May 5 • 3M

89. Letting Go Of The Process Itself

Not everything has to be recovery.

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Are you trying to frame every thought you have and every thing you do within the context of recovery? Are you trying to get recovery right and working overtime to make sure that every waking moment is full of productive recovery stuff?

You can stop doing that. It’s not helping you.

We talk all the time about learning to let go. We learn to let go of the rope and allow ourselves to “fall into the abyss” of insanity, death, or permanent broken-ness. We let go to learn that there is no abyss.

Well, sometimes we have to let go of the letting go. Getting glued to recovery and completely wrapped up in to the point where you are trying to relate every last part of your life to getting better or not getting better is not helping you in any way. That’s counter-productive and can lead to becoming frozen by your need to not be frozen.

This is especially true for those of us that are dealing with the need to think obsessively, analyze everything, and ruminate on everything. If these are some of your thinking habits, it can be easy for you to you caught up in the mistaken idea that you should keep learning, asking, reading, refining, testing, analyzing, and measuring your recovery. You can’t. And shouldn’t.

Why am I saying this?

We do not learn to recover. We learn to do things that teach us lessons that lead to recovery. The things we do start to look quite a bit like just doing life again. So in the end, we are not really doing recovery or learning how to get better. We are doing life, and along the way that doing means we get better. The “better” is a happy side effect of doing life even when you’re sure you can’t. In this light, you have to stop looking at recovery as a task you must complete or a box you must check so you can do life again. That’s backwards. We live again, little by little, so that we get better.

See the difference? It’s really important.

So when you feel overwhelmed by recovery because you’ve been trying to manage and micro-manage and predict and measure every last shred of it … stop. Let go. Let go of the process, and just do life. Whatever happens, happens. Because that’s what life looks like for non-anxious people anyway. When you are “recovered”, that’s what you’ll be doing again.

Let go of the process sometimes. Take a break and go live to the best of your ability. Because as it turns out, even when you are not trying to recover, you are probably recovering anyway.


Have you listened to this week’s episode of The Anxious Truth podcast? Check it out out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or my website and YouTube channel.