Dealing with Addictions Series: Every Day is a Victory

It is a common practice amongst the members of the Alcohol Anonymous to award stars to members who have achieved certain number of days sober. The celebration usually begins at the first day of sobriety. They are called sobriety coins. The first sobriety coin is a silver coin.

From a color psychology viewpoint, it signals a time of reflection and a change of direction as it illuminates the way forward. It helps with the cleansing and releasing of mental, physical and emotional issues and blockages as it opens new doors and lights the way to the future. It is respectable and courteous, dignified, self-controlled, responsible, patient, determined and organized – it relates well to the corporate world and those in positions of responsibility, whether they are male or female.

It is a very suitable color to begin the journey of recovery from addiction with. And it is instructive to note that it is given after the first 24hrs of sobriety. It is also known as the desire coin. It is significant because at the very beginning, when one decides to embark on the journey of recovery, it takes a lot of reflection and introspection. One would have to take an inward journey to find the courage to take the first steps on that lifelong journey of discipline, self-denial and change. It will not be easy but it will be propelled by the decision made after a thorough, and brutally honest self-evaluation.

After that first step is taken, each day spent in sobriety is worth celebrating.  It is a whole 24hours, 1440 minutes, 86,400 seconds of being in control and saying no to the destructive habit. It is a day of mastery over self. A day of hope, that shows that it is possible not to be in bondage forever. A day that reminds one that one can do anything as long as there is a strong will.

One thing to note that in this journey, no two days is the same. Some days will be tougher than others. On some days, little resistance is enough to gain control, on other days, it will take all the ounce of self will and strength, and there would be days when even our best would not do and we will fall or ‘slip’ as it is called in addiction treatment. Those days will be the worst, it will feel like all is lost, but no, all is not lost. It is a journey; when we fall, we rise and continue.

So on the days that we actually stay sober, we rejoice. We do not know what will happen tomorrow. We may have to struggle till sleep finally give respite or we may end the day in sadness after we have failed to achieve sobriety.  Today that we stayed sober is a day of victory, and it is to be celebrated. It will give us the motivation to go another day; it will be a reminder when that urge becomes unbearable.

This knowledge makes it easier to go on and makes the burden of self-denial easier to handle. Without this knowledge, abstinence is a burden, it is seen as a torture.

Let us hear from victor

‘’I was in the shower this morning and as I was showering, I suddenly realized that I didn’t feel like touching myself like other days. In fact I hadn’t felt that way in three days. This filled me with great joy. I never believed that I could go a day without masturbating.

Since I have made that decision to stop, I found out that I could actually do without it. There are some days that I wake up with the urge and I actually dread going into the bathroom- that is the war zone for me. But this morning was not one of those days for me and I was grateful for that.

I do not know what will happen tomorrow, in fact I do not want to think about it, all I know is that today, I am sober and dry (laughs)

This was the first time that I was looking at it this way and it gave me great comfort. I had always known that overcoming my addiction was to be taken one day at a time but I never thought to see each day of sobriety as something to celebrate or take cognizance of. Now I take pleasures in the little victories because they are part of the overall victory.

Someday I will be able to look back and say that I have been 10 years sober but I wouldn’t just be celebrating that, I would have celebrated each and every day of sobriety up till that point. In truth, those10 years will be made up of days. Without each day of sobriety, I wouldn’t have those 10 years.

Now it is easier to continue the self denial, because I don’t get bothered about how difficult maintaining years of abstinence will be, all I see now is today. Today I am sober, that is all that matters, and I take pleasure in it and I celebrate. Now my days of abstinence are no longer bleak but bright and colorful.’’


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