Shame Free

For those of us in alcohol recovery, we count our days. 1,30, 60 and on and on alcohol free days.

There seem to be 2 camps that I’ve encountered – the religious day counters and the strictly one day at a timers. I’m firmly in the 24 hour camp.

Perhaps it is because I have relapse as part of my journey and starting over is painful. I struggle with disregarding any of my time in recovery – to me, it feels like it reflects unfairly and inaccurately on the work that I continue to do.

Perhaps I am just the type of alcoholic who has not and may never get over needing to break my sobriety down into 24 hour segments.

In the end, we all have to do that so it really doesn’t matter which camp you are in. Two frame of minds for the same concept.

I do have one of the little apps that counts my days for me. It’s not a tool I use to keep track so much as to use the check in feature each night – a good reminding tool to reflect and take my moral inventory.

A while ago, I pulled up the app and realized that you can add as many clocks as you want – a one stop for any addiction you want to break. I toyed with the idea of adding in good habits like exercising or eating only whole foods etc., but quickly realized that it was, a.) demoralizing and b.) an inaccurate reflection of my progress to have to reset the clock on any day that I didn’t meet my goals.

Perhaps that is why I am in the 24 hour camp and not a day counter!

However, I was sure I could find some way to utilize it. A new challenge. So, one night, my thoughts turned to just how fulfilling and positive my day had been. I realized I had been experiencing a number of days that felt like this and wondered at the root.

My reflection showed that it came down to the fact that I was proud of myself that day – I had done my best, left no apologies hanging and had been a positive force in my family and the world. In short, I felt no shame.

What an important and nice concept for this recovering alcoholic. I wanted more days like this – and evidence to remind me of it.

So I started a new count. I check in nightly on my sobriety clock (345 days) and my shame clock (30 days).

I have 30 continuous days of feeling proud of myself. Wow. Every single day of that feeling is a miracle – and every day matters – I think I finally understand what motivates those day counters!

It takes what it takes to find ourselves. Today, I am very proud to report that I am 30 days shame free, and grateful.

Light, thank you for this path that brings me peace. Grace and Peace.

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