100 days of living

Have you ever had to teach someone how to do something that you always thought was quite straight forward ... at least until you had to show someone else how to do said thing?

The approach I take is to break down the task into incremental steps, thus defining sub-tasks. I break these down in turn into sub-sub-tasks and keep doing that until we reach the comfort zone of the person being trained ... and ... eureka!

I just love to see mental cogs turn and then engage as the light dawns in their faces. It's great when they realise that far from being a complex task beyond their capabilities, it is in fact just a long sequence of relatively simple tasks that build one on the next one. If carried out in the correct way and in the right sequence the results are almost assured. That's the beauty of engineering.

Yesterday I was 100 days sober.

100 days is not a long time and in my own experience it is still very early days in what I hope will at long last be a lifetime of abstinence rather than something I play around at ...

... hoping it will right itself by itself ...

... by which I mean allowing myself to drink from time to time thinking that it's simply a matter of allowing an allocated number of days to elapse and I will have magically gained a better handle on all this. Forlorn hope and how stupid must a person be to think that? As stupid as I've been I guess. Such thinking has invariably led to my many lapses and relapses.

It's strange to find myself back in the kindergarten classes of recovery once again. Somehow even through the lapses and relapses of the last few years I thought I was further along on this journey than I turned out to be. That's OK, I am glad to be here ... especially given the alternatives on offer.

Dealing with an addiction is both simple and not. Life seems quite chaotic and unpredictable when we're held tightly in it's grip. Given time we start to see that whilst life itself is unpredictable addiction is so predictable as to be tediously so.

Simple is not the same as easy ... it never was. So why do I equate the two? Some thoughts are hard to dislodge.

Addiction is a bit like having a toddler living in your brain trying to dictate your life on it's terms ... whenever it doesn't get it's own way it throws all it's toys out of the pram and you end up fighting this thing within yourself. Some days all you can hear is the screaming.

It feels like a form of madness at the time and even in those times when you win through ... well even then you can end up feeling depleted and like a fool all at the same time. And yet I've rarely met another addict who really was a fool, except perhaps in regard to managing their own addiction.

I sometimes think about how I could have been so stupid as to have allowed myself to get in so deep. Well ... I think perhaps it's time to let go of that question. I allowed it and I can't undo that. I didn't mean for it to happen and that has to be enough of an answer for now.

Each day is simply a sub-sub-sub task in my process of recovery. I am grateful for today.


  1. Congratulations on 100 Days !!

    This month it will be 10 years for me ..but today is all that counts for both of us. xx

  2. Jos! I am so proud and happy for you! 100 days is a lot! I love what Sarah said. You learn as you go and now you know you can't have any drinks and that is an important thing to learn.
    Thank you for sharing your 100 days with us. The first thing I do every morning is to check and see if you have a new post :-). Love you.xoxo

  3. STOP calling yourself stupid, and foolish, and whatnot. All this name-calling. We're so hard on ourselves, so blind. Struggle has immense value. And yes yes YES, simple is not easy. Jos, I can laugh because I berate myself daily, yet clearly see it as detrimental. I try then, to look myself in the eye and say, "You are doing the very best you can." Damn, if it isn't more often than not...the truth.

    Congratulations dear Citrus! You know I am so proud of you.

  4. ah jos, i'm sober twenty plus years, and i remember when i stopped drinking so clearly. it took some time, but it ws like taking windex to a very clouded window. i could SEE.

    you should be very proud. 100 days. that is very wonderful.

    what i also remember is how i bargained drinking again in the days before i finally stopped. i would finally find an excuse that was good enough and then i would give myself permission to head to the liquor store.

    one day at a time. one day at a time.


  5. congratulations on your 100 days!!!! i'm so proud of you.