This simple phrase I’ve been hearing since I walked into the rooms of recovery. Today I realize it means just as much to me now as it did when I couldn't stop obsessing over a drink.
I am in my sixth year of sobriety and it's the first year I feel like I’m becoming awake, meaning I’m not self-medicating with behaviors, actions and character defects and I’m not constantly hiding or running. It's the first year I'm not completely numb. I’m making major life changes and my dependence on other people has shifted to my dependence on God, or at least the practice of it. I'm scared, constantly. But I'm still sober, and my recovery has given me tiny bits of courage I can grow from each day.
As winter approaches, I feel my depression set in. I wake up with racing thoughts and anxiety in my chest. How am I going to tackle this day, tomorrow, this week? I have so much to do, it overwhelms me, I can’t think straight and I’m terrified.
When my daughter naps during the day, I lay down with her and try to connect with God. I just did this and his message to me today was "one day at a time."
I lose my usefulness to myself and to others when I am living in all the things I need to do tomorrow and the next day. My joy and freedom is robbed when I'm not in this present moment. So how do I shift this? I don't know the exact formula or the exact answer but I do know that with practice, daily, or even moment by moment, I can rely on God. I can talk to him, always. I can trust him and share my most personal thoughts. I can ask him questions. I can ask him to keep me right here, in this moment, in this day. My brain can only handle one day at a time, one task at a time.
And it all sounds really great and easy as I wrote this down and read over it, but it's not easy, because as an alcoholic I am constantly battling myself in my head. I am constantly trying to be self-reliant instead of God reliant. It's simple but it's hard. I just keep having to remove myself from the equation and ask for God’s help. I know that for the rest of my life this is what I'll be doing. No amount of sobriety or health or happiness will ever make me immune or invincible to my destructive thinking, my character defects or my disease.
My goal now is to grow in understanding and effectiveness and my only aim is to be helpful to others. With continuous work with my sponsor, the steps, daily inventory, prayer, meditation, meetings, service, a practice of gratitude and living one day at a time I can continue to be the woman God wants me to be. And ultimately, I don’t have to be so terrified because God always takes care of me if I continue to do his work.
But all I have is today.
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