Tomorrow will be my 5 month anniversary. It’s actually already been 154 days. 154 days without a drink. Or 154 days of sobriety. One way of counting marks days of deprivation. The other is more a calculation of accomplishment. Either way, it has been a long time. Not really that long though. At least not in the context of my entire life. I’d have to live to the age of 94 before I could start claiming having been sober more days than not. Guess that’s possible. Unlikely, but possible.
This whole counting thing is a strange phenomenon. I’m sure there were other occasions toward which I ticked off the days. Days until my birthday. Days until Christmas. Days until graduation. Days until Spring. But such counting is the anxious pastime of anticipation. Counting days since something happened, in this case, days since my first sober day in rehab, is of a far different sort.
Nonetheless, whenever the 21st rolls around, I share with my home group how many months it’s been. AA lets you get away with keeping track of months for the first year. After that, anything less than an annual anniversary is inconsequential. But, for now, I make my monthly announcement to the only people who could possibly muster up any enthusiasm for my days since. Certainly no one else is counting. Just me.
I try to imagine a much older more decrepit version of myself still marking the days. The thought amuses me. Crooked fingers making chicken scratch. Let me see. Oh, will you look at that. Isn’t that something? It’s been 7,454 days. But it sure beats not having lived days to count, so I’ll take it. I still think this this whole time-keeping thing is rather odd though. Especially for someone who always hated math.
There is, however, a part of me that believes all these days are actually bringing me closer to something. I’m not sure what that day is going to look like, but I don’t expect being disappointed. It will be a day that will mark the beginning of the rest of my life with such joy and contentment, every single day leading up to it will dissolve into a numerical blur. Maybe I’ll even stop counting and start living. Oh, now that would be something.
But, since I don’t know when that day is coming and there’s no way I can even be sure I’ll take notice when it gets here, I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing: not drinking, going to meetings, and counting my sober days. It truly has been quite the incredible journey so far. And I suspect life is just going to keep getting better. I dare say I’m sure of it. 154 down. God willing, another few thousand to go. All one day at a time.