One day at a time.
Live in the present.
Progress not perfection.
It works if you work it.
Feel your feelings.
These recovery clichés are becoming engraved in my mind more and more each day. Before my recovery I would probably only hear them in a movie or some other type of satirical medium. I didn’t understand their power, I only understood them as corny old adages that were really just a bunch of psycho-babble.
Now they are becoming my mantra. They provide reminders of the simplicity of recovery. They remind me of the importance of embracing the process. Another cliché that I have been embracing lately is “Good to Great.”
Recently at an SA meeting we read from a daily reflection book for recovering addicts. In it were these words, ” I cannot settle for what is good but must thrive for more. For what is good is not enough, I must learn what is best.”
As a basketball coach I try and promote this concept whenever we are on offense. A player that has a good shot opportunity doesn’t need to shoot if a teammate has a better scoring opportunity. Always take the best shot each time down the floor. Good shots are OK but you don’t win games against quality opponents by taking good shots.
You win by taking great shots.
I can really relate to these words because recently there is a lot of good things about my recovery. I am healthy, I go to meetings, I am working the 12 steps, I have a sponsor, I go to therapy. All those are good things. I am learning that even with only a little over 90 days of sobriety, I am settling for what is merely good. I need to push harder for what is best. I need to continue to walk in humility and learn each day as I am still in the early stages of recovery.
What is best for me is to peel back more layers of my heart to reveal the hurt, guilt, shame and other emotions that are potentially damaging. I need to be aware of toxic thoughts and behaviors – even if I think they are not related to my disease. My need for control still is effecting me. It’s a problem, and if not addressed it WILL lead me to act out eventually. My fear of the future leads to anxiety and that WILL lead me to act out eventually. I am learning that what is best is for me to “practice these principles in all my affairs” as the AA Big Book teaches. All that I am learning in the program is not devoted solely for my lust addiction. It can be applied to all aspects of my life and really that is what is so exciting about recovery. I’m living it because I’m being present. I’m feeling my feelings because that is taking it one day at a time.
Recently hitting the 90 day mark was an obvious milestone for me but my sponsor reminded me of something that is simple and true. He said, “And the most important day of sobriety is today.”
And that is probably the most powerful cliché of all.