I used to fret about tomorrow and worried about things that never materialized. I was trying to control the “what ifs” of life. Now that life has finally served me several very real foul-tasting dishes, I realize I can only tackle problems one step at a time.
I’m back at square one as when I quit drinking twenty-two years ago. Back then, I could only manage one day at a time because thinking about the rest of my life without having a drink was unimaginable and unbearable. This time round, it’s not about quitting drinking, it’s about surviving and starting my life over. Fortunately, my survival instinct has kicked in and my frame of mind is helping me cope by taking things in stride. I’m prioritizing like never before and taking small reasonable steps towards solutions which are short-term but that keep me grounded, focused and in a good place emotionally. (I do have my days of despair, but surprisingly few).
It’s true that people are helping me along the way and I am very lucky for this, but I still have to focus on making the right moves without falling apart.
Taking life one step at a time means:
- Not despairing or throwing in the towel as I’m faced with obstacles.
- Taking small bites of life and digesting things before making any major decisions, like moving away from the city I love.
- Appreciating every little thing that is good about my life today.
- Focusing on the now and not making rash decisions when I am overwhelmed emotionally.
- Being patient.
- Doing my best now to reap a better crop later.
- Setting small goals and routines like going to the gym and exercising.
- Spending more time surrounded by friends and family.
- Hugging pets.
- Chilling and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Not obsessing over anything I cannot control.
- Knowing that in fact, I am not alone.
- Helping others out whenever possible, taking the focus off of me.
- Avoiding self-defeating negative thoughts.
- Asking for help when I need it. This one is especially hard for me, but I know I will repay my friends in some way. If I ask for help when I need it, I know the problem will not become bigger and eventually blow up in my face.
- Allowing life to unfold while working towards small present solutions to my immediate needs and problems.
- When one part of my life seems to be temporarily solved, I move onto my next task.
But above all, I must stay in the moment, stay positive, laugh a lot and be very mindful and grateful for all have, even in the midst of chaos.