Staying in Today

I was a couple of weeks sober and sitting in the sharing circle in the out-patient treatment center. When my turn came to share, I said, "I feel so good, I'll never drink again!" The short, round woman who ran the center, an ex-heroin junky from New York, snapped back, "That's just ego bull shit Jeff! We don’t say crap like that in here. You'd better just do everything you can to stay sober today and pray it's enough.” This was a great lesson for me.

Today, right now, I’m OK. I’m safe. Sure, I have challenges, but I’m OK. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong tomorrow, or next week or next year. My life is unmanageable in the future. The only time I have a fighting chance at a great life is today. Now.

Anytime I feel restless, irritable or discontented it’s a sure sign my mind has catapulted into the future. I worry about all the things that can go wrong. Trying to push these feelings under the carpet with alcohol and drugs never worked for long. The key for me is to pay attention to these negative feelings when they arise and take some action. I need to pick up one of our tools and get back to today. Picking up the phone and calling another alcoholic usually does the trick for me.

Living in tomorrow separates me from God. I lose conscious contact, cut off from the source of all power. Ego tries to tell me it doesn’t need God, that it has my life handled. But this is a lie! Without the power of God flowing through me I have no chance for a life that is meaningful much less happy joyous and free. Without the power to act in my own best interest, I’m back to sitting on the couch in my messy apartment drinking cheap wine and smoking expensive marijuana twelve hours a day. There, I’m all alone and dead inside.

Even after a few twenty-fours, my mind continues to try and slip into tomorrow. The difference today is I’m aware of it sooner. Then I can take some action to bring it back into today.