One Day at a Time

In the 6th chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus tells us that the troubles of the day are sufficient for the day and that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow’s troubles today.  This is true of recovery, as well.  Each day of recovery will bring tests, temptations, challenges and dangers.  It will be hard enough to deal with today’s problems.  If you start to worry about tomorrow and what problems might come in the days ahead, you can begin to feel overwhelmed.  Early in recovery, it’s often all you can do to go from hour to hour or even minute to minute.  This is especially true when you are going through withdrawal.  When your body and your mind are both craving some addictive substance, weeks, months and years of future sobriety may seem completely unbearable.  Again, sometimes it’s all you can do to get through the next minute, never mind the next 30 years.  Instead of worrying about tomorrow and all of your tomorrows, live in the now, in this very moment.

Looked at the other way, it’s equally true that the troubles of today are enough for today.  Obsessing about your failures of the past and brooding about the harm you have done won’t fix anything.  It may even increase your cravings as you seek some way to deal with the guilt and remorse for the pain you have brought to yourself and to others.  You can’t change the past and you can’t control the future.  All you can do is live now in a manner that will lead to a better future for yourself and for those you love.  If, for example, you neglected your children in pursuit of drugs, you can’t undo that.  What you can do is love your children today so that you and they will have a more positive future together.

A person I know who has been in recovery for years still frequently sings the song One Day at a Time.  It reminds him that today is a day of recovery and he asks the Lord to help him through today.  You can make that your daily prayer, as well.  Our Lord will stand by us as we struggle with the problems of today and He will support us with His grace and love.  Turn to Him when you begin to feel overwhelmed by the guilt and shame of the past or the worries of tomorrow.  Don’t live in the past or the future.  Live today, because today is all you really have.

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