Noticing how people in the two ethanol cessation communities I visit tend to keep count of the days/weeks/months that they’ve been ethanol-free makes me hyper aware of the potential peril of that practice. Counting perpetuates a sort of drinking dilemma. It keeps you in the prison even though the doors are wide open. It impedes your freedom.
When people are constantly reminding themselves (and me) of the duration of their so-called sobriety, I am struck by how limiting and restricting it feels. That is not freedom. That is why I refuse to count. Counting is distracting. It impedes clarity. It is actually a mind-made process that keeps the monster awake and alive “down there” in the subterranean depths of your consciousness.
Jason Vale in his book Kick the Drink Easily (which I have not read but have heard a lot about) puts it succinctly: “From the second you know you have consumed your last drink you are free. This is without doubt the most bizarre prison in the world. It is the only prison where people count the days after being released.”
I find that counting and declaring milestones is not in my best interest.
Counting is counterproductive and tends to cause the mind/ego to continuously compare you and your progress with that of others. Little monster loves that kind of thing. Oh, So and So has been “sober” for x-time longer than me; I’ll never get this right; I’ve had a slip, now I start over, yada yada… All fodder for the starving little beast to attempt to latch onto.
The counting of the days brings a negative kind of “sobriety” shaky disease factor that does not serve your intention of being ethanol-free. If you are constantly thinking about it and counting your time, you are not free. The beast feeds on this continuous attention.
Try being in the moment with it, and just be ethanol-free right NOW – that is all that matters.
Sure, you can wake up in the morning and say Yay! I’m free! I was tempted but I starved that monster for another day, and that fucker is getting so weak it’s disappearing! Hey, I didn’t even think of drinking yesterday! Yay!
But when you are counting, you are allowing that little monster to continue to breathe down there in your subconscious. So, my advice to you is to stop counting right NOW!
If you want to keep track, you can join Hello Sunday Morning, and sign up for a 12-month HSM, and they’ll do the counting for you, so you can forget about it and get on with your life.
Sorry to be so bossy, but I’ve been observing just how that little fuck is using so many people, enslaving them, with this counting thing. Counting keeps that monster alive. So stop counting and just be free!