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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery

Let Go of the Rope

I’ve been sober long enough to know that the Serenity Prayer is an amazing way to relieve stress when I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed. However, lately I’ve been struggling with all of the areas of life where I don’t have control. From COVID to sifting through fact vs fiction to my kids starting school remotely, it seems like there is just so much I don’t have control over. I find that anxiety is taking over my body as soon as I  wake up and try to get going. It’s like a tingling feeling that overtakes me as I open my eyes, and on those days, I know I am going to struggle. It’s at that moment everyday that I make a choice to either allow the anxiety to consume me, or rely on the serenity prayer for acceptance and realize there is very little I can actively do to change the way I feel. “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” (Big Book, p. 417). When I am able to accept my anxiety as happening, I am able to let go of the control it has on me just a little bit. When I am able to recognize that while I feel terrible today, I might not feel terrible tomorrow, I am more able to get through the day unscathed. At times, it is crippling. All I want to do is sleep because sleep quiets my mind. Or, all I want to do is exercise because exercising forces my mind to protect my body and relives it from the mental maladies I face. Yet, I can’t do either of these things all the time. I have children and a husband and a job that I must continue to nurture so that all are present on my good days.

I once had a doctor who taught me to “let go of the rope”. She said when things are out of my control, I have to imagine them at the other end of a rope, pulling as hard as they can. If I pull back, I am creating more tension and more stress on the rope. However, if I let go, the tension eases and I am able to take a deep breath and move forward. I have to let go of the rope more throughout each day than I am proud to admit, but I find that metaphor has really helped me in realizing what I have control over and what I don’t. If COVID is at the end of the rope, I have no control over how it impacts my life. I have to let go of that rope. If remote learning is at the end of the rope, I have no control over how that is going to go or what the teachers are going to do. I have to let go of that rope. If anxiety is at the end of the rope, I can exercise and sleep to ease the pain, but I also have to let go of that rope as best I can.

Learning what to do when I don’t have control has been a lifesaver in my sobriety. There is so much I don’t have control over right now, but all of it has to be handled one day at a time. Sometimes you just have to let go of the rope. 


Through telehealth and in person group & individual counseling, Choice Recovery works with those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Choice Recovery's evidence-based, whole-body approach to care focuses on the individual, not the disease. Choice Recovery offers intensive outpatient ("IOP") and outpatient services in the morning and evening. Our office is located near the Tempe and Mesa border in Mesa, Arizona. Choice Recovery accepts AHCCCS insurance including Mercy Care, Banner University, and others. For more information, please email us at or call 480-527-0337.


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