The answer to that is always up to the individual, but I was listening to several podcasts while I cleaned my house, and a few lights came on. The hosts were questioning the value of counting days and “sober time” and anniversaries and the positives/negatives of that. The positives are pretty obvious but for those who are stumbling frequently, it can be a real downer. In fact it can be so discouraging that it’s common to start avoiding your recovery peeps because it’s pure hell to feel stuck or “back there” again when others seem to be clicking along OR worse yet, you might start thinking that you just can’t get this. Horrors.
Kick that thought to the curb right now. I’ve never seen it fail that someone in a sober community comes clean about struggling and a dozen others don’t emerge from the woodwork saying, “Oh God, me too, I was just too ashamed to confess how much I have been floundering.” And then some magic starts to happen because everyone is bonded together and holding hands.
We all know that AA is based on “one day at a time” but AA is also HUGE on recognizing milestones. The podcast host who got sober in AA and advocates for it recalled going to a meeting that always opened with the line: “The first person out of bed this morning is the one with the longest sobriety.”
I so love that for a number of reasons, least of which is a reminder to be humble and diligent if you are feeling invincible and HOPEFUL if you are struggling. It’s just ONE day and if you got up at the ass-crack of dawn, you are not only in the race but at the moment, a bit ahead of that guy who has 35 years of sobriety but slept in longer. Staying connected with hope on this journey is SO IMPORTANT because there is so much shame and self-loathing attached to even DEALING with any addiction. Those toxic emotions and self-image issues are Addiction’s Siamese Twins. Kick those muthas to the curb every chance you get.
So if you have some time under your belt or you’ve hit a milestone (maybe it’s only 5 days but it’s your FIRST 5 days ever!!!), feel GOOD about that and celebrate those anniversaries OUT LOUD! But if you’re stumbling along or doing very well and then hitting a pothole or two, take heart. You don’t even have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn. Just get on the track and join the race FOR TODAY. Just make it through today and then drink in THAT cocktail of endorphins or seratonins or dopamine rushes or whatever we feel when we’ve shown up for ourselves and made it happen.
So just for TODAY, I got up early AND I’m staying gloriously and happily alcohol free all day and half the night. By 12:01 AM when this day ends, I’ll be out like a light so I’m home free until I rise and the next TODAY begins. But I’ll jump off that bridge when I get to it.
Are you with me? Give me a big YES! and let’s do this thing!
Love you from the heart of my bottom, Maggy
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