Although I am not a big proponent of thinking ‘long-term’ anything when someone first gets sober, I do believe that it’s something we can’t help but think about. When I first got sober I wanted to already be a year sober because I thought it would be easier than in the beginning.
I was fortunate enough to know I needed help to get sober. I needed to be pointed in the right direction, and I found help through a detox and rehab, which was similar to our Orange County rehab here in Costa Mesa, California.
The focus during my outpatient ‘stay’ was to remain in the day, truly a foreign concept. I’d spent so much of my days reworking the past and planning out the future, that I thought the concept was…well, just plain stupid. But, I tried it anyway. These people must know what they are talking about.
I’d be lying if I said one-day-at-a-time was easy.
I think we as a group, alcoholics and addicts, know we never have to drink again. But man, that seems like forever doesn’t it? What I began to practice, and I didn’t invent this, was to do it just for today. Just this little day that will eventually end with me going to bed and waking up the next day. I realized that if I kept this concept in my head, struggling with the abnormality of it, then I could do this. Some days were tough and I would find myself in bed, covers over my head and waiting for the answers to come.
They did. Clarity became to seep into my daily life. I prayed (to whoever would listen) and meditated (although many years later I still find difficulty in the stillness of it) each day. It’s a great ‘concept’ because what I learned way back then are the same building blocks I use today to get through the more difficult times.