“One Day at a Time really just breaks it down. I can get overwhelmed when I think about the future… I want to control it. Run it. Panic about it. My anxiety goes up through the roof. But when I just stay in one day at a time, I can manage that.”

~ John M.


“People who live [The Serenity] prayer discover how to strike a dynamic balance between acceptance and change. This gift is precious, and it’s one that we can enjoy for a lifetime.”

~ Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation





My beautiful fellow sojourner (soul journey-er) commented on a recent post from May 17 called “Develop Healthy Habits to Maintain Your Sobriety” (or sub the word “Sanity” if you’re a non-12-Stepper… same…) about some challenges she is facing which opened an entry point for old undesirable habits to show up. Sometimes, our humanity just takes center stage and it hurts and feels downright hard no matter how much of an evolutionary spiritual being we know we really are.

Circumstances can derail us temporarily, even though it doesn’t feel temporary to me when I’m in that space. All the pithy phrases that roll through my mind can ring hollow and sound trite when my pendulum is swinging the other way––quite unlike their tone when I’m feeling confident, on top of the world, and in the flow.

But even in my sometimes sarcastic mind, I do know the principles are pure and true. They stand strong when I feel weak. They will be there waiting for me when I am ready to let their truths back in.

I’ve learned this through my recovery program, in my spiritual studies, and during visits to my daughter in Seattle at various times of year: Mt. Rainier is undeniably there in its same spot, even when the clouds completely obliterate it from my view. It’s beyond faith––it is knowing.

The principles of recovery and the good habits they invite are the same ones that show up in most all of the wisdom teachings, though sometimes in different words. They are always words of truth, and they will always work and bring peace. They are the foundations that offer “a guideline for healing.”

For me, the essence of all the recovery tools boil down to two gems:
One Day At A Time; and,
The Serenity Prayer.

God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Both are mantras to me. Warm blankets on a damp chilly dawn. So simple and pure. Not always easy to feel, but vital to know, for these basics always provide me solace.

Because it doesn’t take a catastrophic event for old habits, physical or mental, to sneak in. Sometimes it’s just the run of the mill ebb and flow of self-confidence giving way to self-doubt. I feel it, and I know it is just fear.

Fear and self-doubt come to remind me to get back in the habit of applying these same principles to my new level of awareness and experience. And to not drink, no matter what.



One day at a time – or one minute – how do you come back to truth and override old habits with empowering ones?

What would serenity look like / feel like in your current situation?

What do you need to accept? What do you need to change?




In gratitude, harmony, and support,



3 thoughts on “ODAAT

  • June 15, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Hi, I think at a very young age we are asked “what do you want to be when you grow up”, I am sure none of us answered an “Alcoholic” . So everyday is a new day, with the same issues as yesterday for some of us.. Do they go away, for me no they don’t. Are you bothered by that same situation say a year from now, for me yes. Flash backs suck. Does a tragic situation go away in one’s mind. So the word one day at a time makes no sense to me. Are we talking about this “one day at a time” just for Alcohol – not to drink or should we apply this one day at a time with life situations? For me it is dealing with life situation to the best of are ability without drinking. Getting the proper help for an Alcoholic can be just AA for some and for others an outpatient program where you learn what a alcoholic is and how not to drink in the outside world and the world’s everyday problems. I could go on and on about this, but enough for now.
    Serenity would look like peace without “lifes” problems.
    Acceptance an Change is for another time.

    • June 16, 2018 at 3:51 am

      Hey Karen,
      When you say “dealing with a life situation to the best of our ability without drinking ,” that really resonates — thank you.
      The best of my ability varies from awesomely powerful to wimpy skimpy… usually it is somewhere in between.
      I could not do it at all without HP, my sponsor, and my sober friends. So grateful…

    • June 17, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Hi Karen, such thought provoking ideas you post. Flashbacks suck for me too. Sometimes ones I haven’t even recalled before shoot across my mind and it’s appalling. What I’m learning to do is not to pull it out and relive it in each painstaking detail. At least not in that moment.. maybe appropriate to talk about it to my sponsor or sober friend or counselor to gain insight, but instead of letting it freak me out and make me feel like a piece of crap I tell myself “wow ick. That wouldn’t happen today. I have come a long way.” And then try to mentally and / or physically put myself in a different space. That’s what one day at a time means to me. Today is my one day, not that painful one that is only a memory that I don’t have to focus on. I can only change, impact, manage this day. Serenity for me looks like peace despite life’s problems….


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