When I first heard the concept, as a young, newly sober lad, of “living life like there’s no tomorrow”, I bought into the idea immediately and I repeated it often.
As I’ve grown in recovery, I’ve tempered that attitude and modified it considerably, because of one gnawing little reality; if there were no tomorrow, I wouldn’t go to work today. My friends, if this was my last month on earth I wouldn’t go to work, let alone my last day.
Once I got there in my head, the saying didn’t hold its sway.
See, when I sobered up, I’d run out of options. This is what most people call their “bottom”. The point at which we decide to stop digging. I was technically homeless, though not literally (my parents were “II” that close to throwing me out on my ass) when I left treatment. I convinced my dad, then my mom, to let me show them that I’d changed, that I had made my mind up to stay sober in treatment… and they did. And I lived up to my end. I was a meeting-going fool, starting that very evening. I committed to doing 90 meetings in 90 days. Then I did 90 in 90 one more time, just to make sure I did it right the first time.
Since that stint in treatment, I haven’t looked back. There has been progress, followed by setbacks, followed by more progress until my life doesn’t look a thing like it did back then. I have so much fun with day-to-day life, if the government found out, the politicians would figure out how to tax fun, because it’s obviously not fair that I’m having that much. Folks, it’s that good.
But what I can’t do is lose sight of what got me here in the first place.
Hard, uncomfortable work. Commitment and dedication. Mindfulness, Meetings. Recovery. Doing my best to be a good husband, a good dad, a good employee and boss… Honesty, open-mindedness, willingness. Reliance on my Higher Power and a desire to do His will (even when mine seems like it’d be more fun). Sharing my experience, strength and hope with others. Freely giving away what was so freely given to me…. and most important, I have to remember what got me to do all of that bat-shit crazy stuff to begin with:
I ran out of options.
I live life like I might not get a second chance if I screw this one up.