800 Days

The days are dragging a little, I have to say. This is Day 9 of the Great British Lockdown, and whilst I’m beginning to feel a bit restless, we’re doing OK on balance. I get out once a day for either a run or for a walk, and perhaps because I’m an introvert and not super social, life isn’t all that different come to think of it. It’s almost more the idea itself that is making me antsy – that we can’t do this or that, as opposed to not doing it. For example: even though I no longer drink, Hubby does and on occasion we might go to the pub. Now, I don’t miss that (and frankly, I’d rather do something else) but it sucks to think we can’t do it. Does that make sense? Just like I’d quite like to be able to head to Sweden for a long weekend or Easter break – something that’d be nice but I can take it or leave it – but because I can’t, I feel uneasy about it. Maybe that’s just normal, that we want something more or miss it more simply because the option has been taken away from us?

As a side note, that’s not true for the bowl of Swedish sweets – just like bottles of wine in the wine rack that belong to Hubby, I want to be healthy more than I want to eat them so they’re no longer bothering me. It took a few days of this Weight Watchers thing and counting points to get used to it and initially feeling deprived, but I’ve got the hang of it now and it’s becoming some sort of normal to think about what I can eat. For now anyway…

On balance, we’re doing fine. At the very least, we’re as fine as could be expected in this situation. Hubby is my best friend and although we bicker and sometimes argue like anyone else, we’re pretty well in tune and seemingly both our happiest when we’re together, so I really can’t complain. Bit of a drag, but all in all we’re as happy as can be I guess.

The counselling course is still going, but has moved online. We have the usual teaching on Fridays via Zoom and it’s working better than I thought it would. Skills practice sessions in the same format and although not ideal, we’re learning new skills and even with counselling this is something that is happening more and more online (and especially right now!) so I reckon we’ll come out armed with tonnes of additional skills and experience. It does require more own initiative in terms of learning, but hey ho, here we all are confined to our homes so I’m trying to make the most of it by reading and downloading online lectures and so on – the internet is a treasure trove in that sense.

Well, these are strange times, that’s for sure. Still. I genuinely believe that we’ll all learn something and come out of this better, wiser and stronger.

….aaaaaand drinking? Well, whaddaya know, today is 800 days! 800 days sober! It’s hard to believe – I certainly never, not even for a moment, thought I’d be able to say that. Usually when I check the counter app I have, I giggle in disbelief and often get tearful, overcome with gratitude. Typing ‘800’ just now, I felt less than I thought I would. Maybe it just seems surreal, that I can’t quite grasp it somehow?

I’M 800 DAYS SOBER!!!!!!

Nope, still just has me staring at it and not quite being able to reconcile this with it being ME who did that. Is this what happens when you have all your dreams come true? Or, more accurately, try to accept that you have done something you never thought was possible?

Sobriety isn’t quite like that though. It’s not like climbing Mount Everest and you get to the summit and stick your flag down. Well, first off, it isn’t a struggle. It is and it isn’t – personally, I found the first few weeks the hardest, those were definitely an uphill shit storm. And there may well come times and moments when I’ll struggle again, but unlike climbing Everest, it’s not ONE climb with a definite end to it. The goal isn’t to get to whatever number of days and stick my flag down, “there! I did it!“. Every single day is that amazing victory. Some good, some bad, some ugly, but as long as I stay sober I’m always sticking that flag down. So it’s different in that sense mostly. It’s “Here! I’m doing it!“.

Hello, my name is Anna and I’m an addict. Today I am 800 days sober. I’m doing it. Today I’m victorious. Today my life is beautiful because today I am not going to drink. 

Fucking amazing, this stuff. Recovery – I feel so lucky that I’m getting to experience this beautiful thing. Yes, you could say it sucks that this is my thing, that addiction is my thing. But it is my thing and not only did I accept it – I embraced it. It’s not my fault but it’s my responsibility and it’s one I wear with pride and gratitude. I’m paraphrasing Laura McKowen, by the way, a recovery advocate and author of ‘We Are the Luckiest’ – look her up, she has a magical way of putting into words what recovery is, means and does for us. And I totally agree with her, as shitty as addiction is – we are the luckiest. No doubt about it and I feel grateful every single day that this is my journey.

Stay safe, friends, in this upside down world. If you are bored, let’s play a little game. Below I’m listing a bunch of Swedish sayings. Your job is to figure out what they mean and what the English language equivalent might be.

  1. There is a dog buried here.
  2. If there’s room in the heart, there is room for the ass.
  3. Don’t shout ‘hey’ before you’ve crossed the stream.
  4. Slide in on a prawn sandwish.
  5. There is no cow on the ice.
  6. A cross in the ceiling.
  7. To have done a poo in the blue cupboard.
  8. To buy the pig in the sack.
  9. To have something land between the chairs.
  10. To have planted one’s last potato.
  11. Like a cat around hot porridge.
  12. To sit in the lake.
  13. To throw pearls at swines.
  14. Put your legs on your back.
  15. Right on the beetroot.

There, that’ll do for now. Tomorrow I’ll use my new video conferencing skills and hold a little online lecture on the strangeness of Swedes. I say, as if anyone would be remotely interested in learning about our weird idioms that you’ll never ever have any use for!

The world might be all strange and bewildering right now, but I can always find joy and gratitude in this one little line:

Today I’m not going to drink.



14 thoughts on “800 Days

  1. You are awesome!! 800 days is truly fantastic. It’s so true, it isn’t like climbing a mountain because you never reach the top but it’s definitely a journey of amazing experiences, good views and bad stuff but it is a journey I am so grateful I started. Utterly thankful. Well done you xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on 800 days. You are doing it. We are doing it. And you’re right…the final destination is not the point. Every sober day is the point! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 800..thats a Lot of days! congrats! i have to admit i am not very good at those games.. seems to be a lot of them going around online right now too…and i like that phrase as well..even though i can, and wouldn’t even feel guilty anymore, and no one would stop me..i am not going to drink today:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that’s so kind. The meme is good, isn’t it? I kind of see it that way a little bit (but without minimising how terrifying this crisis is, if that makes sense) – hey, Universe, I broke free from addiction, it’ll take more than a pandemic to break me. Eek, that sounds glib. But yes, it made me chuckle too, that meme. 🙂 x


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