me down a dark pathway.” And they did.

I had been a pretty smart, relational, and decent person; now I was in the throes of madness. What else should I call spending 24/7 passed out, retching, lying and thieving?

Losing Control. Losing Friends. Losing Family.

A dear friend told me that she would no longer watch me self-destruct and she walked away without looking back. Slowly, I lost other friends and then family members started to leave. Their compassion only lasted so long. In hindsight I understand why that happened. After all, who wanted to be around such a mess?

Then I found the rooms of AA and NA. Through the meetings I began to see that I had given my soul to the devil, and that frightened me.  I asked my fellows and my God to guide me back from this madness to a place where I could once again flourish. I knew I had lived in hell long enough.

Interestingly, I learned that having absolute control was not what I needed. I learned that, “letting go, and letting God,” was OK. Each day I asked my Lord to carry a bit of my heavy load. And he did. He allowed me to take the steps necessary for sobriety and for well-being.

Life in the Passenger Seat

Control, it seemed, was a pathological way to deal with all of my fears. I feared the unknown and I feared the unrest. Controlling minutia was nothing more than a false bravado that I had tossed in front of me as a safety net.

Life does dish out things we don’t have control over. Life is a challenge, and embracing those challenges with humor, productivity, and diligence is the name of the game.

I’ve learned that I don’t always have to drive. In fact, the view from the passenger’s seat isn’t too bad.

Author: Katie H. is a writer, recovering addict, and mother based in Connecticut.

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