10 Million Minutes.

At the start, I blogged daily, because fighting addiction was a daily battle. Some days it was an hourly battle. I celebrated every milestone I could. 1 day. 1 week. 10 days – and then 17 days, and a successful CLEAN return from Afrika Burn. 44 days. 101 days. 6 months and then suddenly, 1 year clean. That was just the other day, right? 18 months.

18 months, drug-free.

Or 549 days.

Or 13,176 hours.

Or 790,560 minutes. Seems a lot, no? Let me take you back to my very first meeting, which was at Alcoholics Anonymous in Paarl, in 2012. I sat there, listening, as each person shared, and I heard the chairperson say “Don’t get analysis-paralysis! Don’t over-think your crimes and the reasons you are an addict” – but how do you know me? Of COURSE I’m going to over think things. I thought about my 18 years of active addiction.

18 years. That’s roughly 6,500 days. Or 9,5-million minutes. HOW was a 90-minute meeting going to even START addressing the momentum of nearly 10-million minutes of this junkie’s addiction? I gave up. Right there, in my first meeting. There was no way it was EVER going to be possible for a then-37 year old to claw back any sort of life after 18 years of addiction. Who were they trying to fool?

But something inside of me said “You’ve done a lot drugs in 18 years, Dave. Mostly coke. Charlie. Snow. 18 years is a mountain of snow. All you need is one little snowball to start an avalanche that will roll down over the 18 years and reclaim your life. That snowball is this meeting. Your healing starts NOW!”

One foot in front of the other, step by step. Day by day. 790,560 minutes.

And counting…

© Dave Luis 2013. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I also have started counting days.. Enough is enough.. I am on my 65th day of my drug free struggle.. In comparison, I am still a baby, and very very weak.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I am always so touched when I get these very personal responses to my pieces, where people reveal their own life stories, and start taking back their lives from the demons that haunt them. You are AMAZING! Each one of the 65 days is a victory over the personal demons you battle. THAT takes amazing strength. THAT is the snowball that starts the avalanche to reclaim your life! Good luck – keep on winning, each and every day! Your drug-free life is YOURS to claim – one step at a time! Good luck!

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