To LET GO does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
To LET GO is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
To LET GO is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To LET GO is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To LET GO is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
To LET GO is not to care for, but to care about.
To LET GO is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To LET GO is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To LET GO is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
To LET GO is not to deny, but to accept.
To LET GO is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.|
To LET GO is to fear less, and love more.
Letting go is hard to understand when it comes to people that we love. At first, it seemed almost impossible to free my mind of the obsessions over what the alcoholic was doing, whether she was drinking, how she was doing in recovery. I wanted so badly for her to get sober and be recovered. I wanted so badly that I forgot to look at what I was doing and how insane my behavior was.
Remember the old tug of war game? Well, I was pulling as hard as I could on the rope, trying to drag her to recovery through manipulative control tactics. In the tug of war game, if I pull hard on the rope, the other person will pull hard also, trying to offset my balance or pull me over the line. This analogy isn't unlike what happens when dealing with an alcoholic. I tug hard and pull with all my might but I meet with strong resistance. The harder I pull, the more resistance I'm likely to meet until one of us goes over the line or falls down. What I've learned is that I can't win a tug of war with the alcoholic.
I was well aware that something wasn't good in my relationship with the alcoholic. I knew that I wanted to do everything in my power to make her stop drinking. But what I was doing wasn't helping. I eventually became aware that maybe I was the problem, and that I was not happy with myself. As my awareness heightened, so did my discomfort with the life I was living.
And with my heightened awareness, I was ready to accept that I had a problem. I also began to accept that my wife had a disease which I was powerless over. I accepted that my attempts to control her alcoholism did nothing but make the problem worse. So I came to realize that she had a right to her own recovery, the right to walk her own path, and the right to make her own choices. I learned that it was my ego that wanted to take charge and tell another to live the way I expected them to.
Once I was able to accept that I could not fix or change another, I was able to take action through the steps of Al-Anon. Once I accepted that alcoholism is a disease, I no longer tried to control or cure it. Instead I began to use prayer, meditation, detachment, boundaries and self-inventory to change my own behavior.
It took me many years before I was fully aware that something was terribly wrong in the relationship, and it took me even longer to accept that the problem was alcoholism and to then get to the point where I could take action to change how I reacted to the alcoholic. I let go by understanding that I can't fix anyone else, God can, so I'll let Him.