04/12/2015 10:23 EDT | Updated 06/12/2015 05:59 EDT

After a Year of Being Sober, I've Learned to Slow Down

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"The days run away like wild horses over the hills." ~ Charles Bukowski

I spent my Easter weekend awash in blessings.

This evening, though, I am haunted by an idea that has been nagging at me, beleaguering me as I fall asleep engulfed in coziness, twitching at the back of my mind when I stroll past (note: not into, but past) my running shoes on my way out the door in the morning.

I have long been a firm believer in the expression "you are exactly where you are supposed to be, right now" and for the most part, I still am. But as I lay tonight, tucked in safe and sound after my delicious meal with loved ones, I had to doubt my use of this aphorism for just a moment. I feel incredibly grateful, content, blessed beyond my wildest dreams. My life feels comfortable, like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

But what if I'm not?

What if I'm using a simple saying to excuse my complacency of late? Am I allowing the trivialities of my life, good and bad, to prevent me from pushing myself? What have I done to help someone other than myself lately? When did I last completely give of myself to a stranger?

These questions, and so many more, are the late-night fodder right now--and they are legitimate.

I celebrated a year of sobriety in February.

That first year is selfish in many ways--and necessarily so. After all, without sobriety, I am no good to anyone--to my child, my family, even strangers. In fact, I'm the flat out opposite of good, without sobriety.

But now, almost 14 months in, there is space in my life to help others. Whether these people are alcoholics, or simply others I can reach out to in some way--I need to be challenging myself to be there.

The same goes for my performance at school, with friends, my yoga practice, my runs.

How often do we fall into a lull of passiveness and forget how precious every single moment is? We only get one chance here, and every day that we don't push just that little extra bit to be the best we can be is lost, never to be regained.

Some days, the best I've really been able to do is get out of bed. If that is you, today, embrace it. I am not negating that of its validity. There is honour and achievement in doing exactly what you are able to do, today.

Some days, all I could do was breathe through the day, and not drink. Others, being a good mom was my one pure focus. I know that there will be more days and moments like this to come.

I've realized that I've shying my eyes away from my capability to do more than I am. That I really can't justify missing my yoga mat tomorrow morning or excuse making my blood donor appointment because "I'm right where I should be."

My one chance is right here in front of me and if I'm capable of doing more, I need to get my sober, mom/writer/student butt into gear and do it. Whether it's finding a way to give back to the community, pushing my own personal goals at school and in my writing, or engaging with another soul, connecting, and giving in whatever way I can help them.

One day at a time. One moment at a time.

I need to keep doing my best; and then just a little bit more.

I'll see you on my yoga mat at sunrise.

"when Whitman wrote, 'I sing the body electric'

I know what he


I know what he


to be completely alive every moment

in spite of the inevitable.

we can't cheat death but we can make it

work so hard

that when it does take


it will have known a victory just as

perfect as


― Charles Bukowski

This piece was originally published on the website


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