Live life but one day at a time; this is a statement I strongly believe in and live by. I first heard this saying in the rooms of alcoholics anonymous. Yes, I am an alcoholic and this one day at a time thing saved my life. I have now been sober for a little over eight months, making this the longest stretch of sobriety since I took my first drink at the age of fifteen, which was thirteen years ago.
My self-concept at the time of that first drink wasn’t pretty. I had low self-esteem and I felt like an outcast or an oddball. It seemed as though I were different from the other kids, like I was weird or something. I was even picked on sometimes by the so called “cool” kids. Upon discovering booze, those feelings of low self worth and social inadequacy were over. Or so I thought. I began partying on a regular basis from the beginning and my schoolmates liked it. Finally, I thought I was getting the respect and attention from my peers that I sought. Life was going to be great now.
By the time I was in my fifth year of high school and still a sophomore, I realized I had become a loser. I seemed to be nothing more than another statistic. I had big dreams but life seemed to be going nowhere. My dreams of growing up and having a family and house of my own had been replaced with the realization that the only place I was headed was homelessness, prison, or death. A self-fulfilling prophecy was about to come true.
Throughout the years of my drinking I was in jail five times for a total of twenty seven months, on house arrest three times, in rehab ten times, and spent many more months in psych hospitals, outpatient programs, and with counselors. I had given my life away for a drink.
Shortly after my twenty eighth birthday I turned myself in and went to jail for the last time. Sitting in a cell, I finally surrendered to alcohol, the battle was over and a new life awaited me upon my release. Hope had entered my life and my heart for the first time.
The day of my release I went to alcoholics anonymous and began living my life one day at a time. When I break life down into twenty four hour increments, it becomes manageable and doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I couldn’t imagine living out the rest of my life without a drink, but they told me I didn’t have to, I only had to not drink for one day, and that day is today. I have since adopted this concept into all areas of my life; it cuts a lot of unnecessary worry out of each day and makes living more enjoyable. I haven’t had a drink in 254 days, and I did it, one day at a time.
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