Letting Go of Dumb Old Ideas Won’t Leave Me Empty-Handed

Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely. (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58)

What are some of my old ideas?

  1. I can handle this . . .
  2. I need this . . .
  3. It doesn’t matter –
  4. It’s just this once . . .

Here are some facts I have proven to myself:

  1. I can’t handle alcohol
  2. Alcohol can’t give me what I need
  3. I matter to God and to others, especially in recovery (Matthew 10:31)
  4. It never has been just this once . . . one drink is one too many, and one drink never enough.

An old idea is God helps those who help themselves. But I have learned that the Lord God is near to the broken hearted and helps all who call upon His name. I’ve learned to tell God, yes, I believe, but please overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:24-28)

It’s an old idea to abuse my body, confuse my mind and dull my spirit with alcohol; it’s a new thought to take care of ME – mentally, physically, and spiritually. Here’s a new way: Don’t get



lonely or


An old idea is to nurse a grudge – to worry – to feel sorry for myself – or to fly off the handle. This has to go!  We learn from others in recovery to let go of resentments, and fears, self-pity and anger. Hanging on to these emotions for any reason greases the skids for a slip. So does indulging the notion that we are a special case, and so are our problems.

An old idea is to make sense out our situation ; a new idea is to quit trying to figure things out! Figure it out is not an AA slogan; Turn it over, is.

An old idea is sobriety is no fun. The new idea is that sobriety is about enjoying living. It’s about living differently, and making different choices. “We used to see problems as insurmountable; now we take responsibility for finding solutions.” (Emotional Sobriety the Next Frontier, p.7)

Finding solutions is a new idea. That means we will not still try “to find emotional security by being dominating or dependent upon others . . . through it we begin to learn right relations with people who understand us; we don’t have to be alone anymore.”  (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 116-117)

Letting go of our old ideas means not washing the windows in our lives with hammers . . .

Any thoughts gentle reader about old ideas you have relinquished, or new ones you are practicing in recovery?

Love in Christ,

Sober and Grateful


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Letting Go of Dumb Old Ideas Won’t Leave Me Empty-Handed