During my sobriety I have been working on “Living in the Moment.” It seems that everywhere I turn this concept is offered as the gateway to happiness; recovery readings, meetings, therapy, Buddhist teachings, self-help books, they all advise living in the moment.
It took me awhile to figure it out, but I will say that is does help – a lot. When I am appreciating, and thinking about what is right around me at a certain moment, the voices in my head are quiet, things are peaceful, and life is manageable. It works, it really does.
A few nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night with a somewhat scary thought. I realized that drinking used to put me “In the Moment”. When I was drinking, all there was was the drink, maybe some friends and some inane conversation, not much else. Troubles were gone, new ones I was creating were not apparent yet, and it was all about the here and now. It worked – temporarily. This thought confused me, if I need to be in the moment, and drinking used to put me there, what am I not understanding?
For the next few days the dime-store philosophers in my head went to work on this issue. Eventually, I came out the other side realizing that it’s that first word that really matters: “Drinking in the Moment” does not equal “Living in the Moment”. The key is to replace a temporary journey to the moment, previously achieved by chemical alteration, with a real genuine presence in the moment. When I can find the moment and actually “live” in it, things are ok, and I lose the desire to try and make that journey artificially.