Grieving and letting go


by Richard K., SCA-San Luis Obispo, CA

Grieving and letting go

Many of us during various stages of our recovery in the
Program experience almost overwhelming bouts of sadness, with
tears flowing easily, or right there at eye level, ready to
spill. Sometimes, we’re at a loss to explain just what the
particular cause might be; we just feel it.

At a meeting, a member who’d been in the Program for well
over a year shared that he was feeling just that way… then
went on to relate how the night before, being alone, he had
entertained himself with his sex “toys” and video pornography
for the first time in months… and just how empty that
activity had left him. It finally dawned on him that he was
actually grieving the loss of one more “sexual crutch” that he
had relied on so heavily over the years. He’d lost another “old
friend.” He reported to a Program buddy next day that once he
realized that, the sadness left him and he felt a lot lighter!
And a week later, he boxed up his toys, brought them to his
meeting, and dumped them in the trash, with the full support of
the others; his LAST secret. One step closer to freedom!

Many of us remember, when first coming into the Program,
experiencing those feelings of sadness quite often as we let go
of one acting out activity after another. Sometimes the
feelings were so painful that we might have indulged an activity
once more to ease the pain for a little while, but, again, the
“highs” just weren’t there. We were recovering! Might not have
realized it, but we were recovering!

A lot has been written about how grieving is a necessary
process in order to go on to healthier living. We read about
it, but, like a lot of other things that others tell us about,
it just doesn’t sink in. Not until we go through such an
experience ourselves — even though it might seem rather
insignificant at the time — and suddenly a light comes on!
Wow! Look what I just learned!

So what can we say but that when those kinds of feelings
come over us, feel them, think about them, even savor them, talk
about them, don’t hide them…. and then, let them go!

A quote somewhere says, “The other side of grief is
freedom…” Enough said.

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