One day at a time adds up

I see a lot of bloggers debate the idea of one day at a time vs forever. I think both work.

When I started this journey I had ABOSLUTELY no plans to quit drinking forever. I felt my drinking was getting out of control, and my inability to reign it is frustrated and scared me. After my many secret plans to cut back on my own, I took the chance and declared out loud that I needed to quit drinking completely and was going to do it as a gift to myself for my 42nd birthday. I even made myself a certificate indicating this, which I would post here if I was more technically able.

Once I started down this road I went through all the usual stages. I felt relief waking up the next Saturday morning hangover free. I debated seriously giving up – telling myself I was making a big deal out of nothing. That a few drinks would be ok. That I was being silly. That insane inner voice alternated between pink cloud relief and addictive compulsion. I am not sure how I made it through those days sober. It was mainly fear and determination.

Eventually things settled down. And I began to notice the beauty of life around me. I started to realize I had created a shell of self pity and resentment around me. I felt hard done by, unloved, un noticed. And I was. But only by ME.

So I worked on finding a way to break down that wall. What I had thought was self preservations was really a self imposed isolation, where I could wallow with my wine. Without it I felt a huge freedom and relief.

Days went by. I didn’t count them. Somehow it scared me to do that. But I knew on the 1st of the month that another month had gone by.

Tomorrow will be 16 months. Time is adding up, but all that really matters is what I do with today. So far today I have gone to my son’s school to hear him do a poetry reading. The kids were all insightful and amazing. My son has a flair for the dramatic and speaks well in public. I was awed and humbled by the 11 year olds. They still see that potential in life I had forgotten about, but now remember.

I don’t need to say I will be sober forever. That sounds like I have resigned myself to a life sentence.

All I need to do is remember that life is all about the present moment. Those small, unanticipated opportunities to see a glimpse of the beauty within us all. And, for me, appreciating the present moment requires me to be clear headed. I don’t plan on doing anything to change that. It is too glorious.

Stillness and peace


28 thoughts on “One day at a time adds up

  1. You’re right Anne it is the clearheaded-ness that I love too! I swear I never noticed the seasons changing like I do now and that is why 🙂 xx

  2. This is great, I’m definitely a one day at a time girl. except some days I still decide not to be clear headed 😦

    ” I am not sure how I made it through those days sober.” <– this is exactly what I'm struggling with, staying sober while I contemplate staying sober. I appreciate all the ways you've helped me on this journey.

  3. Hi Anne
    what ever works eh? thanks for another great Post and i am so pleased to hear you talk about appreciating and loving your life around you. it’s awesome

  4. Dear Anne,
    Happy 16 months!
    I like one day at a time, because if I think forever, I get nervous.
    I love children’s poetry!! I am always amazed at the talent of children!

  5. I’ve reread this post more than once. “What I had thought was self preservation was really a self imposed isolation, where I could wallow with my wine.” This is (was) me. I relate. Congratulations for 16 months!

  6. Happy 16 months. Lovely post. You said to me weeks ago that the best was yet to come, and I think you’re probably right. Day 96 for me today, and it has been an incredibly difficult journey at times, but there have been so many positives and physically the benefits are showing themselves more with each day. So thank you for the support and inspiration that you give to so many of us x

  7. beautiful anne….
    so clear and honest.
    Congratulations on 16 months….look at all you have accomplished in that time!

  8. it is glorious. even just sitting there at some mundane place, listening to who i am with and soaking in the moment. its glorious.

  9. Beautifully written Anne. I hope that one day I can be in a similar place to where you are now. I think I will print this post and keep it for inspiration, A x

    1. You can Angie. It seems so horrible to have to “give up” booze, but it turns out to be so freeing.
      Just start again. That’s the way to move forward.

  10. I love this post! You have no idea how much it helps to read the insights of someone else. I am recovering from an eating disorder and sometimes find it so hard to even live one day at a time that I tell myself “one moment at a time” or “one meal at a time” or “just get through the next fifteen minutes.” Two of my closest friends celebrate every milestone of their recovery with a party. They wanted to throw a bash for me at six months but I couldn’t honestly tell them when that was. It makes me so anxious to keep track! I can’t handle months, but, just as you wrote, I can handle one day. Thank you!

    1. Thank you.
      Mindfulness and being in the moment with live have really helped me.
      I still struggle with food. Eating disorders are so tough as we have to eat. And although I try to let it go, comments about what I’m eating or my weight, even good comments, still really impact me.

      But coming back into myself, right now, helps me let it go.
      Yoga has been the most powerful practice for me. Slow, yin yoga especially. Where I have no secret motivation of burning calories, but I am reacquainting myself with my body and finding my inner stillness.


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