The first time I tried to get sober, the biggest obstacle to my recovery was the fact that I would get so overwhelmed thinking about how I’d never be able to drink again. I’d never be able to enjoy a beer with my friends. I’d never be able to enjoy a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve or at a wedding. I’d never be able to have a cocktail at a work event. Every time I thought about sobriety like this–focusing on everything I’d be giving up–my sobriety did not last long.
I have been sober for almost five years now. Going to rehab was definitely the thing that changed my life and made recovery possible for me. But one of the things I learned at rehab that has really made sobriety possible for me is to take things one day at a time. I started thinking about my sobriety in terms of today. “All I have to do is get through the day without drinking.” When I began each day that way, it became a lot more manageable.
For the first year or so of sobriety, I did have to think about life one day at a time like this. Going 24 hours without drinking felt like a huge accomplishment for me. When I made that the goal, I could easily achieve it. And then soon, enough days had gone by where I didn’t have to think about it anymore. I just didn’t ever drink. It was that simple.
As I focused more on my health and spirituality, it got to the point where I no longer even had the urge to drink. When you substitute unhealthy activities like drinking and using drugs for healthy activities like going for a run, learning to play an instrument, or being in positive relationships, miracles will occur.