A mom wrote to me: As the mother of a 23-year-old addict, I fear looking too far into the future. Recently, I visited a close friend who is dying of lung cancer. He and his wife savor every day, every hour, they have together. It reminded me how Al-Anon teaches us to live one day – and sometimes one hour – at a time. The choice is mine. I can live each day in fear and anguish over my son, spending my time in dread and misery. Or I can strive to be happy and – much like my friend – savor the time I have left.
My reaction: When Jeff was in active addiction, I started each day with the prayer, “Dear Lord, keep him alive today.” Sitting quietly, even for a few minutes, was a challenge as my mind raced and conjured traumatic scenarios. I lived in fear that the phone would ring, especially in the middle of the night, blistering my sleep with frantic anxiety. In time, I learned to take my life back. Al-Anon’s steps gave me the road map to recovery and, eventually, to happiness.
Today’s Promise to consider: The choice of how we live our lives is ours. We can choose to live in dread and misery or we can choose to live in serenity and peace. When our lives are crumbling around us, it’s not easy to strive toward happiness, but I will. For today, I will savor the day, smile and rejoice.