Sometimes recovery is one day at a time.
Sometimes it’s one hour at a time.
And sometimes, in the darkest depths of addiction, it’s one minute at a time.
Most people have heard the phrase “one day at at a time” before, but few actually incorporate it into their daily lives, shrugging it off as just positive pep-talk. But they are much more than that; they are the life-force as we push through the bleakness of our daily struggle.
I have never had a problem summoning the desire to quit any addiction I’ve ever had. I am fine quitting for a day, week, or even a month, but at some point the struggle becomes too much for me to bear. I lose hope and fall right back into the vicious cycle of addiction and self-loathing.
Think back to any moment when you’ve fallen after committing yourself to something, whether that be quitting an addiction, losing weight, or working out. More often than not, it isn’t a lack of desire that causes failure, but lack of hope. The minute I quit believing in a cause and feel that failure is inevitable, I quit. I see the pain that I am feeling in a moment as something that will extend infinitely into the future and am fully convinced that three weeks from now I will still be feeling the same way. With no hope of things getting better in the long-term, I would rather quit now and save myself three weeks of pain.
What “one day at a time” gives us is a reminder to be committed just for today. It keeps hope alive by giving us a manageable goal, instead of one that’s too big for us to grasp. Most people can handle short-term pain; it’s long-term pain that gets us thinking negatively and destroys our desire for recovery. One step at time, one day at a time, we will wake astonished that we’ve climbed a mountain that we never would have attempted if we’d been aware of its height at the beginning of our journey.
Commit yourself to not giving in to temptation just for today. Sleep. Wake. Repeat.