There is no more perfect day on which to do it than December 31st.
Drinking is only one of the many temptations I must eschew on this last day of the year.
I am, like many people, a tragic but true believer in psychic time travel. What Might Have Been is the thing I love most in the world. Woulda Coulda and Shoulda are my BFFs. I also enjoy the company of Wishing, Hoping and Just Knowing what’s going to happen. On gloomy days I keep company with Dread and Anxiety and dwell in what the Twelve Step program calls “the wreckage of the future.”
It’s a crazy, painful way to live, and I try to remind myself of this on a daily basis.
New Year’s Eve is a teachable moment.
I try to imagine, for instance, what it would be like if today’s newspapers and blogs carried lists of the Best and Worst of 2012. What if we mapped out the whole year and looked back on it before it even began. For anxious control freaks like myself it would be a dream realized.
What if, at the same time, we looked ahead to 2011 as an opportunity for change, renewal and new beginnings?
Now that for me, and perhaps for you too, would be nirvana.
It would be also insane and impossible.
Of course many of us want to manipulate our past and future–and obviously we can not. You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to know that humans are not capable of fixing history nor looking back wisely on what lies ahead.
Living with the past, we learn in recovery, is about doing our best to find acceptance and make peace with our regrets and mistakes. Facing the future is about courage and openness.
Tonight, I hope and pray I will stay steady and sober, neither falling forward nor staggering back in the darkness.