Try to go into the future. Go ahead. Not successful? Can’t take care of tonight right now, or tomorrow in an instant? Try to go into the past and change something you don’t like that happened to you. Go ahead. Not successful? Can’t change something in the past, make it better, make it different, in an instant? Welcome to the present. This is all you have.
It sounds harsh to people who don’t fully understand it yet. Once you understand it and start making it part of your daily life, you’ll feel a freedom you didn’t know existed. Each day exists only of 24 hours. For at least 6-10 of those hours you need to sleep. Outside of sleep you have anywhere between 14-18 hours of waking time. Every moment that you’re awake and conscious, fully operating, is the present. That present moment is all that you have because you can’t go backward and you can’t go forward. There’s just today. When you spend your time thinking about the past or worrying about the future, you spend moments of the present trying to be somewhere else. Do you actually time travel? No. You’re in a place in your mind.
Thinking about the past can bring up painful memories that trigger the brain to crave drugs and alcohol. Thinking about the future- like the prospect of staying sober forever– can create so much anxiety that the brain is triggered to crave drugs and alcohol. The point of taking recovery one day at a time is to keep the brain in one place- the present moment- where it only has to focus on right here, right now, not taking a drink.
In the beginning of recovery, one day at a time is especially important. Staying sober one hour at a time can feel like a challenging accomplishment. Sobriety, recovery, feeling your feelings, thinking about what you have to do, might feel its most manageable in simple one hour increments. You are told to focus on recovery one day at a time because each day is all you have to stay sober until the next day begins. You stay sober today. When tomorrow comes, you’ll take that day as it is and stay sober then. It’s all one day at a time. The philosophy calms the nerves, makes time manageable and helps you focus on what is most important in your life: staying sober, today.
If you’re having a hard time getting and staying sober, you are not alone. We know how hard it is to come to sobriety in recovery. Design For Change Wants to show you how to change your life one step at a time, one day at a time. Our innovative residential treatment programs use the best in clinical and twelve step practices for long term treatment to create long term recovery. Call us today for more information: (877) 267-3646