Counting Days

I think I have written about this before. But SM wrote something today and it made me think and so here I am, writing.

I don’t count days. I never have. I know my sobriety date – December 1, 2013. I know when months go by, as it is always on the 1st. But I never kept a tally or used a counter.

Why? Taking this journey one day at a time has been an important concept for me. I only have today. So staying sober right now is all that matters. Everything leading up to today taught me all I need to know about my current choices. What happens tomorrow is out of my control. So today I stay sober.

It is nice to celebrate and acknowledge long periods of sobriety. Mainly because seeing others succeed for yers helps reinforce the idea that life continues to evolve and improve in sobriety. That the benefits are long lasting. And that life goes on – with pain, joy, hardships, grief and celebrations. And they can all be handled sober.

As an aside – if you are a day counter, and you decide to drink again – whether it be 1 drink or 100, my personal belief is that you reset the day counter at day 1. I’m not discounting the time spent sober, but if we are to celebrate and recognize milestones in places like AA, it requires full and rigorous honesty. But that is completely my opinion. Personal truth is different for each of us.

Whether you have 1 day or 10000 days – I salute you today. One is not better than the other. It is just a number. Make today count. Sober.

Stillness and peace.


29 thoughts on “Counting Days

  1. Beautifully said, Ann, as always! I totally agree with one day at a time. I guess my worry about restarting at day 1 is that it becomes licence to turn a momentary slip into a total bender (I’ve been there before! The wine witch tells you that you’ve already buggered everything up, so might as well go wild….). Perhaps it’s best avoided by not counting in the first place! Anyway, it is – hopefully – all academic, as I’m not planning to fall off the wagon. You are an inspiration. SM x

    1. I know what you mean. Like dieting. One bite becomes a binge.
      I think it is important in some settings to define sobriety. Like AA.
      For living life it is irrelevant. Today is what counts!!!!!

  2. You are absolutely the person I strive to emulate when it comes to long-term recovery. The fact that you’ve got all this sober time behind you, but you don’t really dwell on it or analyze the bejesus out of it…. I love that. Eventually I want to be there. It’s a really Zen place to be, just focusing on the PRESENT, ya know? You really inspire me Anne. Thank You :).

  3. This funny sober discussion about yes or not to start back at 0 when you drank. I’m thinking if you are counting days, and find those important, then yes, start at 0. If not, not – but it is still a bit funny to hear somebody say I am a 1000 days sober while in fact someone drank the week before. It would feel like lying to me. :-/ And denial.
    Like you, I know the date, I celebrate the months but indeed it is today that counts.
    xx, Feeling

    1. I agree. Counting is just an arbitrary measurement. Some people find they love sobriety immediately. Some never do. I think the focus should be on making the most of every day.
      Drinking doesn’t let me do that.

  4. I just saw your post after hitting publish on mine. Ironically, I started with a big screenshot of my counter app stating “Today is 365 Days since May 12, 2014.” Counting Days worked for me when I really needed it for motivation. Ultimately, I got to the point where I was losing count, somewhere after 250, and that was a beautiful place to reach. Like yours, my post stresses one day at a time. And I love being in a place now where today is what matters most.

  5. Great post as usual Anne. I find counting helps me in the early days. I’m hoping that I will one day get to the stage where it doesn’t matter any more and I just celebrate the bigger milestones, like months, then a year, then years and so on. But for the moment I’m counting. And trying to take it one day at a time. A x

  6. I count days. It gives me motivation. I also take one day at a time. It gives me hope. Sometimes I take one hour at a time. It gives me strength. I agree with everything you said. Whatever works, whatever makes us stronger.

  7. I do count, more because I feel like each day I live sober is an accomplishment. At the same time, I don’t assign a value to a certain amount of time in sobriety…and I don’t think we’re all on the same dogmatic sober trajectory…So many other parts of my life bring meaning to each day…the fact that I’m sober is a starting point that makes everything else possible…for me sobriety is not an end goal in and of itself. But it is a miracle that I’m grateful for…so many people struggle with addiction and often fail…I think every day that we’ve broken free and remain free is it’s own cause for celebration.

      1. Are you reading course in miracles?
        I am and doing the daily lessons.
        So many other books reference it. Might as well go to the source!

      2. Yes….it is a Marianne Williamson book that focuses on using the course in miracles approach to healthy weight loss and healthy eating.

  8. I never counted in the beginning but then I decided I wanted to know how much further away I was getting from the last time I drank. I guess my counting is driven by the guilt and shame of my last drunk. I don’t always check the counter but when I do, it’s a nice surprise. Today is 339 🙂 Great post!

    1. Dear Anne,
      When I first tried to get sober I didn’t count.
      Then I relapsed, and so now I am trying counting.
      It seems to help me for some reason.
      Then maybe, it has nothing at all to do with counting, and I was finally ready.
      I am sober today and very happy!
      Thank you!

  9. I love this post Anne! I have to count my days. It keeps me grounded and standing on two feet. I have to remind myself daily that I don’t want to start at Day 1 again. I love to know that people have more days than me….and one day I’m going to catch up to everyone. I hope it motivates newcomers and shows them that anything they put their heart to …and mind to…. is possible. Anything.
    Sober life is an amazing experience. One day at a time.
    Day 138

  10. I have been meaning to comment on this post for 3 days… sorry it took so long, and what a great topic!

    Here’s my two cents: I no longer count days, but I most certainly count sober time. Being invested in my sober days was a HUGE turning point in my road to recovery. I remember well when I actively thought, “If I drink I will be giving up my sober time” and it actually meaning something to me. When I put those facts together, I remember how elated I felt, because I knew I was on the recovery road for keeps!

    My sober date is very, very important to me, but if you asked me how long I am sober, I round it to years and half years. For example, right now I am coming up on 3 1/2 years, or I might say 3 years and change, and later in the year I will say I am coming up on 4 years. But knowing my sober time is an active reminder for me that I want to stay sober.

    Hope you have a fantastic weekend, Anne!

  11. Wayne Dyer!!! Sounds awesome.

    I love how this post just sounds. It’s honest and heartfelt and true. The one day at a time never worked for me. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl so I HAD to say forever in order for it to stick. But again, that’s just me. How ever you get there and, more importantly, stay there is the absolute perfect way to do it. Just do it.

    Awesome post and have FUN!


    1. You know-I struggle with all or nothing too. I actually worried that was a problem for getting sober -that maybe I had blown things out of proportion. That I just needed to find the middle ground.
      But no, not in this case. When it comes to self destructive activities nothing is always my best choice!

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