ONE DAY AT AT TIME
Sounded like new age bullshit to me!
I was a single mother of two sons aged 7 and 9. Taking it ONE DAY AT A TIME?
I had to plan. I had shit to organise in my week ahead, tuckshop, play dates, drop off and pick up with the ex, supermarket shopping, cleaning, and recovery meetings. It felt like an irresponsible, naively romantic “mung bean “approach to life to me back in 1995 when it was first suggested to help me cope with all my life’s new changes.
I had chosen to abstain from booze and drugs after becoming an emotional train wreck, so I’d started a physical detox which involved attending recovery meetings, at least one a day, sometimes three. My marriage to the father of my two sons after 14 years together had ended. The sewerage from my childhood abuse was leaking toxic sludge into my sober sanity so I also needed to start therapy to emotionally detox. I was as busy as a bastard.
“So I just wake up every morning, pick my nose and see what the day brings? I will end up more chaotic than I did before I put down booze and drugs!”
I complained to Beautiful Barb. I was not happy, joyous and free by any stretch of the imagination in my early days of sobriety.
“Living ONE DAY AT A TIME doesn’t mean you don’t make plans. Of course you need to plan your week, you have a lot of responsibilities.” Barb explained.
“The secret of living ONE DAY AT A TIME, is to make our plans remembering to remain flexible. What I mean is don’t emotionally invest in your plans.” She stopped talking and looked lovingly at me noticing that her suggestion was taking a while for me to digest.
“Replace your expectations with preferences Love,” she continued …
“Of course we all would prefer that our day ahead goes according to our plans, however life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.” She gently explained.
“Holding onto expectations just leads us to disappointment and resentment and the ‘poor me’s’. And, once we start with the poor me mantra … poor me, poor me, pour me another drink soon follows.” Barb said these words to me back in 1995, but they are still a daily mantra I remind myself of.
These days this phrase does not confuse me, it calms me.
The adventure of living means that anything can happen to any of us at any time. Exciting wonderful stuff, and challenging difficult shit too.
For me the thought of never having another drink for the rest of my life back in 1995 just seemed like torture. How was I going to have any fun, or find any joy without my lovers booze and drugs? I honestly could not fathom how one would socialise, or why one would even want to without a drink, a joint or a ciggie or all of the above?
I heard myself many times say the classic addicts line ….
“I could give up if I wanted to, I just don’t want to.”
So it has been a while between drinks for me now. If I ever am pulled over by RBT and the police officer asks me when my last drink was, I must admit I do enjoy responding with ….
“I remember it well, October 11th, 1995.”
On the morning of October 12th I claimed my self-respect and sanity and put down booze, drugs and a three packet of cigarettes a day addiction. However I still choose to not drink, drug or smoke just for today.
The ONE DAY AT A TIME approach is a bloody brilliant philosophy to quell anxiety and encourage us to keep taking baby steps to reach our dream. It matters not if we are wishing to stop drinking, drugging, smoking, over or under eating, over or under exercising, spending, gambling, shagging like a hooker or living in a state of uncomfortable celibacy like a nun. If we don’t overwhelm ourselves with anxiety by worrying about the future or depress ourselves by obsessing over the past, but just stay in the day we have been gifted with, today (that’s why it’s called the present) we can stay on track.
ONE DAY AT A TIME our dreams will unfold, as days become weeks, weeks become months and then after 90 days we’ve completed our first season. After we have bedded down our first 90 days, we know we can endure another season, then after four seasons we have clocked up our first year. Once we have held to our dream through all of life’s seasons we have proven to ourselves we have got what it takes to keep going for another year.
The dreams that our hearts hold dear for our future are ours to claim, but we must be patient, kind and compassionate towards ourselves as we make our U turn away from self-neglect back to self-care.
So easy does it, just ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™