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A thought about counting...

Old 01-19-2014, 08:38 AM
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A thought about counting...

Husband and I had a short discussion about counting sober days last night. He and I have very different takes on this.

I don't plan on ever counting. I quit 1/17/14. That's it. For me, counting means that the days I'm sober are finite, and that the counting might start over.

He feels the counting makes a person feel in control of the situation, and gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Any different thoughts on this?
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:00 AM
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I don't believe there's a universal right and wrong regarding this. The only thing that would determine that is whether it's helpful to the person or not. Some like cohocolate ice cream, some vanilla.

I counted days early on, and it was helpful for me as I never wanted to lose that time. I never even considered starting to count over again, as you stated you might. Stopped counting after 90 days, but then counted months, then years, and now by nothing short of a miracle, decades. Never believed that would be possible, when I was active.

For me, counting days was also really helpful with cigarettes. I couldn't stop more than a few hours for the 20 years of my smoking habit. When I went one full day, from waking up till going to bed without a cigarette, it blew my mind completely. Gave me the strength to shoot for a 2nd, then a 3rd, and I never wanted to lose those accumulated days. Never wanted to relive them again either, so the idea of starting to count again actually served me in a good way.

Again, that's my experience. I'm not everybody, and we have to do whatever works best for us.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:01 AM
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1187 days sober today.
What was the question again?
Just kidding.
Whatever floats your boat, neither wrong or right.
I do like seeing newcomers on here saying 23 days or 6 months! or one week!
We here, of all people know how hard earned each day is.
And as regards planning to drink again?
Do you think I am going to toss my days?
I am dang sure not going back to zero without a fight!
I use the SoberTime here on SR to count when I want to know.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:31 AM
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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.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:56 PM
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I acknowledged my one year mark as it was the evening I found Sober Recovery and half way through my first thread I put down alcohol, for good.

I quit smoking middle of last year but couldn't tell you when. I also started eating paleo/primal'ish but I couldn't tell you when.

I'm clear eyed and clear minded, can breath much better and have gone from quite pudgy to willowy thin.

I used to think it was important to count days and I also thought I was powerless over alcohol, because that is what I had drilled into my head for years and years. What I found out the night I joined here, celebrating not doing something moral disgusting, in other words, doing the right thing, just plain weird. I also know I am NOT powerless over alcohol. I am very, very powerful.

That's my personal experience.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:32 PM
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MaggieMai,

i counted days at the beginning just because it was so wonderfully EXCITING to me to see them add up!!
i never felt it implied that i might drink again; i've been very confident right from day one this timethat i will not. something had shifted, inside. tectonic plates and all that. well, that's how it felt
after about six weeks, i counted weeks for a bit. to say i "counted" them isn't quite right: i was aware of them. then months, then years. i have no idea what my day count is.

what i've noticed, though, in my time on forums, is that not-too-rarely people seem to set a goal, to make it to a certain number of days (often, a bit farther than last time), or to make it PAST a certain number of days, and then they crash not too long after that number is reached.

i totally get that for you there is no point in it; makes total sense to me, once you've quit.
just as it makes total sense to me to experience the joy of the days mounting up and the sense of accomplishment your hubby speaks of.

welcome to SR, MaggieMai.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:36 PM
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Up to 90 days. I have a date of sobriety and one of the consequences of relapsing would be giving up that date. I am accountable to my clean date.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:38 PM
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I counted.
Then I didn't.
Then I didn't think I could make it past 30 or 60 or 90 so I declared my independence from counting all while counting...
I opted to not count when I thought I would fail myself, yet again.
Then my therapist read me the riot act of sorts. She said it's not 80 days minus 2. It's day one. And that made me reaaaalllly angry. She said I had to be accountable to myself. To no one else. But at the least, myself.

So I licked my wounds and buckled down.

And today....I'm 100.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by alphaomega View Post
I counted.
Then I didn't.
Then I didn't think I could make it past 30 or 60 or 90 so I declared my independence from counting all while counting...
I opted to not count when I thought I would fail myself, yet again.
Then my therapist read me the riot act of sorts. She said it's not 80 days minus 2. It's day one. And that made me reaaaalllly angry. She said I had to be accountable to myself. To no one else. But at the least, myself.

So I licked my wounds and buckled down.

And today....I'm 100.

Good for u AlphaOmega!
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:53 AM
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Mwaaa Haaa Haaa!
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:41 AM
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There's no right answer. The important thing is that you both maintain sobriety.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:22 AM
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sober today...that's all that matters. Unfortunately many only do lipservice to this.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:27 PM
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The AVRT way

On page 40 of "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction, The New Revolutionary Alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous" by Jack Trimpey, 1996, there is a list of 17 useful understandings that a person who has just made a commitment to permanent abstinence (a Big Plan) can read and reread and incorporate into this revolutionary (by today's standards) approach to recovery.

One of those 17 useful understandings is the this:
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    Old 01-20-2014, 02:37 PM
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    I'm counting just so I can believe I'm actually doing it, but I am already losing track of the exact days, I've been using the sober calculator.
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    Old 01-20-2014, 03:39 PM
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    I don't count because I don't feel like the number of days in a row I've gone without using a substance is the defining characteristic of my recovery.

    As such, it means that if I happen to slip again (as I did last year) I WILL NOT be "throwing it all away" and there won't be any reason to "go out with a bang".
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    Old 01-20-2014, 09:29 PM
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    After a year and a half I stopped counting. The quantity of my days count less than the quality of my days.
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    Old 02-17-2014, 06:26 PM
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    When I went to AA, probably my favorite part was at the beginning when people were invited to announce anniversaries. Every time I saw that someone had been sober for several years, I said to myself, "That's going to be me!"

    But I've never felt much like counting the days for myself. My sober anniversaries are also the anniversary of the last time I was drunk, which was the worst night of my life. So, I'm not really happy or sad.

    It really doesn't matter anyway I think. It's like when I turned 40, I started saying age was just a number, you're only as old as you feel! : but sometimes it is true: it's not how many days you've been sober, it's how you feel now, and how you feel every passing day compared to how you felt when you were drinking.
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    Old 02-18-2014, 12:06 AM
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    For me, my date was exactly 3 weeks after a very close family member died. I'll never forget one of those dates & the other just neatly happened 3 weeks later ( there was nothing neat, actually it was total & utter chaos of my deliberate choices to drunk)
    I know I've hit over 4 months and that for me was important as it was longer sober-time than ever before but other than looking forward to telling others when I reach a year, it is less important for me to know how long as to how I feel now I'm clean, sober & happy. Sober-time is my time & that's the rest of my life, living it!
    Whatever works, on a daily basis.

    SoberRecoveryApp via mini Zebra iPad
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    Old 02-18-2014, 01:59 AM
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    I kind of keep track of the time since I quit but I don't dwell on it. To me glancing in the rear view mirror occasionally does no harm as long as you're primarily watching the road ahead of you.
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    Old 02-18-2014, 05:17 AM
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    I counted the first year a lot. Now I do not. But if someone would ask me then I can but not sure who would ask..anyway, I do know when my start date is and when 2 years rolls by I will pat myself on the back..I do know I have not had my regular 200 hangovers a year...that's fun to count...
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