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Recovery Math: Some Numbers Behind My Sobriety

I have been in recovery for a little over two and a half years. Two years, three months, and 19 days to be precise. Drill that number down further. My sobriety is passing the 827-day mark, and hopefully, I will continue to add sober days to that number. That number doesn’t tell the whole story though, because it sounds too simple and straightforward. Two and a half years, 27 months, or 827 days sober. To break those years of recovery down, we need to dive deeper.

Treatment simplified recovery in the beginning, telling me to focus on a mantra: “Just For Today”. As a result, and that has made it easier and more straightforward to get to here, to two-plus years. So there’s the first number of 827 days of doing it “Just For Today”.

Advice On How to Maintain My Recovery

I was advised to regularly participate in 12 step meetings as a way to maintain my sobriety. Early on it was suggested that I make a meeting every day for at least the first 90 days. Full disclosure, I knew nothing about 12 steps but people seemed happy, so I was willing to follow directions. I did that for probably the first year or so of my recovery. By my calculations, 827 days sober consists of just about 413 AA meetings. A meeting a day, in the beginning, turned into one every other day when I could. I couldn’t make the daily meetings; my life got busier as I became a “real adult” with work and other responsibilities. 413 12-step meetings turn into 826 cups of coffee because what’s a meeting without a cup or two of coffee?

What can I say? I was an anxious shell in early sobriety and caffeine calmed my nerves. We all know what goes great with a cup of coffee outside or before a meeting? That’s right, a cigarette. 413 meetings, 826 cups of coffee, and 1,239+ cigarettes later, I realized recovery meant taking care of my whole body. I’m an addict, and I took control of all of my addictions to ensure my sobriety.

12 Step Practices

A huge part of staying clean through a 12-step program was developing a sober network. It is imperative to seek out the companionship of people who could relate to what I was going through. I leaned on these people when I was struggling with cravings and afraid of relapsing. My 827 days of sobriety’s foundation is the 2,451 phone calls I made to my sober support group. Those 3 calls a day to my sponsor or someone in recovery were instrumental in keeping me sober and sane.

Staying Clean and Sober

The numbers leading up to my sobriety aren’t all as positive and heartwarming. I’ve totaled 3 cars, ruined 2 boyfriends’ lives, robbed my parents of an incalculable amount of sleep my parents. In addition, I burned bridges, irreparably damaged friendships, lost opportunities, and traveled extremely dark roads. To count the “less savory” and darker things that have been a part of my story is not something I view as depressing. All the hurt, heartache, and tragedy led to me where I am now. My personal experience has shown me that you absolutely cannot enjoy the sunshine without a little bit of rain. In my case, the rain was more of a torrential downpour that lasted for most of my late teens and into my early twenties, but I’ve emerged from the other side a better person because of it.

Willingness is Everything in Recovery

All of these numbers are important factors in my recovery. These numbers all play a part in me staying clean and sober for these past 827 days, but the single most important metric for me is the number that started it all. The 1 honest phone call I made asking for help. I reached my breaking point. Sick of my stubborn existence, I could somehow pull myself out of the abyss of active addiction. I’m eternally grateful to everyone in my life who made my entry into recovery possible. My family, the drug rehab facility, and all the people who have enabled me to live a life free from active addiction and alcoholism. While my recovery and the last 2 and half years have been a fantastic journey, it all started with 1 phone call and the willingness to recover.

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