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A thought about counting...

Old 02-18-2014, 07:52 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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The only time I really count is when I wake up in the morning....and think...it's another beautiful day, filled with the potentiality of good will, higher will, and a love of life !
For me, that's what "counts".
To look at what I did yesterday...like did I drink more than one glass of wine, or more than one Yuengling Lager ?....is immaterial...because that was yesterday...and yesterday is gone, does not exist anymore. Today, NOW, does matter. Yes, I learned from yesterday, and I have dreams and goals for now, later today, and tomorrow. And I have a goal/dream for the end of the month, the end of 2014, and what I want/need to accomplish here on the planet earth, for as long as I shall remain here. So who's counting ????
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:52 AM
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I counted at first. then realized it was counter productive for me. Kept me focused on the wrong things and freaking out over the wrong things.

I am this way with time in general though. I have to figure out how old I am, how old my kids are etc. I also have difficulty reading clocks. So it might just be me and my personally vague relationship to time in general.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:10 PM
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I find counting the days seems like a contest, who can spit the furthest?
I am still trying to figure out why many people count. I know that to some extent it should show that people do stay sober for extended periods of time, especially to the new person checking things out. But in all honesty, everytime I relapsed, I never lost that sober time I had before, and what I learned in that sober time. So to some extent I can count the first 18 years of my life as being sober, then all the little bits and peices of sober time between age 18 and now, all add up. Because in all honesty, they dont say, how much time of continual sober time do you have, they just say how much sober time do you have? right. Some places you announce it, how much "time" you have.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:39 PM
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I see it both ways.

You can argue that counting is beast activity, because why count something you don't do anymore.

You can also say they not counting is because you really don't think you'll succeed,and you don't want to have to admit starting over at one. (I was once guilty of this)

In my case, the first year was one of note,first this sober, first that sober, until the big first year sober. It was an important milestone.

Since then, every day is a new record, and marking time in that way is no longer as important to me.

I think as humans we just are used to keeping track of time, as it indicates some kind of progress. It makes sense to me that aa keeps track a lot early in, and later just marks the years.

Either way, just don't drink.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:43 PM
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LMFAO, some count the seconds, minutes and hours, even days instead of years.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:30 AM
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I counted days, weeks, months - but now count in years.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:57 AM
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db yeah, I see myself noticing milestones sober holidays ect, and counting in some contexts is beast activity , but honestly I am 'aware' that "i am not counting" so it is what it is, I am of an age that I would rather not be reminded of my age too

The best thing about counting/not counting are the times when I realize I wasn't doing either, those stretches of unconscious of the fact that I am a purposeful nondrinker. Suddenly being conscious of purposefully being a nondrinker is both good and bad. Good to reflect on my continued resolved , but sometimes a little bad because something tries to make me think that working on it means I haven't "gotten there yet". Just need to remind myself that 'there' is where I will end up , 'here' is where I AM. I like 'here and how' I AM. Plus six mnths , yeah me
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
I find counting the days seems like a contest, who can spit the furthest?
I am still trying to figure out why many people count. I know that to some extent it should show that people do stay sober for extended periods of time, especially to the new person checking things out. But in all honesty, everytime I relapsed, I never lost that sober time I had before, and what I learned in that sober time. So to some extent I can count the first 18 years of my life as being sober, then all the little bits and peices of sober time between age 18 and now, all add up. Because in all honesty, they dont say, how much time of continual sober time do you have, they just say how much sober time do you have? right. Some places you announce it, how much "time" you have.
I couldn't agree with you more. The first time I got sober I counted everyday. I lasted about 6 months then I was back at it again. So I felt I had lost all of those days. But I like what you said. I didn't lose all of those days. I was sober for 6 months! It was a huge accomplishment but I look back and feel guilty. I'm starting to see it in a different way now.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:56 AM
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I feel like whatever answer you give is fine and valid for each of you as individuals. I will say that counting days is useful in a sense of having a metric to show what's working. So when I explain the approach that helps me stay sober I can back it up with some metric that could be useful. But again, whatever works for you is awesome!
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:39 AM
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I don't count every day but can tell you generalities like the fact I'm coming up to 22 months.

A wise woman told me "You don't lose your recovery, you only lose your days" and she was right. I have taken those words to heart
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:20 AM
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I carry a bronze A A medallion on my keychain simply as a reminder. With almost four years under my belt, I never obsess about my time sober.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by d0g View Post
I carry a bronze A A medallion on my keychain simply as a reminder. With almost four years under my belt, I never obsess about my time sober.
Almost time to go and pick up my new bronze medallion. That's the only date I remember but carrying that medal around reminds me that SMART and NA are doing their job in my life
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:51 AM
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Good for you, shockozulu! Have you heard that saying, "If you feel like drinking and/or using, put that medallion in your mouth. If it melts, you can drink!"
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:38 AM
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Sure I count, because I can. Counting isn't anything we don't want it to be, for me anyways. Anybody who wants to attach whatever to their counting will find another way to satisfy that same attachment if they don't count. For those who don't attach whatever, counting is pointless, and they simply don't attach. No big deal. Whatever floats our boats.

My days in quantity are unimportant. Quality is a whole other thing. My quit date is important, as this marks history for me. Without that quit that day, I would not be here as I am today. I'm unafraid that counting means anything more then what we make it out to be or not be. It would seem improbable that counting has inherently a nature of negativity creating consequences brought against a life of quality. Counting in itself does not diminish a successful life.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:44 AM
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:51 AM
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If you count your days, you are correct.
If you don't count your days, you are correct.

I count mine - years at this point, not days but I sure as hell counted the days for a while.

I prefer to put my right leg in my pants first. My husband starts with his left leg.
We decided not to argue about it even though we both know we're right.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by d0g View Post
Good for you, shockozulu! Have you heard that saying, "If you feel like drinking and/or using, put that medallion in your mouth. If it melts, you can drink!"
Yes, by a very dear and smart man. He also warned me of the dangers by male predators in the room when I was a newbie. I'll never forget him.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:15 AM
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You might be interested in The 13th Step: The Film, made by Monica Richardson. Powerful!
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:58 PM
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I count. It used to be days and now it's months. I found that it really helped my motivation early on. When I was sorely tempted to drink but I had all those days/weeks/MONTHS under my belt, I didn't want to break my streak. I still get that to a lesser extent. I notice the day that another month turns over. I am still tempted a LOT, and it's irritating to be tempted. Counting means I haven't forgotten that for 17 years I binged on vodka and I haven't been 17 years sober yet. How do I know what my sober life is going to be like until I've actually had a sober life? That's what goes through my head.

But I can see how not-counting would work for some people too.

It really doesn't matter. You do what works.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
Drinking for me now has no continuum in time, the sort I would mark by days on the calendar. Or weeks, months, years, or even decades. It is a binary or two-state scenario. The switch was stuck in the ON position for way too long. Now it is OFF. And it is going to stay that way, dammit. Forever.

For me to count the days since I opened my cell door and reclaimed my freedom from addiction would imply that I might get locked up again tomorrow. Nope nope nope.

And to drink again would mean something far more tragic than simply 'blowing my winning streak'. It would be complete abdication of self. Anathema.
I love this. I am ready to stop counting.
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