All New Year’s resolutions are only ever about one thing: getting a fresh start. In some ways, that is the theme of every holiday and season. We quickly move on to spring cleaning. Summer vacations are about refreshing and reinvigorating. The fall has us gearing up for new seasons of TV and serious Oscars contenders, a new school season, and new work initiatives. Winter is a visible representation of everything being washed clean with a sheet of white in preparation for more new beginnings.
We are constantly in process of renewing and reinventing ourselves. This is somewhat natural as we are constantly in a state of growth. We are a different person today than we were yesterday. We go from childhood to adolescence, to young adulthood to leading a family to grandparenting to empty nesting to middle-age crisis to retirement. Life is a whirlwind of change and reinvention.
But along the way, we all collect a few roadblocks to renewal. It is different for everyone. We get stuck in different places. It can be difficult to get unstuck on our own. And we have to find help letting go of the old. To make room for our new, better selves, here are a few of the things we will have to let go:
It should go without saying that it is impossible to move forward in like with a chemical dependency. For the vast majority of people, shaking such a dependency requires more than simple willpower. Moving forward from addiction requires medical assistance. Treatment facilities and a doctor’s care are key ingredients.
But you have to clean up more than yourself. You also have to clean out your living space of drugs and drug paraphernalia. This challenge is even more difficult if you produce the drugs yourself. Fortunately, there are drug lab cleaning services that can come in while you are in treatment and do the job for you.
Chemicals can get into carpets, clothes, linens, even the walls. You might need to simply unload your personal stash. Or you might require a whole-home decontamination. The point is that you will need to do one of the most difficult things a drug addicted person can be asked to do. And that is to remove all traces and reminders of drug use from your environment.
In some cases, the same people who help remove articles of addiction can also help with the task of reclaiming the home from hoarding. The act of hoarding is not the result of a series of poor judgments. It is a failure of executive function. It involves forming unreasonably strong emotional attachments to things that are not that important.
You can’t just tell a hoarder to stop hoarding. They simply are unable to distinguish between important items and unimportant items. The act of separating a hoarder from her hoard is a delicate matter that has to be handled with a great deal of care and sensitivity.
A hoarder simply cannot meaningfully advance without letting go. Out with the old is a particularly frightening idea for them. In some ways, hoarding is the easiest compulsions to deal with because they can physically see what is holding them back, and what they have to get rid of. Other compulsions like the following are much more abstract:
Relationships, even toxic ones, can be among the hardest habits to break. Some people collect relationships like others collect vintage comics. The internet has made it even easier to collect meaningless and unproductive relationships.
Such relationships take up a lot of time and emotional energy without providing any positive benefit. These relationships can hold you back by being anchors of discouragement that make you feel inadequate. Some people are so high-maintenance, you spend all your time dealing with their emotional needs.
But if you are going to move forward with your life, you have to clean out your address book at the same time you clean out the drugs from your system and the hoarded items from your home. A new life cannot have a successful start with the old life dragging behind and holding you back.
Some things are a necessary part of the continuous sense of you. But other things keep you from advancing to be the person you want to become. Cut those things loose to become the new you that all of your resolutions have been about.