If you are new to the world of recovery, you are ready and willing to leave your addiction behind and embrace the healing and hope that comes with sobriety. You will do whatever it takes to achieve this ultimate goal and do so by any means necessary.
You are excited and eager, but you are probably scared shitless. Anybody that has worked hard to achieve substantial clean and sober time will tell you of the obstacles and struggles they have encountered in their journey towards lifelong recovery.
It can definitely be an adventure.
It isn’t anything you haven’t heard already: recovery is a commitment and you have to push your chips to the center of the table. For many addicts, the thought of recovery being “forever” is the most overwhelming thought they will experience.
For years, you had spent your days focusing your energy towards obtaining your drug of choice and you made it the centerpiece of your life. The thought of giving it up entirely is frightening.
To counter these thoughts, addicts from all walks of life have adopted a simple saying: one day at a time.
One Day At A Time: What Does It Mean?
If you have any clean and sober time, you probably have heard the phrase one day at a time. It is probably the most common saying around the tables of 12-step groups and other similar sober support groups.
In early sobriety, many alcoholics and addicts struggle to make it through the day. When we first get clean and sober, our emotions feel new and intense, and it can be extremely difficult to process those feelings while trying to focus on recovery and living day-to-day.
By taking your recovery one day at a time, you are focusing on what is happening right now. From the time you wake up to the time you go to bed you’ll remember all the reasons you can’t give up on yourself and you take whatever action is necessary to get through the day without using.
You will go to meeting, call a sponsor or other supportive people in your life. you will pray, meditate, make a gratitude list, forgive yourself by not drinking; whatever you need to do, you will do it. If you have to live one hour at a time or even a minute at a time, do it.
The more you are able to keep yourself in the now, it will become second nature and your recovery will start to get easier. You will no doubt run into challenges, but being able to keep things in perspective will make those challenges easier to manage.
You will often hear those with substantial clean time say things like make it ’till midnight or easy does it to keep themselves on course.
Putting It Into Practice: How to Live One Day At A Time
What are ways that you can live one day at a time in your recovery? Whether you are new to the recovery game or have some significant clean time, there are some simple tips that can help you along your journey:
- Don’t feel that you have to solve all of your life problems at once. If you are familiar with the Serenity Prayer, say it often.
- Take a little time out of your day (maybe 10 minutes or so) to read, reflect and meditate.
- Learn to take care of yourself: exercise in moderation, learn to eat right and take pride in your appearance.
- Each day, make a plan for yourself. You may not follow it to the letter, but you will make it.
- Don’t make any hasty decisions.
- Try and do one good thing or deed each day.
- Believe that you can be happy and it is your right to be happy.
While there are certainly more ways to live in the present, these tips will provide a solid foundation to build a solid path for your recovery. For more tips on making the most of your recovery, be sure to check out Sober Nation’s Recovery Blog.
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