Alison's Insights

Making Sense of Addiction Recovery in Midlife One Slow Deep Breath at a Time

Letting Things Go

I tend to get easily frustrated with things others may consider as seemingly minor. I know this to be true because I’m often on the receiving end of the words like, “C’mon Alison, you’ve got to let that go.”

Easy to say. Hard to do.

I get the idea. I’m supposed to shift my attention away from obsessing about whatever is frustrating me and focus on something else. In essence, just forget that I’m irritated, short-circuited and/or annoyed.

Well that’s fine in concept and I’m sure there are people all over the world who are able to instantaneously flip a proverbial light switch in their head and completely obliterate any notion of disturbing thoughts. I’m not one of those people.

The same holds true for other emotions. For example, when I’m sad about something and I’m told to let the feeling go because I needn’t feel that way, I can’t just suddenly not be sad. That’s like expecting my car to go from 60 to zero in the blink of an eye. Transitioning from one frame of mind to another takes time.

Yet I heard something today that helped me realize what actually is being suggested when I’m told to let something go.

I was investigating the website of Dr. Jennifer Nardozzi (, a clinical psychologist providing individual treatment for women with eating and body image issues and who I consider a dear, deeply respected friend. Upon signing up for her newsletter I received a free relaxation MP3 as a gift. (To note, she offers this to everyone who signs up.) As soon as I launched the recording, her gentle, calming voice settled my mind and awoke my heart.

In her message she offers an idea about the process of letting something go. She suggested what is actually needed isn’t a matter of dropping but rather releasing.

Bingo! I don’t need to stop and start in an instant. I can release things slowly not drop them immediately.

If I’m feeling worried, fearful or frustrated I can let go of whatever is burdening me by releasing elements of the issue little bit by little bit. Eventually I’ll find myself disengaged from the problem entirely.

Well now, I know I can do that. How do I know? Because that is precisely how I got from living in addiction hell to having a life that makes sense. I simply released myself from that which did not serve me anymore, one day, one moment, one slow deep breath at a time.

Thank you Dr. Jen Nardozzi. Once again you helped me shift my perspective and grow in my awareness.

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4 thoughts on “Letting Things Go

  1. Cyndy on said:

    I love Jen Nardozzi. She truly cares and she is very creative and practical when helping to find solutions. She is very literally a life saver. She also has a very soothing, calming voice and manner which is not patronizing. A very genuine person. I cant say thank you enough to Jen Nardozzi.

  2. Brilliant! It’s amazing how the change of one word can switch our entire perspective! “Release” allows it to still be there, just not within our grip. It doesn’t make the feeling wrong. It allows us to redefine our relationship to that emotion.

  3. Thanks for your insights Cyndy and Sara! So great to know you both connected with the message and the source for my course correction.

  4. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. Not only did I not know about Jenn’s newsletter, but I am having one of those profound “I get it” moments you speak of and shared about. The whole letting go by means of “flipping a switch” idea also overwhlemed me and I have since resigned myself to the fact that I would be an eternal obsessor. This gradual “Releasing” of that which does not serve me, feels so much more reasonable, realistic and comfortable. Thank you again for this post!

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