The title of this post is one of the slogans that gets used a lot in A.A. What it means and why it is important is at the core of my sobriety program. For me now, it reminds me that today is a day I am sober, and today is the day I am working on my sobriety. I can’t be sure what will happen tomorrow, but I know that I am working on being sober and staying sober on this day.
Some people might wonder why someone with 25 years of sobriety still has to work at her sobriety, especially just one day at a time. As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, there are days when I am still tempted to drink or have a toke, especially when things are tough or hard to handle. And I truly believe that I cannot take even one drink or toke without risking the fast slide down to a new personal “bottom” (in A.A., that means the lowest point I got to in my drinking and drugging days), and the slip may take me even lower. I have so many reasons to be grateful that I am sober, so I hold strong to the intention to be sober today.
I also remember my first few days and months of getting sober. They were tough. People in A.A. meetings talked about one day at a time, one hour at a time, even one minute at a time. Sometimes in those early days, it was all I could do to get through one more minute sober.
And that’s when gratitude first became central to my sobriety. In my drinking and drugging days, I missed the simple pleasures in life because I was always looking for the next big high, the next great time, the best day/party/event ever (and never seemed to find it …). As I started to sober up, I started to see the small joys in life: the budding leaves of springtime (it comes late in the Yukon 😉 ), a bird sitting on a branch singing, a funny shaped cloud. Being able to slow down and see those beautiful things in the natural world around me was very grounding, very important to getting through that next minute or hour of sobriety. I didn’t need anything to drink to see them, I didn’t need a toke to appreciate them. In fact, over time, I began to realize that I really only saw them when I was sober.
I am so grateful for being able to see the beauty of nature, the gifts of the cycle of life that are all around us, if we only stop and look. Appreciating and being grateful for those small joys was very important to my early sobriety, and still helps me keep sober, “one day at a time.”