Tools for Recovery: Let Go and Let God Box

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:

  1. Want to control things because I fear what I think might happen if I don’t.
  2. Like to control because I am attached to the favorable outcome, my way.
  3. 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.




Sobriety is a Lifelong Process

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*From the Sober Courage mailbox*

“I started thinking, “Is this the song that never ends for me?”, or is it me?

On one hand, I had to take a real close critical look at myself and my patterns, and intrinsic behaviors, and on the other hand, I had to take a gentler look at my whole life up until now, what I have been through, survived, my personal accomplishments, things that I love about myself, and look forward to, as a sober and clear human being.

When it comes to relationships, ending them sometimes is simply necessary to regain strong personal and intimate “footing”, instead of habitually “goat-pathing” our way, looking for the easiest and most comfortable paths to “wear out”, that never seems to get us anywhere.

Even when ending a relationship feels “better” on most levels, I have still gone through the grieving process, sort of still am, but just like alcohol, I won’t let myself relapse back into that relationship, or start another.

Our lives are important! Who we are and what we want and need will always be slightly mysterious, a journey of self-exploration has many different paths, and with that, I’m sure, will come a lot of growth and many personal changes.

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Drinking for 35yrs. of my life, I learned many ways to be what people wanted me to be, to “slink” in and out of situations like a chameleon, always feeling inside like a blank piece of paper, living off of appearances and manipulations, self-doubt, fears, and insecurities; now I have committed myself to sobriety and I know throughout the journey ahead of me I will grow, some things won’t be the same, or feel the same, I WILL CHANGE.

I think people addicted to alcohol including me, are very complex people, always in the “habit” of adapting and “shape-shifting”, so new discoveries will create change, in ourselves, relationships, and environments. It’s sort of inevitable.

I ADMIRE YOUR COURAGE. Be confident in your change, IT WAS INEVITABLE. Embrace every new day of freedom, and grow.

This blog a great read, and something I can share with my wife so she understands what I’m going through. Sober nine months now (fist bump), and I didn’t even know I was on the pink cloud. I experienced a perfect state of euphoria up until now. While still attending meetings, I got into the mindset that sobriety is easy now, life is great, I’ve gone through the steps, and I don’t really need to read the big book. These are dangerous assumptions to make.

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God blessed me with a person from my past contacting me whom I needed to make amends to. She forgave me but with her life in shambles, I took it upon myself to help her. My ego popped up out of nowhere and I started feeding off her emotions.

My own emotions came back quickly and I dealt with an overwhelming sense of guilt and remorse for all my actions in the past. I started to combat this by boosting my ego even more. Scary right? Needless to say, I slipped back into my addictive mindset. While I didn’t drink, I can see how toxic this is and how if continued could lead to a relapse. The good news is that my sponsor kicked the crap out of me (we need tough love sometimes), and combated all of the “buts” I was giving him.

So here I am, a wave of emotions, but I know what to do. Read the book, go to God, attend even more meetings. I’ll get back on that cloud and I’m doing what I need to do. BUT, falling off the cloud certainly is traumatic, and it’s incredible how fast our character defects can creep back up if left unchecked. Sobriety is a life long process and I’m doing what I need to. God bless you all and happy recovery!”




Friday Night Pep-Talk: Don’t Drink No Matter What!

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Happy sober Friday once again y’all. Hope you had a good week and are already to unwind, alcohol free.

Today, I am going to unwind by letting it all out, and maybe you had a rough week too and need to unwind also, huh? Well, grab your pen or keyboard, and lets get it all out! Writing out my frustrations has often proven to be a great tool against picking up that drink! Once all the crap is out of my head, I no longer have to dwell on it. I can let it all go, and move on!

So, here is the description of my crazy week – it was crazy! Crazy in my head, crazy at home, and crazy at work! Just all crazy, and I am not even PMSing! Ha! And guess what? I am still sober! How is this possible!?

I just don’t drink no matter what! Yep! No matter what! That means when my work gets nuts, and deadlines are fast approaching, and God forbid our #1 guy is on vacation, and people have attitudes, (or maybe I have the attitude ?), and the work is all piling-up and I don’t know what is coming next, and from where, and I can’t imagine how I’m going to get it all done, I don’t drink!

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That means that when I spend three sleepless nights all because I have let my ego take control, and now I have all this swirling crap in my head about what I want to do when I grow up, and who am I really, and where is my life going, and why I haven’t done this and the other like my friends have, and how come I am not as far in life as they are!

That’s right! I don’t drink! I use my tools!

I had to pull out all my tools this week, especially the ones I picked up in the beginning, when I was counting the hours, and minutes till the stores closed so I could feel safe and not like I was just gonna run out at any second, to the nearest place that sold alcohol, and grab the biggest container of wine that I could find and poor myself a gigantic tumbler of wine! (because really, I didn’t use wine glasses!) Ha! That’s right! Oh, but I digress.

Tools! Sober tools are so important, because most of my life I had only one tool and I used it to deal with everything! But my tool broke long time ago and I have never been able to make it work again. So, I had to pick up new tools!

I often find myself singing this song that I found on YouTube, to help my five-year old with his frustration! It’s Elmo and Common in a video about breathing the monster out. (I known what you’re thinking, but give it a chance!) It’s really cool and easy to remember because it is so freaking catchy.

Watch “Sesame Street: Common and Colbie Caillat – “Belly…” on YouTube: http://youtu.be/_mZbzDOpylA

Here are some of my favorite tools:

Take lots of little breaks!

I take a walk, or a drive, or sit in the bathroom for a bit. Any time away from the given situation can ease my anxiety and frustrations.

Drink lots of water rather than lots of coffee!

I keep coffee intake to a minimum, because coffee will not help me stay awake when I am exhausted, instead it will drain me from the nutrients and the water that my body needs to deal with stress.

Repeat the Serenity Prayer, over, and over, and over!

Repeat a positive affirmation, a meditation or a prayer. It focuses me in a different direction and clears my head up from all the negative thinking.

Keep reminding myself that this is temporary!

No matter how I feel at a time, it does not last forever. I may feel like it does, right now, but it’s really does not, and nothing is ever the end of the world, and whatever uncomfortable, crazy period of time I am experiencing it does not have to be the entire day!

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Whew! Well, those are few of my main tools! Here is a few more form the Helping Guide

Healthy ways to relax and recharge:

  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.
  • Light scented candles.
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a comedy.

I hope you’re doing well, I hope you wrote out some of your frustrations, and I hope that you got a few more tools to add to your toolbox!

Have an awesome Friday Night, and remember: don’t drink no matter what!

What other tools have you used? Please share!