The Importance of “One Day at a Time”

The Importance of “One Day at a Time”

Drug addiction and alcoholism are serious mental health conditions that can completely destroy the life of the afflicted – and the lives of his or her loved ones. Sadly, the majority of Americans who need professional addiction treatment will never receive it. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in 2013, only 11% of men and women over the age of 12 with a substance abuse disorder sought treatment. This equates to only 2.5 million out of the 22.7 million Americans that struggled with a substance abuse disorder that year. The majority of those who did not seek treatment reported that it was because they had no healthcare coverage or because they could not afford to seek professional help. The second most common reason was a lack of readiness – those struggling with addictive disorders reported that they were not ready to stop using. The hard truth is that the majority of individuals who struggle with alcoholism or drug addiction will never feel as if they are ready to quit. They will almost always feel as if they have one more “high” or “drunk” in them. Even in the midst of serious personal consequences, few things will provide a good enough reason to stop. Not only is addiction a chronic and relapsing brain disease, but it causes the sufferer to prioritize chemical substances above everything else. “My wife just left me because I couldn’t stop drinking for more than a day, but that’s okay… she never understood me anyways.” “I got fired for showing up to the job high on multiple occasions, but I never really liked that job anyways.” “I failed out of school because of my drug problem, but I’ll just get my GED online at some point in the future. Or not… you don’t need an education to do what I want to do, anyways.” Those who are struggling with addiction will often defend their illness even in the face of serious consequences.
You do not need to hit rock bottom in order to quit. The best time to seek professional help is today – the very moment you start considering it. Of course, at Intrepid Detox Residential, we understand how overwhelming and intimidating the prospect of going to medical detox and inpatient rehab can be. We are here to make the process as stress-free as possible.

The Origins of the Saying

One of the very best ways to keep from getting overwhelmed once you have decided to seek treatment is by focusing on one day at a time. You will hear this slogan over and over again once you enter into recovery, especially in 12 step meetings. Why? Alcoholics Anonymous comes complete with several slogans, including “one day at a time,” “keep it simple,” “it works if you work it” and “keep coming back.” These slogans are meant to remind recovering alcoholics and addicts to stay in the present moment and continue trucking forwards, even if things get a little tough from time to time. By nature, we spend a lot of time mulling over past events or thinking about the future. It is important to note that this is not always a bad thing. In order to learn from our mistakes we must not forget the past, and in order to stay sober long-term we must set future goals and always consider what will happen if we do pick up a drink or a drug. However, spending all of your time in the past or in the future is certainly not healthy. Living one day at a time provides a more balanced approach to life as a whole. Learn from the past, plan for the future, live in the present. When you learn to live in the present moment, no issue seems too big to tackle. Staying sober also becomes significantly easier. Rather than thinking, “Oh geez, I have to stay sober for the rest of my life,” try thinking, “I can stay sober for the next hour.” Then the hour after that, think to yourself, “I can stay sober for one hour, why not two?” And so on and so on. One day at a time, one hour at a time – whatever works for you!

Alcoholics Anonymous features a “Just For Today” card, which is very frequently read at the beginning of meetings. The card includes the intention to:

  • Commit to happiness for the next full 24 hours – the card suggests that happiness is a choice, one that individuals can commit to.
  • Stop attempting to solve all of your personal problems in one sitting. Develop viable personal goals and tackle those goals one at a time.
  • Strengthen the mind and build self-esteem by learning new things.
  • Follow your own personal program of recovery to the very best of your ability.
  • Help others in any way that you can, and treat everyone with the respect and kindness that they inevitably deserve.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes every day in mindfulness meditation. This will help you stay present and focus on the task at hand.
  • Try not to be afraid of the unknown. Practice faith rather than fear.
  • Enjoy life. Life is meant to be lived! Have fun, smile at strangers and remember not to take yourself too seriously.

The “Just For Today” mentality is beneficial to all individuals, not just those in addiction recovery. However, staying present and focusing on the day you are currently living will help you stay sober long-term – no question about it.

Intrepid Detox Residential

At Intrepid Detox Residential, we believe that recovery should be taken one step at a time, one day at a time. Our comprehensive program focuses on mindfulness and on living in the moment. We understand how overwhelming early recovery can be, and how important it is for those who are new to recovery to learn to stay focused on the present moment. Medical detox is the first step to every program of recovery, and those who are in detox will benefit immensely from focusing on the day at hand. The discomfort associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal might feel as if it will last forever, but it will resolve – and it will resolve significantly more quickly when symptoms are overseen by a team of medical professionals. Once a patient has been medically cleared to move onto the next appropriate level of care, he or she will transfer directly into a residential treatment program. At Intrepid Detox Residential, our inpatient program focuses on mindfulness – the art of staying present and staying calm, cool and collected in the face of adversity. We teach each and every one of our clients the tools they need to live their lives one day at a time, and cope with any potential relapse triggers, stressors or concerns that arise. We also offer ongoing support to our program alumnus, knowing that things can get overwhelming even later on in the recovery process, and that knowing help and support is available 24/7 for years to come can help reduce stress and feelings of being alone. You are not alone! To learn more about our comprehensive program of recovery for men and women of all ages, give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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