Doing the next right thing is a motto taken from Alcoholics Anonymous. As alcoholics and addicts we have spent a lot of time seldom doing the right thing. Alcoholics and addicts spend much of their time lying. Some of us have stolen things and have certainly hurt others because of the nature of our disease. The thing is most of us are decent people who would never think of stealing and lying when we weren’t drinking or abusing drugs. After getting sober, we look back on the places our disease has taken us and we can’t believe some of the things we did.
Once we are sober, we realize that we have to make changes if we are to stay sober. We have to be honest and the lying and stealing have to end. We have to be accountable to others and to ourselves. I have had bad days in sobriety, but at the end of the day if I can honestly say I did my best, I feel good. If we continue to have the same bad attitudes, the day will come when we will drink again. It is a proven fact.
One of the things some active alcoholics will tell you is that they can’t look in the mirror at themselves. I know that has been true for me. We can’t look in our own eyes. When we do have to look in the mirror, it is quick and our eyes averted. One of the blessings that come with sobriety is the ability to look into our own eyes and not see the things we have done reflecting back at us.
I have tried many drugs in the illusive pursuit of feeling good. I can honestly say that days when I know I did the next right thing all day, the high feeling I get is better than any drug high. Of course my addiction will get the better of me sometimes and I forget that I would rather be sober than high on drugs. It is a process and as AA says “it is progress not perfection”.
My daughter is a recovering addict. Like most of us she has done things while using that she is not proud of. We are attending a family function this weekend. At first she wasn’t going to go because there are family members that know some of her behaviors. I was concerned because that said to me that she was still not holding herself accountable. She came to me a few hours ago and said she would be attending the family get together. I told her how proud I was of her. More than that, I know she is doing the next right thing and that is what will keep her sober.