I saw this quote recently and thought it would make a good Square It Up Friday post for 1st September. (I have seen it attributed to Paulo Coelho, who certainly has quoted it but I am not sure it is his originally.)
we can get too fixated on continuous day counting, I think. although what do I know, really, having been in the lucky position of never having had a relapse (YET. YET. YET…)
from what I have seen of the experience of others, when focusing on continuous days sober becomes an impediment to long term sobriety rather than an incentive, then perhaps it is time to let it go.
my own experience of giving up smoking was that I made what turned out to be the final decision to give up sometime between 2007 and 2010. (how bizarre that I cannot even remember the dates, now.) I do remember that over the tail-end 18 or so months I had perhaps 4 or 5 occasions when I had a fuck-it moment, went out and bought a packet, smoked several cigarettes and then threw it away again. do those occasions make me any less of a non-smoker now, 7 or 8 or 9 or whatever it is years later? no, I don’t think so. that was what it took to get me to the point when I could finally stop.
having said all that, relapse can undermine long term sobriety, like a besieger’s tunnel underneath a castle wall. best perhaps to employ the tactics of long ago castle defenders: adding buttresses (self-care, supports, accountability if that works for you) to strengthen your walls, or by identifying weak points in the design (corners, sharp angles, boozy friends, times of day or week or month) and rebuilding your castle in a stronger shape. round is less vulnerable than square.
the point of this quote could be that every day is day one. that what bridges the gap between ‘one day’ and becoming whom we want to be is the decision followed by the action. did you know that the Latin root of the word ‘decision’ literally means ‘to cut off‘? it involves an action – not just holding out the damn knife and wishing that someone else would come along and deploy it.
it’s your knife. use it. keep using it every day to create the life you want. start today.