Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Day At A Time.

Before Al-Anon, I don't think I ever really lived in the present moment. I was either mourning the past, lashing myself for the past, anticipating, or dreading the future. The present was just something to "get through."

What a way to live.

In 12-Step, I have learned to stop using my past mistakes as weapon with which to wound myself. I let go of what was done to me, by those who were themselves deeply unhappy. I use the past only to learn from my mistakes, no more. Before Al-Anon, because I never made amends, I couldn't let go of my wrongs - the errors in judgement, the small unkindnesses, the sharp words, the deliberately hurtful actions. I tormented myself with them endlessly.

Before Al-Anon, although I was always wanting the future to hurry up and arrive, because it might get me out of the misery of the present, I lived in a constant state of trepidation. There is no other way, when fear is our driving force.

Al-Anon has taught me that worrying for what may arrive with tomorrow doesn't prevent any of it from taking place, it only robs today. I like this quote from Calvin Coolidge:

"If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you."

Most worriers don't ever stop to think about the usefulness of worry, it's a knee-jerk fear response. I like to ask my sponsees, "What did you worry about when you were 20? 25? 30? Did any of that ever happen?" Invariably the person I'm talking to will stop, think, burst out laughing, and admit that no, it didn't. This is a good little exercise, to help us gain perspective.

When I live One Day At A Time, I accept the gift of life that my Creator has given me, and feel grateful. I stand on my back steps and revel in the smell of fresh air. I marvel at the amazing complexity of a frilly-edged leaf, or a dahlia bloom. I allow myself to love without reservation. I take a leap of faith, and decide to enjoy my life, instead of just enduring it. When we live as if each day might be our last, petty squabbles aren't worth having. Love, and people, are all that matter in life, the rest is just what my grandfather used to call "window-dressing."


  1. I don't go to meetings but I adopted my Mother's Al-Anon daily reading,the Courage To Change,after she passed away.I read it every morning with my codependency recovery book..
    It's a part of a customized recovery journey I've put together over the years.Al-Anon offers insight that keeps me learning and understanding about the effects of alcoholism.
    Good post,thanks for sharing.

  2. I care deeply about someone who expresses the same thought, that the present s something "to endure" because fear is the primary driver. I always tried to argue, convince, persuade, etc that this approach is a poor substitute for living. In doing so, I drove myself crazy and became "irritable without knowing it." I'm a slow learner, but Alanon has me to change my attitude and hear the message behind the words. I now respond with an unconditional "I love you" instead.

  3. I am having a REALLY hard time understanding how to move on from my wrongs- from my insane behavior- the fall out of RAGE / ANGER I rationalized that the behavior of the alcoholic made me do these things- I know logically that my frustration from not being loved the way I expected, my lack of bounderies, fear to push him away,willingness to be degraded, fear of being abandoned.....all these things are mine-not his
    his behavior drunk and not reaction= smashed a car, destroyed another person's property. hit him, hit another girl, screaming and raging in our home-in front of my children-packing up the car and leaving only to return minuets and hours later all these things ....i cant let go, i cant forgive my self, i cant make these things up to those i've hurt...even after apologies i am still feeling so guilty............... i dont feel human most days lately

  4. I want to thank whoever started this wonderful page. I found myself journaling my life story this morning and using ideas from these categories to reflect upon in my journal. May you all continue to find peace through the al-anon program. <3