One day at a time. Isn’t that really the only way we can live? When we were in our addiction, we were caught up in our past aches, resentments and fears. But that wasn’t enough. We had to worry about the future! What will tomorrow bring? Will I still have my job? What about a place to live?
Since I am inherently skeptical, this whole one day at a time thing puzzled me. After all, I was a being who only thought about what would become of me along with all the crap of yesterday. Well, I couldn’t change yesterday and had no control over tomorrow. Still don’t. Never will.
Before I got sober, I remember thinking about never being able to drink (or drug) again. That thought overwhelmed me to the point of anxiety. How would I function? Where would I hang out? What about my friends? All of these are serious questions to the still sick and suffering alcoholic.
The first couple weeks of my sobriety were a rough lot. I lived one minute at a time rather than one day at a time. I could not think about the future. Again, it was entirely too overwhelming. And holding onto the past was what got me in such a shit storm. So I focused on keeping my brain occupied. I should have kept a journal, but I didn’t. Instead I consumed mass quantities of Pop Tarts and watched the Military Channel. I only left my apartment to get cigarettes.
But it worked for me.
Of course these days, I do think about the future and there are times when the past creeps in or I see something that brings back a fond (or not so fond) memory. But when it comes to not picking up, one day at a time, one minute at a time, even one second at a time is the best way to live.
How do we live one day at a time in recovery?
We go to meetings. We get a sponsor. We read approved literature. We talk to people in recovery (this is so important). We share at meetings (this is something I need to do more). We keep our minds occupied with things besides drinking (or drugging).
I have met so many creative people in the rooms of AA. I have met many artists, writers and generally people who are doing what they want to do with their lives. How cool is that? Maybe they were always creative or maybe they found their creativity while living one day at a time.
- Recovery #1 (sallytudor.wordpress.com)
- Revealed: Addict’s journey from drugs hell to becoming a Harley Street rehab guru (dailyrecord.co.uk)