12 Step Recovery Slogans – One Day At A Time

one day at a time

One Day At A Time may be the first 12 Step Recovery slogan. When you read the stories of AA’s pioneers in the Big Bookit becomes pretty obvious that, just as today, many stayed sober one day or even one hour or one minute at a time.

The idea behind the slogan is, of course, that anyone can refrain from drinking, using, doing whatever for at least 24 hours, even if we have to string that time together minute by minute. And for those of us who have gotten some recovery, we know that as we string the moments together and then the hours, and the days, the pain of healing from addiction begins to lessen. 

I’ve heard it said that the worst cravings are usually over sometime in the first 90 days of sobriety. I’ve found this to be roughly true, no matter if the addiction is to a substance or a behavior.

I can remember how hard the cravings for alcohol hit one night in an AA meeting of all places. I was maybe half way through the 90 day period and was horrified as I listened to people share around the room, to feel my desire for a drink to move from simple desire toward down-right craving, the kind that can drive us to a bar.

With much fear I put my hand up and when I was called on confessed my desire for a drink. I know I expected disapproval but what I got was AA’s tough love.

“You’re in the right place,” said one.

“If you don’t pick up that first drink,” said another, “you won’t get drunk!”

As I recall one or two people did share that they too had had cravings for booze early on in their recovery which certainly made me feel less like an outsider. Of course, I was so focused on my fear of disapproval and my fear of drinking again I don’t remember much.

Years later, when I finally quite smoking through Nicotine-Anonymous phone meetings, the craving was horrid. It was during that initial period without any nicotine of any sort that I came to really understand the one-moment at a time that withdrawal can bring.

And when it comes to letting go of behaviors, the 90-day rule seems to work as well.

Slogan points to another truth

But there’s another truth behind the slogan. It points to the fact that we really have only today, only this moment to experience. Although it usually doesn’t feel that way, we truly live moment-to-moment. It can’t be any other way.

Learning to stay in the present, to stay in the now is one of the secrets to serenity. We can do this by staying conscious of the now even when we’re looking at the past or planning for the future.

When we stay in the present moment we’re not living in guilt or shame, nor are we living in expectations.

Like so many things in life, learning to stay in the now, keeping it to one-day-at-a-time takes practice.

The best way I know to practice this is through meditationSomehow spending quiet time every morning, or just about, helps me stay present or get back to the present during the rest of my day.

How to you stay in or get back to the present moment or remember that it really is one day at a time? Tell us in comments – we’d like to know.

Love, blessings and abundance,

Anne W. Powerfully Recovered



Image: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by jon smith.

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