What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent
on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
~p.85, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
We hear this quoted at meetings all the time. But what does it really mean? As an addict when I wanted something, I did anything to get it and I wanted it two weeks ago. It didn’t matter who I manipulated to get it, who I hurt in the process and if it took long I went somewhere else to get it. In recovery, we learn to slow down, “One Day at a Time.” Therefore, what must I do on a daily basis to stay sober?
My daily routine can be lengthy but it works for me. First, when I wake up I thank my Higher Power I’m alive and sober. Second, I ask for my Higher Power to guide me throughout the day to stay sober. Afterward, I immediately do Step Three:
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over
to the care of God as we understood Him.”
This is very important to me. It’s been my experience when I try to control anything, it tends to always fall apart. I give up control to my Higher Power, knowing whatever happens today, my Higher Power is there to help me through any situation. All I have to do is ask. To stay in this positive influence I turn music on. Something soothing, like meditation music on Pandora, Spotify or other various tracks I have on my external drive. This sets me up for today.
Once the coffee is on my desk, headphones in, I start to post the Daily Reading on this blog. It’s various readings which bring meaning to me. For instance, today’s readings as a whole reminds me of tolerance and humility. As I read and post them I make it a point to try to practice whatever actions they inspire me to do today.
My present circumstances allow me to attend usually two meetings per day. Typically I attend “the Nooner” and an evening meeting. I have a few coffee commitments during the week. Recently, I’ve been asked to chair meetings despite my early recovery. I attend business meetings for two home groups and I recently attended a District Meeting for our area.
Lastly, I am currently working with a Sponsor through the Steps. This Sponsor is giving me a new perspective on recovery. Instead of just going through the Steps, as my last Sponsor did (which wasn’t a bad thing at all), my current Sponsor and I have read the Big Book for the very first page. He also references Joe and Charlie’s Big Book Study , which is another resource I was never aware of in my previous sobriety. Now knowing the totality of the program, its progression throughout the 80+ years, has strengthened my commitment. If those people back then, with everything they experienced in their lives, can do it then there is absolutely NO reason I should EVER have to pick up a drink! They bring me inspiration to stay sober one day at a time.
However & But . . .
I do have to remind myself on a daily basis of a few things.
First, I am grateful to be in a program where I’m able to have the support and the opportunity to strengthen the foundation of my sobriety. I do not take this for granted! There are those who are not able to get into such programs and they have to work much harder to keep sober one day at a time. I’m not saying I don’t struggle some days. But for those who are getting sober, working and who have families, my hats off to them. Honestly, I don’t know if I could do it.
Second, old timers consistently remind us (those who are in a halfway house/supportive living program) the real test in our sobriety is when we get out into the real world. It does scare me simply because I’m not there yet. I’m working with someone to make sure I make the right decisions and go down the right path consistent with my sobriety goals. However, today I’m right where I’m suppose to be.
Lastly, to be aware. This is something new to me. I’m more aware of my own actions: how I talk to people, how I react, what I do in certain situations, etc. I don’t want pride and ego to resurface like it has in the past. Yes, I did have ten years of sobriety; the knowledge is still there. But I relapsed. I need to concentrate on myself (keep pride and ego at bay) and work on my codependency issues because those two reasons help led me to my relapse.
I believe in the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know that it works, if you put the required effort to work the steps and follow the suggestions. I’ve seen it in myself and others. However, I only have today. Yesterday is already written, it can’t be changed. Tomorrow isn’t here yet, so who knows what will happen. Today, I embrace my sobriety and do those things required of me to keep me sober.
Just for Today!