Counting chicken scratch

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.

13 thoughts on “Counting

  1. Congrats on your 5 months – I’m just a little way behind you. I know what you mean by counting the days. We kind of psyche ourselves up to yet another little milestone, it arrives and we take another deep breath and start counting until the next one.
    A year ago I couldn’t have dreamt of 5 months sober, I’m guessing you may have been the same so lets not forget that it’s a great achievement with a lot of hard work and soul searching behind it.
    Celebrate with a sober treat x
    p.s. We’ve got snow here x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats! I hit a year in december. So no more coins at AA until this december. Lol

    I never counted days. But i did marvel the other day that it had been over a year since i had a hangover and felt that horrible day after remorse and dread.

    Don’t miss that at all!

    Keep doing what you are doing!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! A whole year! I used to struggle to imagine that. Now I figure it will be pretty much the same. Every day is a miracle tho, so repetition is hardly something to complain about. This is an incredible journey. Thanks for the company along the way!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have an app on my phone that counts both the days and months (and years but Im certainly not there yet!). Some days I check it but sometimes I go days without looking. Its nice to know if I want to feel pride in something I can check my counter and can be proud of all those days!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is really great. I may not be in a position to say this because I don’t know you one bit, but the fact that it’s been 5 months since you’ve had a drink is really something to be proud of! Congratulations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats tomorrow on 5 months! We are so close in our day count 🙂 I’m at 157 today. Just this morning I realized I hadn’t looked at my app in a few days. It’s starting to just become regular life to me. I’m still aware of the time, but the months are becoming more important than the days. I hope we can say the same thing about years one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Pickled Pastor. I cannot wait to have that many days counted. Congrats !
    I found you via “Unpickled” and I will continue to follow you both!! I love your sense of humor that shines through!
    Yesterday was Day 1 for me.
    I finally own my struggles with my glasses of vino. I am scared poopless of falling, but looking forward to the journey of recovery, even with all the “bumps”. Come on day 2- bring it on !


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