I had an interesting experience yesterday. August 4, 1984 is my sobriety anniversary. Yesterday was August 4 marking my 32 years of sobriety – and I completely forgot about it! I remembered only when checking my email about 9:00 PM last night and I received a congratulatory note from a friend. My explanation for the forgetting is two-fold. First, yesterday was a 21-hour marathon trip back to New Orleans from Lima, Peru and I was engrossed in that activity. Second, and more importantly, of late I have been thinking about the significance of these anniversary dates.
It seems when I hit 1, 5, 10, and 20 years of sobriety, those were significant milestones for me – intervals that seemed good markers of time. But the longer I stay sober, the less significant are annual anniversaries, and the more significant is each day and the entire thrust of my existence. I find that as time passes, I am more reflective of my recovery process. This reflection is reinforced by my finally dealing with my compulsive overeating addiction. As I have talked about in the past, dealing with eating disorder is truly a day-at-a-time process and certainly requires more attention to the “isms” that I have eaten over well before I picked up the first bottle of alcohol on July 4, 1962.
So, I am finding that the longer I travel down a recovery road, the more I am able to focus on the daily process and find the annual events take a backseat. More than ever before, I am coming to ascribe to the understanding that I have only as much recovery as I put into it, today.