During the sessions of most of the support groups I’ve participated in, there was always an emphasis placed on the idea that altering the past is not possible. Therefore, the patients should focus on living in the present and building a better future for themselves, step by step.
Another “trap card” former alcoholics tend to activate during their early stages of sobriety consists of thinking too much about the future, blocking them from actually taking any action. It goes without saying that you need to consider the consequences of your actions, but over-thinking them is just as dangerous as focusing on your past mistakes.
But Don’t Good Things Come to Those Who Wait?
The meaning of this motto is often misinterpreted, in the sense that people tend to confuse patience with inaction and serenity with passivity. To put it simply, while it is important to be tolerant with yourself and set the bar for your achievements at a reasonable height, working towards actually reaching the established goals is equally important.
The rehab program was just one of the many stops on the path to physical and mental sobriety, but there are many more to follow and trust me, you will miss them if you choose to get off the bus now. You have to take charge of your destiny every step of the way.
The ancient Latin dictum is as applicable today as it was way back when. It is very important for a recovering alcoholic struggling with the challenges of newfound sobriety to actively work on improving his life and personality.
Why? Well, because dreams of making changes without taking action have the unpleasant habit of not coinciding with what happens in real life and also due to the fact that you are the only one who is responsible for your fate. No knight in shining armor will sweep you off your feet and carry you to a perfect world. And while you’re sitting here waiting for that to happen, life is passing you by.
Enjoying the Present Moment
I don’t want to rain on your parade, but life post rehab is very different from what you might expect. However, rather than wallow in self-pity and get depressed about what went wrong, you can focus your attention on the good parts.
Every fleeting moment represents either an opportunity to learn something and adapt to the world or another blow to your confidence and self esteem. The difference between the two perspectives is radical and IT WILL affect your ability to remain sober over the course of time.
And, while the two are intertwined, it’s not just how you perceive things, but also what you do about the situation. Naturally, you will be more prone to positive action when negativity doesn’t stop you dead in your tracks. Let go of the past, dim down the voice of the future, and live in the “now”.