Life on Life’s Terms
Here is a confusing paradox in early recovery: in the 12 step program, you are strongly encouraged to live one day at a time, to look back on the past but do not stare, and to celebrate all your new sober milestones. Which is great for morale, and generally seems to be a good way to live life in general.
And then you go home to your significant other (or anyone else in your life who is very angry with you). And while you are off learning this great new way of thinking, they, sadly, are not, and all they can see is all you are trying to forget… your mistakes, your missteps, your old behavior. They don’t give a shit if you have gotten your act together for the past 56 days… in their minds, what you have been doing for the past 56 days is what you should have been doing all along, and certainly does not eliminate the memory of all the bad decisions you have made 57 days ago and beyond.
So, how to dovetail these two seemingly opposite ways of viewing the present? Because that is currently life on a daily basis, and sometimes it seems like it would be easier to live in the meeting rooms than it does in my own home. And that is not a judgment against anyone; on the contrary, my instinctive thought process is in agreement with not letting go of the past.
This is another post that does not tie up with a pretty bow. I really do struggle with this issue, many times on a daily basis. For now, the only thing I can do is ignore opinions and judgments that do not jive with what I am learning in the program. Basically, what other people think of me is none of my business. Like so many things I write about, this is much easier said than done, and, in fact I am struggling with this as I write.
But I do believe this: as long as I do not use a mind altering substance, and as long as I strive to do the next right thing, then I am having a wildly successful day, and I can hang on to that in the face of any and all judgments.