Have you ever had one of those days when you just wish you could crawl up in bed and go to sleep so that it’d be over? A day where no matter what you do things just seem to fall apart and nothing seems to go your way? I’m going to assume that the answer to that question is yes, because we are all prone to having a terrible days every once in awhile. Before sobriety, I had no understanding of the concept of progress not perfection and was stuck in a perpetual case of the F#% it’s never able to move forward or make any lasting changes because all of my attempts never measured up to my unrealistic expectations of perfection.
The thing is that before I got sober and could accept that I had a problem with addiction, I didn’t know that tomorrow was going to be another day, in fact every day seemed exactly the same, a little like the movie Groundhog Day. Each day felt like it was a continuation of the misery of the day before and I didn’t know that at any point during the course of a terrible day I could attempt to restart it, and change the mental path that I was following. I believed that I had to just stay in the muck and feel like crap and what is worse is that my mind agreed with me on this.
My mind would forever tell me that nothing was ever going to change and that each minute, hour, and day was going to be equally as bad as the previous one. I would believe this and I would be unable to see past my current condition to the possibility of change and so I felt hopeless a lot of the time and defeated. It truly is a terrible place to be when you think that your problems will never go away and you don’t know that each day brings an infinite possibility for change.
When I got sober I heard people say things like yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery and they told me that with each passing day of the calendar I had an ability to start fresh. I didn’t necessarily believe this at first and I had trouble understanding that the problems of yesterday did not in fact need to carry over into today. The longer I stayed sober though, the more I realized how true this was and that in reality all that we really have is today.
I try to keep this in mind most days, especially when I am having a bad day. I try to remember that no matter what is going on in my life, when I wake up tomorrow I have another shot at doing it all over again.
This does not mean that my life is a sitcom episode where at the end of the day all of my problems are resolved and I start the credits of tomorrow with no remembrance of the previous day, but what it does mean is that my attitude and my perspective on any situation can change from day to day.
For instance let’s say that I am having a particularly bad day at work — one of those days where it seems like everything is just hitting the fan and I am overwhelmed by people and all of the work I have to do. In the past when I was in my active addiction, I would carry all of those feelings into the next day and pretty much set myself up for failure, but now I try to start my days free of preconceived notions and just take the day as it comes.
I have also noticed that since I have gotten sober and gained the ability of self-reflection, this has really helped me to start each day a new. In the past if I was angry at a situation the day before, the next day would be the same because nothing in mind or my perspective would change. Now after doing some reflecting, either in the moment, or at night, I am able to go into tomorrow with a better understanding of why I was upset and in return I am able to allow a new day to actually come.
Sobriety has also taught me that I can restart my day at any point in time. I don’t necessarily have to wait until I go to sleep to restart the day, but I can just take a moment to pause, get quiet and attempt to start my day over. This wasn’t even remotely close to possible when I was in active addiction and whenever I would get caught in my emotions I would have to stay in them until they subsided. I now have the ability, when I am frustrated, angry, or whatever, to take a minute and try to start the day over. I have found this to be particularly useful in my everyday life and it has saved me on a number of occasions from hurting relationships, or getting all worked up.
The thing about life is that everything is fleeting, even problems. The things that we deal with in the day that seem like they are going to last forever are usually distant memories within a short period of time, so allowing them to carry over into the next day is really a waste of time and mental energy. I try to start everyday as if it is brand new and by doing this I have found that my life has improved dramatically. When I have a bad day I know that tomorrow offers the possibility of change and when I need a restart during the day I just take a time out and try to look at my day from a different perspective.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing. You can find her on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram.