There are many slogans in recovery that people choose to hang onto. Two of the most difficult sayings that I have learned to apply from my twelve step recovery meetings were “One Day At A Time” and “This Too Shall Pass”. This has only been able to occur through enduring much pain throughout my life.
Over the seventeen years that I have been clean and sober there has been a lot of tragedy in my life that has come and gone. My father committed suicide in the fall of 1996. I was diagnosed with Fibromyaliga in the spring of 1997. One of my only friends passed away at a very young age due to a sudden brain aneurism in the fall of 2000. My Grandmother who I was very close to died shortly after due to a stroke. A few years beyond that during the winter of 2005 my Mother fell down the stairs and broke her neck dying instantly. Two years later, a seven year relationship I thought I was meant to be in for the rest of my life ended. And then within the next few years, the bed and breakfast that I owned went under and was sold as a short sale with me losing all the capital I had invested into it.
Each of these made my life seem impassable. I thought I would never recover from the trauma I endured in each of them. When I was in the worst pain with each of them I couldn’t see through the clouds or the forest. Being in the middle of any storm in life and living day in and day where the pain never seems to change, a common reaction for me is to want to give up. I realized after enough of these had happened in my life, that combining two of them together helped me to make it through ones that would happen later.
“One Day At A Time”. What does this mean? It means living in the moment. It means not worrying about tomorrow because it’s not here yet. It means focusing on just getting through the day I’m in.
“This Too Shall Pass”. What does this mean? It means that what I’m going through will pass in time. It means that no matter what I am enduring, at some point it will lift. It means that no matter how bad it may feel inside, that I will feel good again.
With each of the tragedies and traumas that I have gone through, I have found greater and greater success and healing by applying the two of these slogans together. If I can live one day at a time, in the moment, telling myself that this too is going to pass, then inevitably at some point, whatever it was I am going through will end and I will feel better again, even more so than before the thing ever started.
For the past few years, since April 27th, 2010, I have been enduring chronic pain that I believe to be coming from my body’s healing process in releasing all the old toxic energy I had stored within me. Where I once found these twelve step recovery slogans to be silly and useless, I now rely upon them greatly and even find myself saying them in my head over and over again.
I know there will be a day soon that I am free from living in the physical pain I have felt for so long. I will keep doing my best to live in the moment each day telling myself that what it is I’m feeling is going to pass and I will keep on praying to God for strength to continue to endure. And so far, thank God, this has helped me sustain almost three years of this. Between my prayers, my faith in God, and living by these slogans, I am getting better. I am healing.
And I know that…
The clouds will part again.
The clearing in the forest is just on the horizon.
The sun will rise again.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson