On the one hand I don't want to detract from those who are counting the total number of days they have gone without alcohol. But I also don't want to detract from the number of days that I have!
A lot of people refer to this "no alcohol" thing as sobriety. To me, sobriety used to mean never drinking again and having no alcohol. Now I define it as not drinking unhealthy amounts and not getting fucked up. To put it bluntly.
I saw someone else's post and it made me google some definitions.
SOBRIETY: The state of being Sober.
Okay, well then what is SOBER? I found:
Adjective: Not affected by alcohol, not drunk
Synonyms: Not drunk, clearheaded
Verb: Make or become sober after drinking alcohol
Definition of DRUNK:
a. Having the faculties impaired by alcohol
b. Having a level of alcohol in the blood that exceeds a maximum prescribed by law
c: Having drunk so much alcohol that normal actions (such as talking, thinking, and moving) become difficult to do
If I take these literally, then every morning one could say they are sober after going on a bender the night before and being drunk. Or one could say that as long as they weren't drunk, then they were sober. I'm not sure if it's as clear as that.
I guess it depends how we define "not affected" by alcohol. Because I wasn't feeling all the negative things after drinking a glass last Friday night, I feel I wasn't affected. On the other hand, by the end of the 2nd glass I could see where this could lead so I was feeling "something".
I think it boils down to interpreting this however I want. Each of us needs to navigate our own way towards our usable definitions. So here is my version. (I need something to measure against for me going forward.)
The HD Sober Definition system:
Tier 1: Alcohol Free - no alcohol in the system
Tier 2: Drinking - having some alcohol, lightly affected (blood pressure, relaxation, flush)
Tier 3: Drinking too much - drinking at levels to be concerning in some way, perhaps definition "a" above for DRUNK or even just "Drinking" at more than the recommended amounts for health.
Tier 4: Drunk - definitions of "b" and "c" above.
My statements of self go something like this then:
Until I quit drinking in April I had very few instances of being truly ALCOHOL FREE. I had daily instances of DRINKING, around 5 times per week of DRINKING TOO MUCH and occasions of being DRUNK...(I categorize blackouts as drunk even though I appeared functioning and didn't make a scene.)
Since I quit drinking in April I have had 129 days of being completely Alcohol Free, one day of DRINKING some, and NO days of DRINKING TOO MUCH nor being DRUNK.
Way to go self. That's a pretty good turn-around! My goal is to keep to this forever. This I think I can do!!! Blogging today to remind myself.
I think this whole process is a balance between what we think is acceptable balanced against what we think we can do. Some might think Tiers 2 - 4 are totally unacceptable and stick with Tier 1. Some might think Tier 2 is totally fine, even with the occasions for Tier 3 and possibly even random, maybe yearly Tier 4 occurrences but realize this isn't sustainable for them and must stick with Tier 1.
My point is that nobody wrote rules for this..... there is no right nor wrong. It's just doing what is right for each of us. At least we are "doing".....
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." - Theodore Roosevelt
(not exactly the context in which this quote was meant but I thought it applicable nonetheless)