I was privileged to hear someone talking about a milestone in their recovery. 35 years sober. 35 years!!! For me to have hit that achievement I’d have had to stopped drinking when I wasn’t quite 19! This person though is far from unique in my recovery circle I know plenty with 20 years or so even one venerable fellow who is closing on 50 years. He stopped drinking about the time I first went to primary school!
What is amazing about these people is that they don’t rate their achievement any higher than a person who has a day, a week, a month or a year sober. It is the old adage “one day at a time”. For those that follow this path frankly each day ought to be as miraculous as the first. But for me I’ve grown accustomed to being sober, to not drinking, to not even thinking about drinking other than in relationship to my own alcoholism and my decision that for me the best solution to my problems was to adopt total abstinence. I can take it a bit for granted and that is something I feel guilty about when I sit there and hear someone talk about their sobriety with such great humility.
I also have the privilege to meet someone who is a bit further down the counselling journey than me. We talked about addictions. We talked about food addiction. I stated my belief that overeating is a really difficult addiction to address. I feel that since many (alcohol, drugs, gambling etc.) abstinence is no burden on life. However with some, food being the most obvious example, you have no option but control. You can’t abstain from food can you? You have to eat so that having to control your addiction through necessity must be so so hard.