11 February 2015

One Day at a Time

I realised the other day that it must be six months since I last went to an Al-Anon meeting.  I have been so preoccupied caring for my mother and her broken knee, that I have completely got out of my usual routine.  In any case, I had been thinking I wouldn't go any more, as I have never really got the complete hang of Al-Anon, like some people do. I can't take comfort from a Higher Power, as frankly I don't have a clue what my Higher Power is. I don't have a sponsor. I find it hard to open up in front of strangers (believe it or not). I get tongue-tied, as we sit around in a circle,  and dread the silences when it is obviously my turn in the group to speak but I have nothing to contribute, yet all eyes are secretly willing me to speak, as I am the only one who hasn't spoken yet and there are still 20 minutes of meeting time left.  The silences can be so awkward. I end up gibbering a load of irrelevant rubbish and wishing the ground would swallow me up. I don't find it helps me get things out of my system. More the reverse. More nerve-wracking. Why do I put myself through it? Some people go to several meetings in different locations in a week, declare they are soooo pleased to be at the meeting, as they couldn't get through another day without it.  I am definitely not one of those.  So, no, I am not comfortable with Al-Anon meetings. In fact I have found writing this blog has helped me far more to get inner strength and get things out of my system. However, that is not to say I have not found Al-Anon useful at all. The tips, literature, slogans, sometimes just knowing you are not the only person in the whole wide world going through alcoholic hell - all help. Of all the things I have picked up at the Al-Anon meetings I have gone to, there is one slogan which has always stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the advice.

One Day at a Time.

I found it useful not only when I was trying to cope, when my alcoholic was alive, but it is a very good tool for using in the rest of my life too. Whether you are living with an alcoholic or not, there are always times when things get on top of you, mount up, overcome you, seem impossible, or drown you. Too many things to do, too many bills to pay, too many problems to deal with, not enough time, not enough patience, not enough energy. Where to start? How to start?

One Day at a Time.

There's a Chinese proverb which says something along the lines of "A  journey of a thousand miles starts with the very first step". In other words, make a start, keep plodding along and eventually you will get to the destination, however far away it may seem.

One Day at a Time.

If you make a list of all the things that need doing, breaking down items into further subsections if they are complicated, you'll know what you are faced with. It might seem insurmountable, but prioritise and start with the most urgent. We all need a roof over our head, food, water and warmth, so I assume that  is at the top of the list, alongside a source of money obviously. Everything else drops into place behind that depending on its urgency, necessity and personal requirements.

One Day at a Time.

Start by dealing with the most urgent. If it all seems too much, just deal with one thing each day. In one week, you'll have crossed seven things off your list. The feeling of achievement, pride and relief in being able to cross those things off the list is immense. It is surprising how over the weeks, those things get whittled down. Of course things get added to the list too, as life goes on, but again just prioritise them, slip them to the top of the list or the bottom or the middle, depending on how important they are.

One Day at a Time.

You probably think I'm stating the blimmin obvious, but sometimes we are too deep in a rut, too emotionally wrung out to see the wood for the trees. Particularly if we are living with an alcoholic and juggling many balls in the air, dealing with the crazy rollercoaster of an alcoholic  relationship.

One Day at a Time.

This has helped me so many times to live with the alcoholic, accept his death, deal with the aftermath and pick myself up to carry on as a single parent to my 23-year-old daughter (still dependant on me as she is at uni) and as a carer to my 91-year old disabled mother. There have been times over the last five years, when, although Greg is dead, the legacy created by his alcoholism and death have caused problems in my life or Kay's. This has helped propel us forward. 

If you are finding life is getting on top of you, just try it.

One Day at a Time.




Nota Bene said...

Perhaps you've moved on. One day at a time...works for me

K Ville said...

sage reading, thank you

Working Mum said...

It was my matra a long time ago. Literally one day at a time - I used to tick off each day I had mangaged to get through on a calendar. The visual reminder of the ticks seemed like a great achievement at the time and gradually I realised that I had forgotten to tick the days off as I had learned to live again. It worked for me.