Few people desire to have addiction issues, but many people who experience significant trauma find their solace by developing controlling behaviors. In fact, the earlier in life someone experiences a traumatic experience, the less experience they have to handle this problem in a good way, which means they may respond in an unhealthy way. For instance, if a younger person experiences physical, sexual or even verbal abuse, then she probably lacks the emotional maturity to respond in a positive manner, which means she may find an unhealthy way to cope with her pain.
If someone does not know how to manage his own emotions or lacked control over the trauma he endured, then he may try to control every other aspect of life to avoid such problems in the future. Unfortunately, some people even try to control other people’s actions, which can jeopardize relationships, cause issues at work and lead them to lash out at others if unexpected issues occur. In short, letting go or learning to let others be in control can be a tough lesson for some, but a rewarding one nevertheless.
How Letting Go Can Improve One’s Recovery
Many addicts in the early stages of recovery look to control every aspect of life and people around them, because they think they can avoid contact with and discussion about drugs if they are in complete control. In other words, they aim to alleviate any temptation to relapse, but this behavior can lead to abusive relationships, relapse, addiction struggles and intense fear. The following problems can result from controlling behaviors:
- Failed relationships
- Unproductive careers
- Isolation from others
Recovering addicts who display controlling behaviors often inflict their emotional pain on others, typically those they love most. As a result, they tend to cause failed relationships, unproductive careers and even isolation as they alienate other people. However, deep under these controlling behaviors is a person who feels extremely overwhelmed, physically and emotionally drained and who lives in fear. Such recovering addicts are so scared of relapse that they think they can avoid it if everything goes according to plan. Due to their fear, recovering addicts may try to control numerous aspects of life, such as their eating habits. Unfortunately, this is the way people end up addicted to drugs, because they want to control their behavior and emotions by abusing drugs.
In short, learning to let go of the past and fears for the future can be an overwhelming thought, especially for recovering addicts. Addiction consumes so many aspects of life that recovering addicts will grasp tightly onto what they can control, because they can now see how their controlling behaviors damaged their happiness and relationships. However, if recovering addicts let go of some of the control they cling to, then they may experience any of the following benefits:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved relationships
- Better quality of life
When someone fears relapse and events that are similar to a traumatic event that she survived, she will try to control every single element of life to prevent something bad from ever occurring again. This constant need to be in control can cause health issues, such as high blood pressure that can lead to heart attack or stroke. Also, relationships are often the first aspects of an addict’s life that suffer due to control issues.
Loved ones often are the most impacted by addiction, because it becomes exceedingly difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with someone who lies to and manipulates others to obtain drugs. Lastly, as relationships crumble and stress increases, an addict’s quality of life will become terrible. In short, many problems can easily result from addiction, but that means that sobriety can heal these issues.
Letting go of some of the control that you think you have over life will not only ease some of the burdens you carry, but it will also allow other people to prove you that they have your best interests at heart. While you are in recovery and trying to reconnect with your loved ones, they can show that they are aware of the struggles you are going through and will support you through them. Although it may seem like a good idea to be in total control of everything that occurs, learning how to step back can give you a new perspective and the opportunity to embrace a moment. In fact, by surrendering control, you will find that you can make choices only for yourself and your recovery one day at a time.