Embracing the Discomfort of Letting Go

Written by Blue Eyed Bird

In Recovery class, sometimes I have these beautiful realisations about letting certain things go. I come out fully motivated. The wind is blowing in my hair, its a fresh Saturday morning and I will take on the world. I believe that I’ll just choose to let go of anything that I wouldn’t choose when free. Just let go of behaviours, destructive thoughts, food fears, value of thinness then and there and I’ll be recovered.  I don’t mean to sound negative but realising there’s more to it than that has helped. Eased the pressure I put on myself and also the guilt. Realising that I’m not perfect and that Rome really wasn’t built in a day. That I need time as well. Realising that it’s not just about letting go, but also embracing self support, sitting through the discomfort, reassurance, repetition.  I’m currently trying to get my head around letting go. Maybe I’ll think differently about it in a month or a year. That has happened before in recovery. But to establish my own opinions and theories on letting go, I’ve got to do it first. To choose to do it. I think that’s the first thing that I’ve recently realized. Letting go is a choice. I thought that behaviours and anything conditioned would just fall away because I’ve been recovering for X amount of time or because I should know better or been told what would be helpful so I should just do it. So sometimes I panic. Sometimes I cling to my conditioned blankets because I can choose to. But if you change your perspective, it’s quite empowering to realize that YOU were the one who chose to let go of that conditioned behavior/person/belief. You went against what society tells you should be done and chose something light and free. You are choosing to take action, despite what the bully in your head may be shouting at you.

I was looking out the bus this morning and noticed this beautiful tall tree. It was at the side of the river and its orange leaves were just floating away from it. I noticed the bare branches. Then I thought of myself letting go. I thought that one must let go of something conditioned and embrace something free. And I still believe that this is the case. To let go of a certain behavior and embrace something fun and light like watching a movie, painting a picture, taking pictures of nature. But a new concept for me is letting go of people who just drag you down. That you don’t just replace them with another person. People who get their highs off of your sadness or discuss you constantly behind your back. People who are not on your list of people that matter but your condition tells you that everyone has to like you. Well back to my beautiful tree. The leaves fall off. The branches are bare. Does the tree panic? No, those branches are bare for a while. Patience is required. The tree nourishes and loves itself through the winter then the buds arrive. Beautiful leaves appear of different colours. The tree doesn’t panic when it is bare and stick the old leaves back on. Their time has passed. Ok I know I brought a tree to life but it just helped me realize that sometimes letting go requires patience not panic. I always used to think that the only discomfort in recovery might be due to my  body and the value of thinness. Letting go of people who suit your conditioned self can be uncomfortable. But are they on the list? Do they make you feel light? Or do they make you feel worse? Life can be challenging enough. In recovery, we are learning to hear our true voice and not the constantly negative bully in our head. Do we really need to be embracing other negative people just to stay comfortable? So rather than trying to straight away replace someone with someone else or clinging back to those people, why not embrace self-love? Embrace being your own best friend to learn how you deserve to be treated.  I guess what I’m discovering is that letting go isn’t so black or white. Its unique for the situation and sometimes the thing to embrace is simply your own self love. Sit through this discomfort to discover what’s on the other side. To see those flowers in Spring. So, right now it’s uncomfortable but I do believe it will be so worth it.

(Dear future me, I hope you’re smiling while reading this as you know how the discomfort was worth it).

Blue Eyed Bird