Control in recovery is a complex and interesting thing. It’s important to try to release the need to control your life or your feelings. On the other hand, for many of us, getting sober is the first time in our adult lives we have control over our lives and our actions. While these can sound like contradictions, they don’t have to be. You can live with intention and still get clear on what you can and can’t control. In fact, knowing this will help you live more intentionally, because you’ll understand where to put your energy. When you’re ruminating about the past, wondering what life events will happen in the future, or wishing someone would act differently than they are, you’re focusing on things you can’t change. This would leave anyone feeling defeated, powerless, and perhaps angry or sad. I’m not speaking about this from a high horse; I struggle with these things a lot. I’ve found that it helps to practice mindfulness, through regularly meditating and pausing when I remember to do so . Often, we don’t notice when we’re engaging in toxic thought patterns because they’re so ingrained. When you regularly engage in mindfulness, you start to notice more often when you’re telling yourself stories that don’t serve you. This way you can pivot that energy into something healthier for you, like journaling, or making art, or calling a supportive friend. Ironically, channeling the energy you spent trying to control things that you can’t change actually gives you more control. You get to decide how to take care of yourself in that moment, and what will be useful for your life. There’s a lot of power in that. If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you get and stay sober. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.