Surrender

It’s week two of being sick, so I’m practicing surrendering … As I mentioned in an earlier post, learning to surrender has been a very important element of living a sober life.

When I first sobered up, it was definitely “one day at a time” and sometimes even one minute at a time. In A.A., one day at a time means to commit to staying sober for just today, not to worry about having to be sober tomorrow or in the many days and years ahead. It is a loss to think that you can never take that drink or toke or whatever again. Never feels like a very long time in the early days of sobriety. And it was hard to imagine handling everything in my more-chaotic-than-it-looks life without a drink, or many! Then there was the pressure to stay sober, and it felt like more pressure every day I stayed sober – mind you, I was the one putting pressure on myself …

That’s why I found it so helpful to focus on staying sober just for today. Tomorrow would take care of itself, but for today, I could try and stay sober. Though hard to keep from taking a drink or toke at times, it really helps to focus on keeping sober today. And when it got tough, it was a good time to go to a meeting or call my sponsor or go for coffee with an A.A. friend.

Over the years, as I practiced focusing on being sober today, I learned to slow down and appreciate the small joys like a smile, clouds dancing in the sky, the kindness of a stranger, and  kindness given. I learned to just be, to appreciate what the day brought, to surrender to today, to this moment, and to appreciate when the moments were rich gifts. As for the tougher moments, it became easier and easier to accept, to “let go and let God,” to be in that moment of struggling for sobriety or handling my feelings, knowing that this too will pass.

Here I sit, tired of coughing and sweating and eating little but bread and tea. So I look outside at the beautiful sunshine and the natural world all around me, and breathe (not too deeply or I will cough), and surrender. May you find the same peace.

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