How to Live for the Moment in Addiction Recovery
Entering treatment can be a daunting experience. It’s always frightening stepping into the unknown. Life without drugs or alcohol for an addicted individual is just that: unknown territory. For many addicts, it’s not just the future but a haunting past filled with addiction-fueled behaviors making them uncertain of their path in addiction recovery. Whatever the reason, fear of treatment can be basically eliminated with the right outlook. You may have heard the phrase “live for the moment” as it relates to addiction treatment. This refers to the outlook that a recovering individual must embrace to get over fears that come with beginning a recovery journey.
The Importance of the Present
Many philosophers and influential people have been quoted for their beliefs on how important the present moment is. Namely and most largely quoted is the face and founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, known for saying, “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly”. To live for the moment simply means not to worry about the past or future so that one can be successful in the here and now. If you think about it, nothing is more important than each present moment, because we cannot change the past and we cannot determine the future. Worrying about things that we cannot change only gives us added stress that has no positive purpose in life.
Battling with the Past and Future
Some believe that ignoring the past is a way to repeat past mistakes, but there is a difference between recognizing them and dwelling on them constantly. Additionally, many believe that their future will not be as bright if they do not focus on it. However, there is a difference between apathy for the future and an unhealthy obsession with it.
Treatment may be a daunting experience for you because you cannot imagine your life without drugs or alcohol as a staple priority. Thinking about who you are now and where you will be 5 years from now, that person might be fuzzy since it’s a whole new person. The point of treatment is not to get sober in one day. It takes many days of living life for the moment to the best of your ability to get to where you want to be.
An analogy akin to “living life for the moment” involves getting into the mindset of a person who just lost a foot race. If you dwell on the past, you may not ever race again for fear of repeated failure. If you worry about winning in the future, you never opt to run today’s race. Living in the present gives individuals in addiction recovery a timeframe they can handle. Saying, “I won’t drink today” is easier than saying, “I won’t drink for the rest of my life”. Dealing with present moment gives the recovering person the strength they need to get through the only day that counts; today.
Tips on how to Live for the Moment
Mindfulness: Practicing being mindful is theoretically the same as living in the present. Instead of letting your mind race about other things when you are doing something, focus on the task at hand. This will ensure that you are really in that moment.
Meditation: This quest for inner peace gives you the tools to be aware of the present moment. This state helps you to focus on what is happening right then; breathing, clearing the mind of outside factors and focusing on what is going on in your life that needs addressing at that time. Spending time reflecting inward to the self-promotes awareness that is hard to accomplish elsewhere.
Awareness: Notice the little things going on around you. Ask yourself questions about what you see to promote awareness. Drugs and alcohol rob you of your conscious because they are an escape from emotions and reality. Sobriety will give you the opportunity to recognize current emotions and situations you would not have noticed while using.
Live for the Moment in Addiction Recovery
No matter which methods you choose to practice how to live in the moment, integrating a present state of mind will help you advance in addiction recovery. It will give you the confidence to take on each new day as a challenge to defeat and help you be determined to tackle every moment. Always remember, there is help out there it only takes the present moment to make that decision.