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Living in the Present in Recovery

When you first get sober, you may hear people at 12-step meetings talk about living in the present. But, what does it mean to live in the present? How can you be mindful of your present while still working towards the future?

Is Anxiety Or Worry Holding You Back?

Do you struggle with thoughts of the past or anxiety about the future? It’s normal to have these thoughts every once in a while. Life can be chaotic and hard to predict. However, COVID-19 changed the world, and humans, collectively, are learning to live new ideas of “normal.” In recovery, you too will struggle to find a path. That’s normal! However, anxiety or guilt are overwhelming feelings that interfere with healing for many people.

Living in the present can help you cope with these feelings and feel more positive about your ­future. After all, today, you are sober, and you are taking on new challenges! Just for today, your recovery comes first. Living in the present doesn’t mean giving up goals; it means taking your sobriety a day at a time.

Staying in the Present

You may find it challenging to stay in the present. After all, when you lived with active addiction, you probably lived a fast-paced life. The pursuit of your drug of choice was both a short and long-term goal. There is a lot of obsession and compulsion that can come with addiction.

How can you learn to focus on the present? Here are some things you can try:

  • Go for a walk on the beach or down a quiet street alone, without looking at your phone or texting. (Put it in your pocket on mute.) As you walk, make a list in your mind of five things you hear, five things you see, what you feel and what you smell. Concentrate on these things as you walk, and try to remember them when you get home.
  • Mindfulness is one method that people in recovery may turn to stay focused and centered. There are many websites and videos out there available to learn mindfulness techniques.
  • Celebrate the small things! Every day in life, there are things to celebrate. Savor your favorite sandwich; enjoy your 15 minutes alone with your favorite playlist. Enjoy these moments.
  • Cook a meal every week. We appreciate and savor our food more when we know how much work goes into it. So, why not create a meal you love and share it with your housemates. As you eat, take time to notice the spices or other ingredients you put into the meal. Stay present during the meal by engaging with your guests.
  • Practice active listening when you’re having a conversation. Ask questions, and re-state what you have heard to show you understand what the other person means. (You can find videos about active listening on websites like Youtube.)
  • Wear a rubber band around your wrist. When you think about your past life or negativity, snap the band. Now try mindfulness exercises or listen to music to re-ground yourself in the present.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love struggles with substance use, help is available! People from all walks of life struggle with drugs or alcohol. Recovery is possible! We’re here to answer any questions about detox and treatment. Give us a call to learn about our programs at 619-363-4767.








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Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

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