“Just for today: I will be vigilant, doing everything necessary to guard my recovery.”
Happy New Year!
Just to be able to say that with meaning feels amazing. To not only be able to look back at 2014 with satisfaction but to be able to look to the year ahead with hope and excitement is incredible and certainly a far cry away from this time last year (and indeed many New Year’s Days prior to that).
On this New Year’s Day I can actually make affirmations and have a chance at living them. Previously, any resolutions, aims and plans for the year to come became increasingly more desperate and increasingly impossible to fulfill as my illness continually tightened its grip on me and I became more and more powerless; powerless over alcohol, powerless over the anguish in my head and consequently powerless to commit to anything in any area of my life.
Not today though 🙂 Sure, I’ve no idea if I’ll make good on anything I might commit to at the start of this new year because I’ve no idea how 2015 will pan out. In fact, I don’t even feel a particular need to make a statement with any particularly radical new year’s resolutions. Things aren’t completely broken today, so there’s no burning desire to turn anything on its head in attempt to fix them. Thanks to the total absence of alcohol and it’s pesky calorie count I feel pretty trim and healthy already, I was lucky enough to start a new job last year that seems to fit me and my needs really well, I’ve already started to cut down on smoking now that I’m approaching my first sobriety birthday…and most importantly, I know today that none of these things are my problem, nor are they my solution. They’re all great things to tackle if they’re not in order already but none of them or anything else on the surface of things are going to be what shapes real happiness in the coming year. Similarly, obsessing over them too much won’t help me avoid projecting too much into the future; bemoaning my shortcomings of the past and worrying over what I think needs to happen in the future. One of the many things I learnt in 2014 and will try really hard to remember this year is that I’ve no idea what needs to happen in the future really and therefore there’s no point worrying about it. I can find it really difficult but I need to try and focus on the moment at hand and live just for today.
So, at the start of this year I’m going to keep it simple. For 2015 I plan to keep trying to be a better person. Be more loving, selfless and honest and actually try to put in action that backs that up. I’m great at hypothesising about things, thinking my way towards being better; not so great at putting in action that demonstrates a positive change. I plan to focus on things that are healthy and good for me (more yoga but also more work with other people) and put in work around mitigating my well known fear triggers (more organised with my finances to stop giving my security instinct an excuse to go haywire for example). Of course, the underpinning factor to all of these things is my 12 step programme and so, most importantly, I plan to work harder at it (steps 10, 11 and 12 in particular) and try to improve how I weave it into everything I do as opposed to picking it up and putting it down when it suits me.
The main thing really, is to promise myself that this year I will live. That I will try my best to appreciate every moment, everything I am given and every opportunity that comes my way. Twelve months ago I thought there was no chance of that but today I can live and while I am living sober then everything else will be OK.