Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Counting Days

I remember when I was in single digits…those people with years of clean time..or even MONTHS..seemed so far from seemed unlikely that I would ever get there..and…while each individual day was a HUGE accomplishment for me…at the same time…the length of my ‘clean time’ (compared to others) seemed so insignificant.

It was important to me to count days back then….I had an ‘accountability partner’ that I would call at the end of each day to proclaim that I had made it one more day without having gambled…that helped me a lot. She is my sister in law and is not a compulsive…while she doesn’t really ‘get’ this….in some ways..that HELPED me…I mean…if I did gamble…how could I explain this to her? I couldn’t…soooo….my options, if I were to gamble, would be…to admit this to her (which I was not prepared to do) or to lie (which…I was determined not to do any longer).

That gave me strength.

Also….there were days when I would REALLY REALLY struggle….I REALLY wanted to gamble…and I didn’t…so….the NEXT time I would feel that way…I would reason ‘well…if I was going to gamble…I should have just done it last week when I wanted to….if I gamble now..then I went through all of that hell last week for no reason!!’

That helped me too.

I’ve heard people say that counting days wasn’t a good thing because it makes one feel shame if they slip.

I disagree.

Counting days or not counting days has nothing to do with shame…if one gambled then he gambled…he will feel shame or not, regardless of whether or not he counts days.

I’ve heard people, saddened by the fact that they are ‘back at day one’.

Well…it IS day one…but…is one ‘back’ there? Is your SECOND day one the same as your FIRST day one?

Mine wasn’t.

I saw someone post their number of clean days…it looked something like this:

83 days -1

I thought that was cool. It obviously worked for HER.

Find whatever works for YOU.

This is not a contest….or…if it is…it shouldn’t be.

This is about CLAIMING each and every day for yourself…it’s about BEING PRESENT in your life.

I know people that, on any given day, can tell you how many consecutive days have passed that they haven’t gambled…and that number is in the thousands!

That works for them.

I didn’t count days at all this time. I didn’t need to.

I acknowledge milestones…my last date gambled is an important date to me…in the same way that my wedding anniversary is…it marks a turning point…a day in my life when something happened…and everything changed.

You may also want to read I can NEVER get there.
If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin. --Ivan Turgenev.

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