Let go to move on

Pain can cause things to go wrong. Maybe you have walked or cycled actively for years, practiced sports at a high level, and you can't do all this anymore. How do you keep up the courage?

The difficulty of letting go

One of the hardest things to do is let go. Face the fact that something won't work now, or maybe never again. You see people getting older have trouble with that, but for people in pain it is often even worse. You have lost things at a fast pace, probably much younger than you had hoped. 

Letting go is difficult in different ways. One of the things I often hear is that people are afraid they won't care about anything when they let go. That it leads to a feeling of aimlessness and maybe even depression.

The opposite often happens: by facing reality as it is now, there is room to rebuild goals in life. Letting go of the fact that you can no longer do certain things does not mean that you no longer care about anything in life.

let-go-to-move-on

Sunk cost

All your life you invest in yourself in different ways. By this I mean that you have probably always put time and energy into activities that may not be possible now. Like, for example, certain sports. Or maybe you've had to learn all kinds of things that you'll never use again! One way that can help to look back on this is that this investment has now 'sunk'. You once took advantage of it or had to learn it, but at the moment you don't have much use for pretending that everything will be okay again tomorrow. 

Sunk costs are there to be left behind. It takes a lot of negative energy to keep busy with 'what could have been' or 'time wasted'. In fact, the things you have had to leave behind have probably taught you a lot in life. 

Tips for letting go and moving on

  • See if you can shift your attention to the things that do work, for example by a writing exercise in which you focus your attention on the positive points of your day 
  • Set yourself new goals that are achievable
  • Read how others have progressed with their pain problem 
  • Challenge your negative thoughts!  

12 February 2020 - 16:24

Louis Zantema

Louis Zantema

Louis is a GZ-Psychologist with a great passion for gaming. For him, a game training that offers therapy is the most valuable thing you can develop: especially for pain complaints, which are on the interesting intersection of body and mind. His aim is to make himself dispensable as a therapist.