In recovery, you often hear the phrase “one day at a time”. People who are recovering are encouraged to take their recovery just one day at a time. Though it seems logical, the spiritual lesson is a little hard to digest. You can’t go back and change the past, the saying infers, and tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. Truly, all you have is today, that’s the only day you can live, one day at a time.
Our relationship to time matters in recovery. If we are spending too much time in the past, we are driving a boat backwards, it is said. Living in the past makes us prone to depression because most often living in the past means living in regret or even resentment. Time changes when we are holding onto the past. We are no longer in the present, and we are not looking toward the future. Time keeps happening, but we largely ignore it. As a result, time can feel like it’s moving terribly fast because we cannot stop it, in order to go backwards. On the other hand, if we are spending too much time in the future, we are getting ahead of ourselves. We cannot control what happens now, in the next five minutes, five hours, five days, five weeks, five months, years, or decades. What we can do is live our lives in a way which best allows us to handle whatever it is that time brings our way. Living too much in the future is prone to make us anxious, which results in feeling on edge. Time can feel like it is moving too slowly as we anticipate what we believe to be the inevitable. The only inevitable about time, we have to realize, is that it keeps going by.
For those of us who found ourselves addicted to drugs and alcohol, we can realize that part of the reason we sought these mind-altering substances was to change our perception of time. Our inability to cope with the past, the present, or the future, was satisfied by numbing out into euphoric, escapism bliss. We wanted to stop time, bend time, or pretend like time didn’t exist. We wanted to be somewhere beyond time where time didn’t matter anymore. Unfortunately, our approach never worked. Upon getting sober, we realized we had to make peace with time and start embracing it for what it is- ongoing. Learning to live one day at a time helps us learn to live with time, taking it as it comes, for whatever it brings us.
Start your journey to recovery today by calling the O’Connor Professional Group. Our concierge style recovery services are custom designed to meet your specific needs in order to recover from behavioral health, mental health, and other issues. Call us today: 617.910.3940