A common phrase in 12-step recovery language is “Let Go and Let God” (another word that is sometimes used is surrender). There are boatloads of links out there that can illustrate what this can look like, for both those who struggle with addiction and those who love those who are addicted. (A good example of an article for loved ones of addicts is here.)
For today, though, here are a few links from LDS wives of men who struggle with pornography addiction, sharing some glimpses of what letting go looks and feels like for them right now.
I thought about what was important in my life. I thought about the distractions. I said to myself, “I will eliminate the distractions.” Immediately, the thought came to me, “No, I will let them go.” It was such a simple yet peaceful difference. Elimination sounded harsh and difficult. Letting go sounded calming and uplifting and easy.
Let them go.
It is one thing to say, “I am detaching. I will not do x, y, z, anymore! I will not!!!!” And another entirely to DO it. It is one thing to say, “I will not let this consume me. I am letting go. I am done!” and something entirely different to actually LET go.
Yes, I have had good moments and I like to believe that I have been taking steps in the right direction, but after 6 months of turmoil, the past two days, I am feeling something MORE.
Yesterday I read a post on Dan’s blog that said, “…I realize that one thing satan never does is give me a feeling of peace.” As I read that, I strongly felt the Spirit confirming the truth of those words to my heart. No, indeed. Satan does not give us peace. He cannot give us peace. We feel confusion and rationalization and excuses and blame and a million other things, but never peace. Who DOES give us peace? The Savior taught in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Sparrow recently wrote a post about how God can make us enough when we come to realize how much we need His help. She quotes the words of a song by Matthew West called “Strong Enough,” some of which are posted below:
You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own
I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
For the both of us
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out
Here’s a past post by Jane that captures some similar sentiments:
I know I don’t worry about when the next bomb will drop anymore because I’ve let go of my fears about how badly that will hurt. I know I will be disappointed and hurt, but I also know that I don’t need to have anxiety about it. I can cope with disappointment and hurt, I have faith that I will be taken care of by a loving Savior and Heavenly Father. And I don’t mean they will care for me by curing my husband, they will care for me by giving me an endowment of strength and peace during those difficult moments.
And here’s one more thought from a mother of an addict (in this case, the addiction was to drugs and alcohol):
I thought about an analogy that seemed to fit my life. The analogy compares our lives to a tandem bike ride. Many times, I had placed the Lord in the back seat while I pedaled in front, blindly crashing into every obstacle and pleading for Him to pedal harder. But if I would let Christ sit in the driver’s seat, He would know the way and steer me safely through danger and tough patches. I just have to pedal the best I can and if I get tired, He will give me refreshment.
I finally realized what it meant to “give it to God.” I felt overwhelmed with a sense of His love for me and for my son. My fear and anxiety gave way to peace and trust in the Savior. My burdens were truly made light—something I didn’t think was possible.