One Day At A Time
Posted by themiracleisaroundthecorner
I have had the opportunity to catch up on some blog reading, and an interesting theme came up for me, which is the mention of possibly the most common AA expression: one day at a time. Ask any person with long-term sobriety how they achieved this goal, and their answer will almost certainly be “one day at a time.”
I surprised to read that “one day at a time” does not work for people, that they have to commit to a lifetime approach to sobriety in order to be successful. I want to share a story, I may have mentioned it in passing before, but I will re-tell it, because it was the very first time that “one day at a time” really worked for me.
I have mentioned that the first few months of my sobriety were fear-based; in other words, I stayed sober because fear of consequences outweighed the desire to alter myself chemically. The next few months were probably, in looking back, “pink cloud” months. For those not familiar with recovery jargon, the term “pink cloud” refers to a period of time where the addict experiences a reprieve from the struggles associated with early recovery. I was choosing recovery for me, not anyone else, and I was proud of the accomplishments I was achieving.
Somewhere around the 6 month mark, I was having a completely uneventful day… nothing bad, nothing great… and out of nowhere the thought came to me: “Will I really not be able to have a champagne toast at my daughter’s wedding?”
Please bear in mind, readers, at the time of that thought, my daughter was 12 years old, so why I needed to ponder this at all remains a mystery.
As ridiculous as it sounds, I ran with that thought and spent a good few minutes depressed and self-pitying… woe is me! I can’t have a sip of champagne years from now! But this is how addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful, if you let these thoughts take root.
Fortunately, I did not, and after a few minutes of worrying about this future quandary, I pulled the “one day at a time” tool out of my tool box. I asked myself, “can you refrain from drinking or using a drug today?
I can remember where I was at that moment in time, the relief I felt was that palpable. All I had to do was get through today without ingesting anything mind-altering. As soon as I re-focused on the present day, my serenity returned. I can let tomorrow take care of itself, because all I’ve got is today.
Anyway, that is why “one day at a time” is a key part of my recovery: it is like a get out of jail free card, where the jail is my addictive mindset!
For the first time in recorded history, I am completely ready for the first day of school, and I still have 6 days to go!
Posted on August 28, 2013, in Recovery and tagged Addiction, addictive mindset, Alcoholic Anonymous, don't give up, just for today, one day at a time, Present day, Recovery, serenity, Sobriety, struggles, Substance Abuse, Thought, Time, Twelve-Step Program, worry, worrying. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.