Letting Go

In this blog post there are three short videos, all on the theme of Letting Go.  Although it is natural to focus on the drinker, how much they are drinking, how often, when they will come home, what state will they be in, etc, unfortunately it doesn’t help.  It doesn’t help the situation, if you focus more on the drinker and the drinking, it does not change it one bit.  It also doesn’t help you either.

However bad the problem worrying about it will only make it worse. Practise the habit of ”letting go” (make a list of your concerns if it will help). Decide to put these worries out of your mind for one hour. Stick to that decision and push them away every time the anxiety comes back. For this hour you are practising (perhaps for the first time?) the art of “letting go”.

“Letting go” takes practice but it is positive to learn how to do it. “Letting go” says I will push away these worries and not let them cling to me so I carry them around. Anxiety can feel huge, but practicing letting them go reduces the size of our worries. Don’t be disheartened. There is a saying here in the UK ………….”Practice makes perfect”.

Much of what we worry about never even happens. Living with a problem drinker can produce what some call hyper vigilance, always scanning the horizon waiting for the next crisis. Sadly and ironically, this can drain us of the very energy we may need if a drinking crisis arises. Make a decision today to meet trouble only and if it comes our way, not anticipate it before it actually happens.

If you found these videos helpful leave us a comment below.

8 Replies to “Letting Go”

  1. Thank you so much Lou and John, for your pragmatic yet kind words of encouragement. Your blogs are wonderful.
    I am realistic about how things could be again, however for the last few weeks since I came across your site, my life has changed very much for the better. I do not worry so much, I am less hyper vigilant and allow myself to have fun. If things return, as they may do, I will not fret so much and just get on with MY life.
    My husband has also started running John and enjoying a new phase of life. Good luck with yours.
    Edit or use some of my words if you wish, but not my full name or email address please.
    We are both professional people and keeping this secret is important though exhausting!

    1. Hi Sally
      Thanks for your kind comment. I’m so glad that things are better for you and also that things are better for your husband too.

  2. Thank you both SO much for your words of wisdom and the positive messages. You are an enormous help to me ,

  3. This was very pertinent for me today. Not living with my drinker has brought some relief but a whole new set of anxiety. Learning to just enjoy the peaced and let go of my thoughts around what is happening, will he turn up for my daughter or be drunk and not come at all? I cannot control these things but my worries do invade more frequently than is useful. Ill use the tips this week. Thank you for the insights.

  4. I have only just joined and have been watching a couple of the videos. Jon has already helped. He said his partner was always looking/worrying about when he was going to drink again- I do the same -I should be more positive when my partner does go without a drink regardless of how long. Stop looking for him to fail and ramming it in his face.

  5. Thank you John and Lou for what you do. Sometimes when I’m feeling anxious and feeling alone just listening to some of your videos makes me feel a bit better as it’s so clear that you understand what it’s like living with an addict. When things get a bit too much I take the kids and the dog and go for a walk or go to the beach. That usually makes me feel calmer and that I can cope. My husband has just started 1 to 1 sessions with John and is talking very positively about it so that has given me some feeling of hope. I was feeling pretty hopeless before. I try to remind myself to let go, in that I can’t make him stop, and I don’t monitor what he’s drinking either as that causes me more stress. After joining Bottled Up I’ve also tried to be more positive towards him. I had become very cynical and found it hard to give him a positive response when he talked about addressing his drinking as I felt I’d heard it all before and nothing had changed. It’s not always easy as I still have a lot of anger and resentment, but I’ll keep trying. For both of us though, Bottled Up has given us hope. So Thank you.

  6. Catching up and just watched Letting Go videos.
    As the Mother of binge drinking abusive, aggressive 37 year old son living at home and sister of a 47 year old man who is an alcoholic I spend my whole life waiting for the next thing to go wrong. Brother nearly died last Xmas and still drinking, the worry is immense.
    I found your videos very helpful and they made me realise I do need to try and let go as my own health is now beginning to suffer. Thank you.

    1. Hi Ann

      Thanks for sharing that. Yes, we totally agree, the families of drinkers need to care for themselves and one of the ways to do that is to let go.

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