Recovery Is a Journey, Not a Destination

Dec 28, 2021

You do not exist in the future, only in this present moment. One of the principles of most 12-Step programs is the idea of “one day at a time,” which is one of the main facets of sustainable recovery. Many people believe that full recovery will happen in the future, and while full recovery is possible, your current recovery is not sustainable if you only focus on the future. Therefore, the idea of “one day at a time” is critical as you navigate the ups and downs of your daily life. Living in the now will ensure your recovery.

Mindfulness in Recovery

You cannot expect to build a better and brighter future unless you can focus on today. Life does not exist in the future but in the tiny moments making up your present. Focusing on the present enables you to avoid relapse by recognizing your lack of control over tomorrow and the next day. You cannot control your future except through the behaviors you enact today. Taking control of your current decisions and reflecting upon them will assist you in making better decisions tomorrow. Recovery is not achieved in one day but in every passing day.

As you close every day and reflect upon your actions, you ask yourself how your “one day” went. You do not focus on past mistakes but instead, focus on today and what you might do better tomorrow. Every day offers a lesson for improvement. However, progress only happens “one day at a time.” Following the ideas of 12-Step programs enables you to take each day at a time and focus only on your behaviors today, which will significantly impact your behaviors in the future.

What Seems Impossible Becomes Possible

In the beginning stages of recovery, identifying a day when you successfully overcame your addiction can be a mistake. Focusing so far into the future can set you up for early relapse, destroying your hope of achieving recovery by limiting your belief in your capability to recover. The tenets of 12-Step programs require you to focus not on the future but on your present. Suddenly, the impossible becomes possible. Audrey Hepburn explained the word “impossible” as another way of saying, “I’m possible.” This adage is true for recovering from abuse of alcohol and/or other substances. 

Believing in the possibility of recovery is more than half the battle. The other part of battling for recovery is understanding your control extends only to each individual moment. While the saying is “one day at a time,” you may need to shrink the timetable to one hour, minute, or second. You can only control your present moment. As you can control your decisions in the present, you make room for success in the future. Suddenly, the impossibility of recovery becomes more than possible. Suddenly, you have hope for the future you desire.

Finding Your Hope for the Future

Accessing those feelings of possibility and hope requires hard work. Attending meetings and reaching out for support are essential to successful recovery. For more information on the 12-Steps, consider reviewing Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions available here

Another opportunity to achieve your success is reaching out to other people recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) related to alcohol and/or other substances. Renaissance Ranch offers this support. We offer the Band of Brothers network, which assists in providing support after treatment at Renaissance Ranch. You can learn more about the Band of Brothers network here. There is hope for your future. Asking for help and focusing on “one day at a time” is essential to building the future you want.

Seeking out support is critical to your recovery. You need accountability for your actions and help as you navigate recovery. You may seek this support through professional means with a therapist, or you may seek a sponsor to help you navigate the 12-Steps, requiring you to focus on your behaviors with each passing day. 

Things to Remember

Recovery is not impossible if you focus on “one day at a time.” In 1935, Bill W. began seeking a way to overcome addiction. His focus started with the idea of controlling our behaviors for each day. As you can succeed in one day, you will discover continued success with every passing day. You cannot live in your future life nor only focus on achieving the future you desire. Your future develops in every behavior of your present experience. 

Recovery takes time, effort, and support. It also requires mindfulness of your present and a belief in your ability and control of making positive decisions for your life.

Focusing on your future is critical to recovery, but you can only reach your future when you focus on your recovery “one day at a time.” Recovery is a journey, and even in full recovery, you can only manage “one day at a time.” At Renaissance Ranch, we believe in the importance of taking recovery step by step. We offer support for every part of the journey, including detox and aftercare through our Band of Brothers network. We believe in the possibility of full recovery and healing for your life, but know recovery is a journey, not a destination. We offer a clinically driven and gospel-centered program to help you through each step of the recovery process. If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol and/or other substances, reach out to Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898 and learn how to take recovery step by step. You deserve a full life. Take the first step and call now.