Counting in My Head (Day 49)

I am not entirely sure why, but I want to stop making such a big deal of the number of days I’ve been sober. Actually, I want to stop making a big deal about the entire thing. As I wrote earlier this week, I really want my not drinking to be the norm. Nothing special.

That notion is ridiculous, right? I mean, this blog and all the other wonderful sober blogs that have become a powerful tool in my life, are all devoted to the fact that sobriety IS special, fragile, potentially fleeting.

So why do I want to discount it all of a sudden?

I ran into a friend earlier today who I hadn’t seen in two weeks. She is one of the few people I have confided in about my alcohol abuse and the ugly reason behind my decision to quit. She asked if I had received her Super Bowl party invitation and then, remembering,  asked me straight up and with love (a wonderful characteristic of hers), “Hey, are you still not drinking?”

I replied lightning fast, “Yep. Not drinking. It’s going fine and really, it’s not a big deal at all.”

That, of course, is bullshit.

Why was I so quick to dismiss my effort? My enormously difficult, life-altering, BIG DEAL effort?

That quick response, and whatever is behind it, feels eerily similar to my years-long effort of dismissing/hiding my hangovers. It feels disingenuous and slightly dangerous. Like a police officer trying to keep traffic moving along, “There’s nothing to see here! Keep on moving!”

All the while, behind him, is a scene of human messiness in need of attention from fellow motorists.


4 thoughts on “Counting in My Head (Day 49)

  1. Though I don’t count daily I still check my phone to see where I’m at (188). I tell people I don’t drink anymore. But unless it’s someone that’s been through it, I don’t think they can understand how hard it is. We get it, so don’t worry too much about your quick response. It’s hard to explain. Congrats on day 49, you’re doing great.

    • Hi! Thanks for your warm words. I am so grateful for your encouragement. It really is hard to explain, isn’t it? A short answer seems to diminish the effort, while a longer answer is too much for every-day conversation. And really, this is all so new that I don’t yet fully understand it. I keep thinking of the Rumi quote: “Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.” While I’m no longer “drunk” (or detached from my life), I don’t know what happens next. And I am not used to sitting down and being quiet and waiting…

  2. Ohmygod I love you so much,.. your comment on my blog just now made me cry. How did you get so insightful and clever and smart? I feel like you’ve totally nailed where I’m at.. you have a very perceptive insight, one that will certainly carry you through these tough early days of getting sober. It’s so utterly fantastic that you’ve chosen to fight the big fight and become another brave sober warrior. I will add you to my blogroll and look forward to following along on your journey. Day 49 – congrats!! Big love from New Zealand! xxxx

  3. I’m still counting. Day 61 here. It’s one thing to play it down when talking to a friend or acquaintance and share only as much as you are comfortable revealing. Just don’t be dismissive with yourself. You’re worth more than that. I say give yourself lots of kudos because this is hard or we’d all have done it easily and done it long ago. Day 49! Congratulations!

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