Photo by Jacqui Morley

One Day at a Time” is a slogan central to AA, NA, Al-Anon and other 12 Step fellowships.

I could have filed this post under ‘How to Cope and How to Grow’ because taking our recovery one day at a time is a really practical way of coping. It means you don’t ask too much of yourself and you don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while to change your habits and behaviours.

But I decided to slot this post into the ‘Mind’ section of Recovery Toolbox instead. Why? Because I thought back to my worst moments, the phases in the last seven years when things were bleak and I was struggling.

And what I remembered, was how the craziness that goes with the territory of Addiction affected my mental state. Stress and chaos do things to a human being’s state of mind. Some of these states that may resonate with you are:

  • A mental ‘fog’ in your brain
  • A feeling of helplessness
  • Paralysis – not knowing where to start in tackling your chores or to-do list
  • Not wanting to go anywhere because you have no energy; feeling unsociable for the same reason.
  • Inability to set priorities
  • Mental confusion – an inability to ‘think straight’.
  • Memory like a sieve.
  • Recurring thoughts of guilt and self-blame.

That’ll do to be going on with, right? But notice how a few of those states of mind I’ve highlighted above, can also affect how you feel in your body. That’s because our minds and bodies are deeply connected with each other.

So we need a top tip to counteract stress and help us break through these unpleasant mental and physical states that do not serve us.

And your go-to catchphrase is…


Say it out loud if you like. Shout it from the rooftops!

Sometimes it can be one hour at a time – if you’re in the middle of a crisis, it’s definitely like that. On a bad day we can definitely find some relief in getting through the shit that’s happening by telling ourselves to take things ‘one hour at a time’.

If you feel like it, you can put a post-it note on your fridge or above your computer or above the kitchen sink with ‘One Day at a Time’ written on it. It will remind you to be kind to yourself.

Write it down in your Notebook. Let it become your mantra and lead you, One Day at a Time, towards Serenity.