When I hold a death grip on everything in my life, and things do not go may way, I find myself stuck in fear and I try to control everything even more. But I know that I actually have very little and often no control over people, things and places around me. I only have control over me and how we deal with the given situations.
Over the last several years in my sobriety, I have noticed that things go much more smoothly when I give up control and when I allow them to happen instead of trying to desperately make them happen. Unfortunately, I often struggle with this, because although I am much better than I used to be, I am still a bit of a control freak. I often waste lots of good energy trying to plan, predict, and prevent things that I cannot possibly plan, predict, or prevent, but somewhere in side of me, I am convinced that I can!
I try to control things for many reasons, but mostly because I get a sense of security. I also:
- Want to control things because I fear what I think might happen if I don’t.
- Like to control because I am attached to the favorable outcome, my way.
- Feel that I am successful and get things done.
Of course control is wonderful if everything turns out the way I wanted it too! Unfortunately that doesn’t happen often and I am left disappointed and resentful.
However, the energy of letting go accomplishes much more than the energy of control.
When I am stuck and have a hard time letting go, I turn to my trusty old tool, the GOD box. Of course do not be frightened by its name, in case you’re like me — not religious, you can call it whatever you wish and it does no even have to be a box. The point is to be able to do something physical as you are turning it over, or letting it go, or accepting it.
Whatever I am struggling with, resentment or a fear, or a difficult situation, I write it on a piece of paper and I put it in the box to give it to God, or the powers that maybe – whatever makes you comfortable. Then I am not to think of that struggle again. When I feel like I have let it go, I can throw the paper away!
I have a God box that I received for my three year soberversary, from a dear friend. Inside of it is a little poem:
When your head starts to worry,
And your mind just can’t rest,
Put your thoughts down on paper,
And let God do the rest…
I love this tool, because I have a hard time doing things that do not include doing something physical; I can’t seem to do it just in my head or heart! But this works wonders! My box is empty right now, but I am getting ready to fill it up!
Go ahead, give it a try! Let me know how it’s working for you.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)*, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles.
*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using (Ref: NIAAA).