One day of not drinking…times 365.
These days if you’re a writer who wants to get published, here’s one surefire way: choose an activity (the more off-the-wall, the better) and do it for one whole year. Write a blog about it, and then turn that blog into a book — maybe even into a movie.
Recently there’s been a spate of writers chronicling their yearlong endeavors, which include:
I haven’t read any of these, though I did just see “Julie & Julia,” the film that resulted from the cooking blog/book.
And as most of you know, as of Friday I completed one year of not drinking — and blogging about it.
I’m not expecting a book or movie deal, though. Mainly because what I’ve accomplished, while groundbreaking in its importance to me, isn’t really that unusual. Millions of people in the Alcoholics Anonymous program have done it, and continue to do it, on a daily basis. What’s more, they don’t just do it for a year – they do it for multiple years and decades.
When you think about that, it’s pretty amazing. In AA, we don’t have an ending date in sight – there’s no final day of our great endeavor that we’re working toward. That might be enough to drive some crazy with frustration, as they contemplate giving up drinking for all of the foreseeable future. I know it drove me to distraction at first. I just couldn’t fathom living without this thing that had been part of my everyday life for nearly 30 years.
That’s why AA encourages us to take it “one day at a time.” For the next 24 hours, I will not drink. If I need to think consciously about not drinking, it works best to concentrate only on that period of time. Or, if need be, I can break it down into even smaller bits. An afternoon. An evening. An hour. A moment of not drinking.
I have now accumulated 365 days of not drinking.
If my experience were made into a book, you might call it…The Sobriety Project.
My Year of Living Non-Alcoholically.
The Great UndertAAking.
All in all, I’m proud and happy about what I’ve done. It’s made a world of difference in my life. And of course it doesn’t end here, with a year.
To anyone reading this who may be thinking they might want to give AA a shot, I highly recommend it. It’s not easy, but so much easier than you might think.
And to everyone who’s been along for this journey, whether you hopped on board at the beginning or somewhere along the way, thank you. Your comments and support and encouragement have helped immensely.
As we say at the end of every AA meeting, keep coming back.
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Tags: 1-year AA, 12-Step Program, acceptance, alcohol abuse, alcoholics, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, change, getting sober, journey, life, not drinking, not drinking for a year, one year of sobriety, recovery, sober, sobriety, sobriety birthday, staying sober
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