The most powerful force that I have encountered during my sobriety journey is momentum.
At first, I was stuck in the details of what I was doing everyday to stay sober. I told myself that I had to meditate, eat right, workout, go to a meeting, make a gratitude list, etcetera, etcetera. It kept me busy and a busy mind is easier not to think about drinking. But the constant demand of making sure I did all of these things everyday became a burden in itself.
Eventually, I quit making lists and ‘to-do’s’ and just started doing what I felt was the best thing for me that day. If I was struggling that day, then I might return to the previous list. But if it was a normal day, and my number one goal was to stay sober, then that is exactly how I approached the day, simply stay sober. Be aware of yourself and your surroundings.
What I noticed was the driving force of my sobriety was not achieving a list of things everyday, but simply remaining sober everyday. And this built momentum and that is what I began to focus on, because with momentum each day becomes easier. My goal is not to become an athlete, or a great writer, or a leader of an AA meeting. My goal is to be sober.
If you focus simply on the momentum of being sober everyday, then that is the reward, that is the priority and that is your goal, so that everyday becomes just a little easier. I have found this applies to nearly everything in my life, my job, my relationships, my confidence.
It is much easier to say that my achievement today is simply to go forward, that’s it.
This was most apparent to me after a recent lengthy vacation. I struggled more when I returned, even though I was around alcohol daily on my vacation, because I had lost momentum. And I felt it. My days after returning felt more like the days when I was beginning.
Now I try to have one goal to my sobriety, simply make it to tomorrow and understand that tomorrow will be better.
Focus on the momentum you are creating yourself, and stop judging yourself.
As long as I’m sober, tomorrow will be an easier day.