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.




What is the Pink Cloud & How It Affects Your Recovery

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Many people suffering from addictions are known to live in high extremes when they are using. This tendency often remains in progression after they become clean or sober. Thus, many people in early recovery go through a phase of extra-heightened happiness and excitement that often even creates euphoria about their newfound life in recovery. This phase in recovery is often referred to as the Pink Cloud.

The Pink Cloud often affects new people in recovery who are experiencing excessively optimistic outlook on their life and recovery itself. It almost seems like they are untouchable by anything negative and they seem to be wearing a pair of “rose-colored” glasses. Yet we all know that early recovery is quite difficult and it often throws many challenges our way as well as a rollercoaster of emotions that at times may be hard to manage.

There is much to learn about yourself once you decide to stop drinking and the good news is that most of it is positive. However, for many of us, a life spent in addiction means that we may not have a place to live, or a job, or any real means to provide for ourselves once we enter recovery. Therefore, this dramatic contrast of feeling that everything is just “perfect” may be dangerous at this time. These feelings may manifest themselves as a coping mechanism to protect the newcomer from the often-harsh reality of early recovery.

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The Pink Cloud feeling is not an undesirable experience itself; on the contrary, it is quite pleasurable. For many in recovery, it is such a great relief to be finally free of the destructive cycle of addiction, that nothing seems better at this time. In addition, after years of numbness, the emotions become alive once again, and life can feel wonderful. These are all emotions that the individual in recovery deserves to feel and experience for as long as possible. However, the concern is that it can become out of hand – people can become too high, and lose sight of what is important. The person can feel so confident that they become complacent about their recovery. There is also the risk that once the emotions stabilize, feelings of disappointment may be overpowering.

While being clean and sober is an exceptional accomplishment, it is important to stay on track with the recovery plan. People who experience the Pink Cloud period, feel temporarily great, but there are dangers to this overwhelming euphoria so it may be especially important to stay connected with your support network, continue working through the recovery process, and be aware of these three points:

  • Pink Cloud feelings will not last forever and a sudden return to the reality might be quite devastating.
  • Overconfidence may cause complacency about recovery, which then can lead to the risk of relapse.
  • Ignoring life’s problems during this time will not make them go away, they will only surface later and seem bigger than before.
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For those of us who have experienced recovery from addiction and have not experienced the Pink Cloud, it does not mean that we are doing recovery wrong, or that we are not exceptionally excited about our new life. It just means that our journey is a bit different. Therefore, when we see a newcomer in the Pink Cloud stage, we can be supportive and encouraging of their progress and offer hope and inspiration. At the same time, we may be in a good place to help the newcomer to beware of the Pink Cloud euphoria, which may be short-lived and painful once it ends. It is important to encourage the newly sober person to stay on track and work the program of recovery.

The ultimate problem with Pink Cloud is not the exceptional high that can be experienced early in the process, but it is the risk and fallout of not staying on track with the process to maintain sobriety. The great delights in early recovery are there to be enjoyed and cherished as much as possible when we stop drinking, as long as we also keep our focus on the recovery process itself.

Have you experienced the Pink Cloud phase in recovery? We would love to hear about it!




4 Tips For Managing Stress Sober

woman wearing black and white polka dot shirt
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I have had a couple of tough weeks and I have been trying really hard to stay positive and confident. But I also know that I need to talk about it and let it out because if I keep it in, it will lead me to a drink and I am determined to stay sober!

I am struggling with some unexpected change. It’s lots of change all of the sudden and it’s overwhelming. Things are happening that I have some control over, or maybe none, but I think that I do or that I should have control over. Things are happening that I don’t understand. Things are happening that I have never had to face before in sobriety and I have no idea how to deal with, so I want to run and check out! I actually feel physically sick and anxious. I am in fear.

EXCEPT, I need to, want to, have to, stay sober! No matter what! So I have to talk about it and ask for help and support. I have called few people in my network already and went to a meeting. And I have continue to do whatever is necessary to protect my sobriety! I know if I drink, things will only get worse. This, I have proven many times. Nothing good happens when I drink.

So, here I am, trying to get thru this, waiting for the dust to settle, for things to sort of go back to the normalcy or to become the new normalcy. Right now I feel uncertain, lost, and deflated. All I know is that if I just stay sober, it will all work itself out and that I will get to the other side with new knowledge and experience.

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I found this info which really seems to be appropriate to my situation at HELPGUIDE.org 

Stress Management Strategy

  1. Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
  2. Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
  3. Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.
  4. Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

I can truly relate to the above! And I know that I can get thru this and stay sober! I have to keep positive and continue to trudge forward. I know that tomorrow is always filled with promise.

How do you deal with stress in sobriety?