Of the things to let go

Whatever I write has usually a practical solution, or resolution, or at least an end. This one does not. As I struggled trying to give this entry some sense, I realised the reason why it was so difficult to round it all up was because for me, letting go, is a work in progress, in fact is a skill I am still developing.

I have never realised I held onto so much. Clothes, shoes, friends, memories, habits and fantasies. When I was packing my flat to move to Nicaragua I found the exercise cathartic and sad. It felt like on every bag there was a part of me I was putting to one side. By the end of the weekend, I honestly could fit my entire life in 18 kilos of luggage, of which at least 5 were moisturisers.

Releasing has played a great part on all the changes I have decided to go through, if one can decide such things, because most of the time life just slaps layers upon layers of challenges that are there to generate a change, but they ultimately get ignored, until the burden is too great.

I had plenty of chances to light down in life. Never paid any attention to those messages. I just kept hoarding.

I am yet in the process of discovering how to let go of things that no longer serve me. All these podcasts I listen to, all the mantras chant and hear, all the books and teachers I come across, claim that letting go is the answer to stop most suffering. But I feel like letting go is to ignore people, brush situations off, forget, being mean and mainly losing hope. Hope that things can change, get lighter or get better. But this hope, I realised, came hidden behind a mask of control.

I guess seeing the good side to everything sometimes gets out of hand for me. I can give up on a yoga shape that’s hurtful, walk away from jobs or hang up the phone to my mum when the conversation is going nowhere.  But the moment feelings get involved, I spend ages on the spinning wheel, aimlessly and lost.

Following to the Book of Joy, a series of conversations between the Dalai Lama and Rv Desmond Tutu, the core of letting go is not quitting, is accepting. Hmm, after all this time trying to get an answer and getting my thoughts organised in a way that will make sense, the answer was just right in front of my eyes.

Accepting things for that they are is key to liberation and to light down the weight. But, imagine how that goes for me: a control freak/recovering perfectionist/hopeless romantic/addictive and anxious personality gal.

So, when I started practising sobriety on 26th January 2017, I did it out of total conviction I could re-learn to drink and establish a healthier relationship with social boozing. Only a couple of glasses of wine during an especial dinner couldn’t harm me, right? Even though I did have a drink here and there, the first year went well.

I held on to that hope for 437 days. I haven’t reached out to my Serenity Prayer much since I moved to Central America, but at the end of February when things got challenging, I found myself reciting it again and again.

“Dear God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

In the mist of being afraid to be seeing, I started getting drunk again. Three out five days I was wasted. I said some very stupid things and did another bunch I wish I could take back.

I was holding onto the possibility that I could let go of my need to numb, hide and be cool, and instead I could dance, be joyful and go a little crazy with a couple of rums and take myself home in a state of sanity.

Now after 6 weeks of that “relapse”, I faced a truth I always knew but didn’t want to surrender to:

 (I) admit (I am) powerless over alcohol, that (my) (heart) (is) unmanageable when I drink.

This is my own version of the Step # 1 to Recovery from the Alcoholic Anonymous Programme.

Wanting to control my addiction was getting bigger than the healing itself. I started a new day count on 8th April 2018 of complete sobriety. No excuses. No “one little drink will be ok”. That day, I started truly letting go of hopes that no longer serve me. That day, I accepted that a little help will do wonders to heal me. That day, I accepted my party shoes will have a different shine and that the road ahead may bring new alliances and break old friendships and habits.

I struggled with identifying myself as an alcoholic, but instead of focusing on the self-proclaimed title, I put my hand on my heart to admit I love the habit of drinking and that for me is incredibly difficult to introduce social boozing in my life and not stumble down the slippery slope of binging.

My body and my heart deserve a chance for clarity and genuine fun, for them to dance, being silly and run wild in the freedom of sobriety. I want to feel and be present.

So, today, today…  I’m not going to drink.

Special thanks to two exemplary women, Jack and Stephanie, who inspired me to step up, show up and call things by their name!



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