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Old 02-28-2014, 10:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Counting days - helpful?


Just wondering people's opinions on counting days. For example, I am on Day 4 today and that sounds like nothing. I find it very discouraging to count days, especially being in AA where celebrations over people's time sober is part of the focus.

I find it to be especially, after having relapsed, a tedious process. Today I've decided I'm just going to mark day 1 on the calendar and then forget about it. To say I am on day 4 makes me feel unbelievably overwhelmed. I don't want to keep doing this or saying it to myself.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I counted days in the beginning just because each day sober was a huge victory for me. Now that I'm into years, I just count by years sober.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Freethinking,

I am not a big counter either. I think the value in it is quite subjective: some people love it and find it very helpful / inspirational, others probably think it's obsessing too much. Like many other things about recovery, whatever works for you! So for me, for example if you check my profile, I did not put an exact sobriety date there, just January 2014. That's enough for me. I still feel happy to see other people's milestones, though, but me I personally don't measure mine in days. I think it's highly individual. I found it helpful and interesting to count and examine the single days during my first week, but not so much later.

I think the most important thing is to find what works best for ourselves; and some if may follow a common trend and others more personalized. Keep up the good work with trying!!
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I mark the weeks on the calendar, just so I'll know, but I don't really think about it anymore.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Am with you FT - think a sobriety date is useful, as a marker, but a day to day count begins to feel oppressive, and the focus needs to shift...

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Old 02-28-2014, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just found myself stop counting after a while. My sobriety date is easy though as it is the 1st of September. If people use it for motivation that's great because we need any and all of the tools that we have.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
Just wondering people's opinions on counting days. For example, I am on Day 4 today and that sounds like nothing. I find it very discouraging to count days, especially being in AA where celebrations over people's time sober is part of the focus.

I find it to be especially, after having relapsed, a tedious process. Today I've decided I'm just going to mark day 1 on the calendar and then forget about it. To say I am on day 4 makes me feel unbelievably overwhelmed. I don't want to keep doing this or saying it to myself.
I would hazard a guess and say it isn't the counting that is discouraging, but rather, your struggle to accumulate sober days is discouraging you. Counting has nothing to do with getting or staying sober...or failing at it. It's just an accounting device.

I find it odd, this adversion to counting sober days, when almost any drinker can tell you when they started and how long they've been drinking. No one seems discouraged by counting our drinking days. Why the problem with counting (or at least noting) our sober ones?
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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AA celebrations are to show the newcomer that it can work, but many people and groups make it about the celebrant and not the stepwork.....
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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To someone on day one, like I was when I first arrived here, day 4 was like a dream to me, FT.

I agree with Carl, I don't really think this is about counting or not, it's about you beating yourself up a little.

My journey to sobriety took me 15 years. You are streets ahead of me.

I have no doubt that you can achieve lasting recovery - whether you count or not is just bookkeeping choices

D
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