Letting go of worry has been one of the coolest and most unexpected joys of sobriety. I mean, I still worry, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t paralyze me as much or as often as it used to. The whole cycle of addiction that I experienced regularly- the build-up to a binge, the binge itself, the inevitable blackout, the fear afterwards, the drinking to alleviate the fear, rinse and repeat- that cycle really fucked with my head. It’s such a revelation at times I can’t even believe it. It’s such a relief that that person isn’t really me, or at least not all of me.
We are so much more than our drinking selves.
It is true that many people drink drink drink and still maintain decent lives. They go to school, get degrees, get married, have families, buy nice things, travel, etc. They are living lives that are happy for the most part. They are together-ish, at least. But…they never ever ever reach their true potential. Your, their, anyone else’s potential is not for me to ascertain, but I am betting that there are a lot of people who never reach their potential, or seek their authentic selves, because they are caught in a cycle of addiction. Or just drink too much on a regular basis.
I know that this was true for me.
I am just now able to begin to start to find out my potential. It doesn’t have to be anything super spectacular, but it means being true to myself. Letting go of crutches that keep me from truly feeling, and therefore living my life in an authentic way. Finding balance so that I stop caring so much what other people think. Giving to others in a meaningful way- because I want to- instead of doing it because it is expected or I want something in return.
There are many paths that lead to the authentic self, but for me, letting go of all of that unnecessary worry is helping so, so much.
I thought I would share a few things that are actually working to help me stop over-thinking, over-analyzing and worrying about everything way too much. There are many more ideas to choose from, but this list is as much for me as for you- I want to be able to look back and see where I was during this time.
1. Check in with a reasonable person willing to honestly tell you if you are getting too worked up about this or that. Someone kind and laid-back, who also loves you, is a good choice. My husband is great at this. He doesn’t over-analyze so he can easily and gently tell me if I need to let something go.
2. Look for the root of the issue and express it in some way. Talk to the person, write it down, go tell your therapist, blog. Get it out of your head!
3. Write a gratitude list and focus on the positive.
4. Read this article. It is very simplified, but helpful at the same time. I read it earlier this week and was able to feel a bit more confident letting go of worry about what others think.
5. Remember that you are creating your reality and worry is blocking happiness. The universe is your playground, so enjoy it! Everything is okay. All is well. Choose a mantra and go with it.
6. Physical activity. Cleaning, exercise, a walk, a project that requires the use of my hands. I have been really into painting furniture, which is pretty physical even though it doesn’t get my heart rate up. It helps me concentrate on what I am doing so I get out of my head.
What works for you guys?