How does one "Take one day at a time"? - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How does one "Take one day at a time"?


Not only in regards to addiction, but how does one go about worrying about things and accomplishing stuff one day at a time? How have your guys' counselors and groups discussed this?

My therapist thinks that a road to my recovery might by worrying about getting through one day at a time. This could also make losing weight, quitting smoking, and conquering my spending problem easier. I have tremendous faith that this would work, but I have no idea where to start with having this mindset.

Any tips would help! Thank you!
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My best advice is to read Eckhart Tolle "The Power of Now".

It's a book that can change your life.

There are tools that you can learn to leave the baggage of the past and to stop focusing energy on what might happen.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've not read Tolle, but I try hard to do all I reasonably can today - and then let the rest go....that which I can't do, or can't affect today, I try not to worry about.

I was always weeks or months ahead of myself - that's not forward planning as I understand it now - for me, it was just useless worry and a manifestation of my underlying control issues.

I'm learning to let go and I'm happier and healthier for it

D
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I can't live in yesterday 'cause it's gone, and I can't live in tomorrow 'cause it's not here yet, so all I have is today. It's hard for me to do this but it's getting easier the longer I do it. I've always been a worrier, so it's hard to learn to let go of what's already gone. I can't hang on to it, nor can I grasp what isn't here yet. I had to learn to slow myself down, mentally and physically. Biofeedback is helpful to me in calming down. Some do meditation.

I also look to my dogs to teach me how to live in the moment, no joke. Because they live in this moment only, a moment at a time. They are always glad to see me, whether I've been gone for five minutes or five hours, 'cause to them, they had no idea if I'd ever come back. I'm trying to apply dog philosophy to my life, to slow me down, to appreciate the moment.

Sorry for rambling on. I hope this makes sense and maybe is helpful.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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On a spiritual note, it's about being present right now instead of wallowing in the past or hoping about the future. One way is to halt all thoughts and just be aware of your surroundings and your body. Like active meditation.

On another note, it's about just doing what I can do today. There's only so much weight I can lose, for instance. So I focus on just what can be done today. Tomorrow I'll think about tomorrow. This really helps me for long-term goals. Keeps me sane
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow, such great responses already!

I guess what's hard for me is wrapping my head around the concept of not having to worry about the next day, and the day after. I have always been a dreamer with a tendency to obsess about things to come.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This went over my head at first but it might not go over yours. I had a sponsor who said that it was important to live in and appreciate, and cherish the present moment because it's soon to be your past whether you choose to live in it or not.

Took a long time for me to wrap my head around that one but now I can sure appreciate it. That's how I stay in the now (as best as I can - it's not always easy).

Put the "stay" in "Namaste".
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hello

Here's a link to Eckhart Tolle speaking on Youtube. I have just discovered him. Just amazing.

YouTube - Wisdom in Daily Life - www.eckharttolle.com
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had the luxury of working on sobriety while being out of work. I quit my job and quit drinking soon afterward. A few weeks into the No Drinking mode, I was starting to get sluggish and didn't know what the heck was going on. The gumption I thought I'd had (to work on my next piece of business) went out the door, so I just took it easy. I was a little astounded I had quit and not fought with myself on an ongoing basis or given in after one day of debates with myself. (I just finished a measly 3 beers that were left over, right when closing time was approaching and when I would've been in no position to go and get more; turned everything off; and, with that status of being effectively "screwed" and a guideline not to buy more the next day, pulled the blankets over me and slept. And never got anymore.)

I started to feel like I could be facing a state of misery, now that I had no job and little understanding of what to do with myself next, so I just cleaned house (literally) for a long time, let's call it. Then I made routines for myself to maintain that had progressively disintegrated in the last few years. I incorporated some kind of exercise in to the day; writing to myself; checklists. Then eventually looking for work, then walking, then eating more (and more varities). On and on. But didn't accomplish much in terms that I was used to (people seen, work done at an employer, places to have been, things to have been bought and paid for). I made my life a sort of detox and rehab of my own with attempts to ease back into work along the way. That's why I refer to it as a luxury, because a lot of people don't have that. But somehow there was a One Day at a Time in there.

Now I am working again and am feeling some challenges, fears, and growing pains. Thoughts of drinking did resurface a few weeks into it, but I think every day about how fortunate I am not to be drinking - and: how astounded I still am that I have not bought more to drink. It'll be a year in a little less than a month, for me. Working as well as milestones that approach have been the things that make me wonder if I am doing well enough, am fit enough in my sobriety. Sometimes I downplay them, so that I don't get arrogant or whatever emotion will make me less confident. Then I switch and check on how long it's been and pay myself some credit. Since I always have been a closet "accepter" of compliments, it's nothing new to me to avoid good feelings in the now and look for tasty table droppings of happiness later. That might be a core piece to my thinking problem upon which my alcoholism had a foundation, in fact. So that's another thing I have been monitoring in me. But I do what I can.

Now that I have rambled this long, I guess the only message for myself (I don't know about anyone else), is that I just do what I can, and earn the confidence, pay it back, earn some more, etc. One day at a time it somehow happens, and I can screw it up any time, but don't want to.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have to break it down to the simplest formula of "the next right thing" that keeps me busy in the today.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Not only does it apply to recovery, but it's also a "secret" to a happy life. Think about it.

...but to answer your question - practice, practice, pratice. You'll be working on this your whole life. Also, try to think about it as more of a way of living and not a problem that has a direct answer.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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For me I remind myself that worrying about the future doesn't help anything - it just ruins the now.

The past is a different story, I'm still learning how to accept that what has happened did happen while still moving forward...I'm not sure how to do that. Talking about it in therapy I think is helping me, but it's still a struggle.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Kjell, thanks for saying so, I feel better about my version/answer when you put it that way. It's not a fantastic example of a life, but I guess I was describing a way of life in my response. I don't know how else to explain what ODAAT means to me if I understand it at all.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
wrapping my head around the concept of not having to worry about the next day, and the day after
Living one day at a time.......or working a 24 hour program.....or staying in the moment.... I found I was only able to do these things after I hit bottom with my repeated attempts to control, manipulate and play God, recognize my powerlessness and the insanity of my actions (and beliefs).

See, if I think I'm God....and I'm in control....and I'm running the show, then I have no choice but to worry about tomorrow - or at least wonder about it and/or plan for it.

If I'm the football coach, I have to worry about covering, scoring on, and defending against every player on the other team. If I'm just a player, I only have to worry about my blocking assignment, my running my route, hitting the hole, making the catch, and so on for this next play. I don't know what's coming next and it's none of my concern...yet. I just have to perform my duties for the next play....that's it.
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