Let’s Talk About Letting Go
One of the hardest things that I’ve learned over the last ten years while trying to get (but really, stay) sober, is the ability to let go. Sometimes this means letting go of control over how other people drive, sometimes this means letting go of people and relationships that I may not yet be ready to, or sometimes this means releasing old ways of living and behaviors that no longer benefit me. Either way, no matter what it is I’m needing to let go, it’s never really a comfortable process. In fact, sometimes it can be quite painful. But that doesn’t make letting go bad. Haling can feel hard and heavy too, but it’s actually quite beautiful. Just as letting go is, with is often simply part of my healing process.
Recently, I’ve had to let go of what feels like a lot. But what I’ve been able to grab onto instead, has been pretty profound. During my hospital stay almost two months ago now, I had to let go of the fear around medication and putting it into my body (I know, I know “but Danny, you used meth!” is absolutely appropriate here – and yes, because I am an addict). I let go of the shame around saying that I’m taking an anti-psychotic (Abilify) and embraced the change it could bring. I started to lean into anti-anxiety medication and the moments of silence it brought. Two things that felt hard to do and that I had pushed against for years, because of my own internalized shame. But when we let go of shame, we make more space for other things, like healing and health.
The other thing I struggle with letting go of, is people. I’ve gotten comfort letting go of other people’s opinions of me, because really they are none of my business. And as a public figure, a lot of people have opinions about me. If I allowed those to take up space, I wouldn’t have any space or spoons left. But letting go of people, especially those whom I love and care about, it still a deep internal struggle. Maybe it’s just the actual grief process that I’m feeling and labeling as a struggle, or maybe it’s the absence felt. But what I have learned over time, is that when we don’t make other people our everything, then it’s not debilitating when we lose them. The only person that I will ever allow to be my everything, is my child. Other adults I will love deeply and cherish my relationships with, but when others become my everything, is when I’m losing myself. This makes the process of letting go a bit easier, although still painful.
But the other most important piece of letting go relationships with others, is this deep knowing and trust that they will come back to you when the time is right. There are certain souls who we connect with who we know we have met before (soul mates) or even on rare occasions, are our other half (twin flames). When I cross paths with these loves and old friends, I fret less when they leave because I know they will be back, one day. And in the mean time, I get to do this really beautiful work on myself so that when our paths do cross again, we can sit with and show each other our growth.
Sure, it’s sad to say farewell for now. But letting go and letting the universe take the lead is when the true magic happens. Some the the hardest things I’ve had the work through in my life have come to a turning point when I let go. Growth and healing is hard work, some of the hardest work actually. We get to use the teachers (some call these monsters) inside of us as tools for growth, rather then passing them on for more generations to come.
Today I’m interested in growth and walking through the grief that comes with letting go. What are you going to let go of today, my friends?
Danny (and Wilder)