The Value of Letting Go

The Value of Letting Go

“Let it go” is one of those statements that can often have the same effect as a damp rag to the face.

Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time, and the desire to voice them in confidence; these characteristics do not mean there is something wrong with you, even when letting go of anger and resentment is the last thing you want to hear.

We hold onto things all the time, from angry drivers or rude co-workers to painful break-ups or traumatizing accidents. Holding onto pain or anger leads to problems as simple as heightened blood pressure, irritability and negative coping mechanisms as well as mental health problems such as depression, rage and addictive behaviors.

Pain and anger are clear messages that something needs to change; when exercising self-control and practicing careful, objective analysis, the right course of action toward constructive and lasting change that fulfills our needs will become clear.

Often in recovery, addicts and alcoholics harbor pain, frustration and anger over life situations, the right course of action to effect change is seeking treatment and getting sober.

The feelings of resentment, self-pity, anger and hurt over past situations and present challenges can be detrimental to the alcoholic in recovery, these will be the biggest triggers for old behavior.

Part of the healing process is forgiveness of others and self and learning to let go.

Holding onto resentment is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned; it is a burden and oftentimes for addicts and alcoholics, it has been an excuse to continue to use.

Learning to let go of anger and resentment in recovery is a process beginning with sobriety and a willingness to seek help with the hurt and anger of the past. It is breaking out of one’s comfort zone and taking back the power to choose how people and circumstances will affect us.

The freedom gained in letting go is empowering, making room for the future and consciously choosing peace within oneself.  

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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