16.04.2018. Day 2191.
You used to count the hours and the minutes and the seconds measuring out the chasm between now and when you snorted that last line at 6:30am on Sunday 16 April, 2012.
You used to be able to rattle off how many days, weeks, months it had been.
You used to track these things because back then, making it through the day was a battle that when bested was worthy of noting for future inspiration.
But the numbers have become too unwieldy and memories of compulsions, urges, cravings – well, they’ve faded out, mostly.
It’s been six years now, and though you’ve been sober for only a third of the time you spent getting high on cocaine and crystal meth, it’s been so long you can’t remember what it’s like to be that version of yourself, life on pause, lost in the drugs.
It’s been six years. So even writing about it now seems silly. Just let the milestone pass, Dave. No need to do profile picture updates on all your social media accounts. No need for the evocative, emotional blog post. Everyone knows. Well, everyone who matters knows.
Remember why you’re doing this, Dave. This isn’t for them. This isn’t for friends, family, other recovering addicts. It’s because of them. It’s because they cared enough when you couldn’t that you’re here to write these words.
It’s for you, Dave. To remind you of those days when the thought of even just six months sober was unimaginable, a Herculean task you were too afraid to consider, so you broke it up into hours. Into days. Months. A year. Then suddenly two.
And now six.
It’s important, Dave, to keep a record, to remind yourself that sobriety doesn’t just happen, and even though you’ve got momentum pushing you forward, faster and faster, complacency and arrogance are constantly teaming up to drop you back into hell.
Just like they did last night, six years ago.
You. Can. Never. Go. Back.
So keep on keeping on, saying the little mantras and working the magic. There’s a world of work still to be done, compulsions and defects to unravel, amends to be made.
Take the glory of this milestone, you’ve earned it. Look back across six years to younger you, sitting there on day #1 – recognize that space – but don’t wallow in it.
You’ve got this. Here’s to the next six.
Well done, me. I’m proud of you.
©️ Dave Luis 2018. All Rights Reserved.