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Autumn Is a Time for Letting Go

Dr. Georgia Fourlas LCSW, LISAC, CSAT, Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

I live in Arizona so I do not get the benefit of seeing the beautiful fall foliage colors that some of the other parts of the nation enjoy. However, I see plenty of pics of autumn colors posted all over social media from friends across the country.

One thing I always think about in the fall is, “What do I need to let go of? What do I need to address so that I can grow more next year?”

I was thinking about that last week as I facilitated a group that included a number of brave participants. Each had long-term, successful recovery in one area, but were still working to overcome issues that had presented themselves in other areas of their lives.

Are You Holding on to Your Pain?

The more insight we have into ourselves, the more likely we are to notice additional things that we need to work on. It is not uncommon for people in recovery to find other areas of their lives unmanageable.

Sometimes, the issues are just part of everyday life; but, for people in recovery, everyday life issues can increase the risk of relapse and bring more challenges to recovery. Some of these unresolved issues might include other addictions, relationship or family issues, unresolved childhood or adult trauma, unavoidable grief and loss, money and work issues, long-held resentments, or simply complacency that has halted their growth in recovery.

We may think we need to hold onto some of our pain because we are not sure who we would be without it. We might also feel that we need certain behaviors to cope or survive. At times, we compare our current issues to those we already addressed and deem them “less serious.” Then, we procrastinate on the additional emotional work that we need to do. Regardless of what the additional issues are, it is important to address them.

Knowing When to Let Go

It is hard to let go of unhealthy or dysfunctional behaviors. And, even after we have let go of some of those behaviors, it can be even more difficult to humble ourselves enough to admit that we continue to struggle in other areas of our lives. It takes a lot of courage to let go of fear and to face the truth about ourselves, our lives, and our recovery.

I remember once hearing someone in recovery say that anything they ever let go of had claw marks all over it from continuing to hold on long after they knew they needed to let go. I can relate to this, and so can many of the workshop participants I see at the Rio Retreat Center and at The Meadows.

It is not necessary to hold on to suffering, to allow the ones who love us to suffer or to wait for the next bottom to come along. Once we are aware that help is available to us, it is our responsibility to utilize those resources. There are many options available for deeper healing, especially for those who are already on a long term healing journey.

These resources can range from inpatient treatment to attending an alumni retreat. The Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows offers many workshops and is honored to be the choice of many people in recovery who would like to take their emotional and spiritual well-being to the next level.

Take Some Time to Reflect

What is it that you need to let go of? What do you need to address so that you can continue to grow? What resources will you access to help you deepen your healing journey? What is stopping you?

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