My One Step Program

eric mccarty
2 min readJul 20, 2021

My one step program:

I am sober, right now, this very moment — and I have been for a number of years, just how long, to be exact, I no longer recall. That’s enough for me. My Twelve Step Program has been reduced through my affinity for simplicity, or some may even say, laziness. Both are probably true. Such being the case, and only for my own offering, I have found a single step (and in truth, no step is found at all) to be the most profound — relax. For me, the essence of all Twelve Steps is found here, relaxing my need to be sober, surrendering the illusion of power, a deep relaxation into whatever this very moment may contain — warts and all.

And it may contain alcohol.

Or drugs.

But so far it hasn’t.

It doesn’t always hold peace, or joy, or comfort.

It doesn’t have too.

And that alone has set me free — I don’t get (or have) to choose sobriety, or to suffer, or to be happy. I don’t even choose to relax. This moment happens all on its own. The best that I can do is to relax, to see that the world is all happening on its own accord, without my help and certainly better without my interference.


Even the breath has a rhythm of its own.

Thoughts too.

It all passes through or lingers, and yet no mark is left beyond their passage.

Even memories.

So I don’t count days. I make no effort to stay sober, to avoid alcohol, or people who drink. It does seem as if my circle of people is different now. But that came by no effort or intent of elimination. People — like the breath, and thoughts, move through our lives with a rhythm too of their own. Relaxing, we welcome them all and just as easily we watch them go.

Even if they leave a trace of loneliness.

Or bitterness.

Sweetness too.

If is appears within the moment it is also our acceptance.

This is day one — the only day I’ve ever had, the only moment ever known or given.

Step One:


There are no other steps.



eric mccarty

Writer, prose poetry, meditation teacher and lifetime student