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How Inspiring Is Counting The Number of Days You've Been Sober

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by Rainman, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Or does it have the opposite effect?

    Does keep track of the number of days you've been sober motivate you to keep going or does it invariably lead to comparing your "success" with the success of others who've been sober for a longer time? Something that would make the recovering addict lose hope?

    Your thoughts? Count the number of days you've been sober or stay sober a day at time and think not of the past and future?
  2. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    I think it depends on your personality.
    It might help some and might not help others.
    For me it was nice hitting those milestones and also seeing people who had gone longer gave me hope and I took as a sign.
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I think for a lot of people counting the days is helpful, but as the OP says, sometimes it can have a negative effect. While counting the days is moving further away from your addiction, sometimes it makes time pass less quickly and a better way is maybe picking a date in the future and counting down from that instead.
  4. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    For me it's helpful. These days I don't count the exact number of days - I'm more around the "it's been 7, almost 8 years" -- but it's amazing what that does for my motivation. It makes me not want to give up on how far I've come, because I know I've been successful for so long.
  5. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I guess it would depend on the individual. I can see how it would be encouraging to some people. They would be proud of each day. Others may rather not think about it in terms of days.
  6. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I agree that it depends on the person if they are an optimist or a pessimist. If they would rather see the glass as half-empty or hall-full. I think staying sober one day at a time is a good way to keep the addict inspired if he is impatient, since recovery does not happen overnight.
  7. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I think a lot of drug users going through recovery are pessimistic at the beginning. They won't be counting the days they've been straight, they'll see it more as a count to when they use again as they'll usually be expecting to fail, even if they end up not doing.

    Counting the days might just add even more pressure they don't need.
  8. mayasupernova

    mayasupernova Active Contributor

    Well, different people, different responses. I believe those who have always been prone to other people's opinions of themselves, would probably find counting the days that you have been sober for, pretty much as something that may take them down, having to do with comparison, as you have mentioned. On the other hand, there are people who will certainly find a lot of motivation in each day that passes by and also aim towards more and more.
    I personally am falling into the basket of the latter type. Everything in life keeps me going, or at least I try to find some things that will keep me going - so in this case, I would rather count my days, feel happy about it, and just go on counting, without comparing, or comparing for the sake of fun (maybe I would even turn it into a competition, which for me would be another way to cope the problem with my drinking, by introducing some fun into the counting of the days).
  9. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I had been counting the days I had been sober in the first place, but then lost track. I know it is a year and a month, though. But it is very nice to start counting in years, not in days. Of course, keeping track of your progress feels good, like advancing in level in an RPG. I love it.
  10. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    As for me, I don't really count the days of being sober. I just try to keep myself motivated all the time, and I don't really pressure myself. Counting the days would just make me feel a little coerced, I just live in the moment, and take one step at a time.
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    As people have already said, a lot will depend on the individual and counting the days can work or not, the only way to know for definate is to give it a go.

    There a no real harm the process can do and its not going to send you spiralling back into relapse so you can always give it a go.
  12. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    This is probably a good idea. Gives an idea of how well someone is doing. I think someone can get lost in the whole thing and not realize how well they are doing or how far they've come. Counting days, weeks or months. If you don't how will you know how well you've been doing? Its good to have a gauge.
  13. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    I used to keep track of my sober days but I don't anymore. It is useful in a way because you want to see that number grow and grow, it's more of a mental thing than anything.
  14. E.Mil

    E.Mil Community Champion

    I think it depends on the individual. I would hope that it would continue to inspire a person who is working on sobriety and be proud of the accomplishment they have made so far. Instead of a individual comparing themselves to someone a person can try to be a inspiration to someone else.
  15. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Active Contributor

    As many have echoed, I think it really depends on the personality and outlook of the person in question. Some will think of it as a great inspiration factor, while others may lose hope when comparing themselves to others. In fact, the later can also be an inspiration to some. It's really helpful in the earlier days I believe though.
  16. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    This is true, and many times depends on how much this weigh in your motivation, or encourages to keep going ahead.

    For me attaining each milestone was useful in the early days, but stopped being useful with the pass of the time.

    In my case, there was a moment in which many years had gone since achieving sobriety, but being counting the days was kind of keep evoking there was a "before" and an "after" dividing my life in two.

    Yes, alcohol addiction could be considered a watershed in my life, but for different situations and stages through the same, I could also name "other" watersheds or markers.

    So that I considered that once sober, I would simply live sober without keep counting the days since.
    JonnyMacdonald likes this.
  17. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    That is also motivating apart from monitoring your progress in your new projects. Make sure that you continue with your projects that had stalled. The more days you spend without drugs, the more you are beating drug addiction.
  18. Scooby Snack

    Scooby Snack Community Champion

    I couldn't do it. Would just make me hyper-aware--I have a weird and fatalistic sense about the passage of time. I know I would just be neurotic about the number of days. Would rather just focus on keeping busy, and then taking a look back every once in a while and patting myself on the back.
  19. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    That's a big lifter upper! I love to think on how long I've been sober and God has kept me clean!