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How Letting Go of the Past Can Resolve Anger

Freedom from addiction is partially based on forgiveness of yourself as well as people who have done you harm. Having the courage to ‘let it go’ is something many people struggle to achieve. Learn how to let go of the past to help resolve anger and stress.

It’s Hard Letting Go

One of the hardest things for people to do is to let go of some instance where a person has harmed the other, stolen, or verbally abused the individual. The list of hurts can be long and painful. Lack of forgiveness is an unwillingness on the part of a person to let go of hurt that is bothering the other person. By holding onto a grudge or hurt, that is merely punishing the other person. Holding onto anger also hurts the individual holding the grudge for the following reasons:

Stress causes disease

Withholding forgiveness and the decision not to ‘let it go’ can cause serious problems for a person. Stress overload is one of the largest producers of health related complications for people. Heart disease and stress are just two things which have been linked by healthcare professionals.

Resentment and Relapse

Stress caused by not forgiving a person can lead an individual with addiction back into using substances again. Relapse can occur as a result of stressful life events in order to escape problems. Powerful emotions can run high which leads to further harm and perhaps higher levels of stress down the line.

How to Forgive

Learning how to forgive is important to recovery. The memory bond is strong and nearly impossible to forget. If a memory was caused by another person, the best way to remove it is to forgive the person who caused it. Most people say it is impossible to forgive an individual who caused harm but hurt, abuse, neglect and other issues happen to everyone. Forgiveness is an effective way of letting go to deal more positively with the situation.

Recognize the need for change

Write out the person’s name, the wrong and any emotional attachments to the act

Make a list of major issues and don’t leave anything out

Write out “i now forgive (person) as if it never happened to allow space for transformation

Speak the words out loud

Sign and date the declaration

Every person will cope with letting go differently but some find it helpful to burn the piece of paper in effigy of the pain and hurt to signify letting it go forever. Whatever way is chosen, find the most suitable space to process letting go and start the healing journey.


Healing from addiction takes time. The road to forgiveness is also a journey that a person takes when deciding to become sober. If you are struggling with addiction, call Harmony Place at 1-888-789-4330. We are here to help guide and support you with therapy, treatment and programs that deal directly with substance abuse and provide a safe space for healing.