If there’s one thing I’m certain of after all these years of sobriety, it’s that I can’t change the things that happened in the past and I have no way of foretelling the future. All I have is the present and I should appreciate it. If I keep holding on to the past, then it means I’m living my life with regret. At the same time, if my mind is fixated on finding success in the future, then life is all about worrying.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans
If I were in the position of choosing between which is worse between not letting go of the past versus constantly thinking about the future, then I would have to pick the latter. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with making plans for the future. However, fixating about your future comes with a hidden danger, namely that you can spend your entire life waiting for the good times to come.
Without denying that patience is virtue, especially in recovery, you won’t find success unless you work for it in the present. Positive thinking and optimism are one thing, while waiting for success to happen is another. Although you’re probably familiar with the old saying that ‘good things come to those who wait’, keep in mind that waiting can become a habit. If you want to make the most out of your newfound sobriety, then you have to take action and live in the present.
You have the power to make things happen
While giving up alcohol is a fine start, don’t forget that recovery is not an event, but a process. Yes, when I was involved and worked on becoming sober, I made the decision to do something positive in my life. However, because recovery represents an ongoing course of action, I also had to take charge of my destiny and continue improving myself. If you’re also undergoing recovery from alcohol addiction, then you probably understand that nobody else is going to do the work for you.
Waiting for happiness and success to miraculously develop is especially dangerous during recovery, because you will lose sight of what you already have eventually. True enough, modern society has forced people to become more goal oriented and hence, everyone these days is looking for a way to achieve them faster. To put it simply, no sooner do some people accomplish their last goal that they are already moving to the next one. For them, the process of meeting goals is nothing more than an inconvenience.
Learn to enjoy your life in recovery
Even though it has its ups and downs, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy your life in recovery. After all, keep in mind that the aim here is progress, not perfection. Besides, chances are you already have plenty in your life to feel good about. I’m not saying you shouldn’t push yourself at all, but rather that you could also stand to benefit from a bit of pampering from time to time.
Personally, I preferred keeping a gratitude list in my recovery journal to remind me that I have many things to be grateful for whenever I was down. However, there are numerous other ways you can learn to enjoy life in the present, as you can read on our forum.