September 15, 2000
Doing The Math

I have been sober for seven hundred and thirty-one days.

That breaks down to 17,544 hours ... or 1,052,640 minutes ... or 63,158,400 seconds ...

... or two years exactly, today.

I don't mind telling you that it has taken up a huge chunk of my precious morning off from work, just to sit here and do the math ... armed with calendars and caffeine and calculators (and fingers, and toes, and assorted other body parts). But it has been oddly fun and absorbing, even for tragically math-challenged Secra.

(And yes, I know I could have just clicked on a utility like and let them do the figuring for me. But I felt it was important for me to *get interactive* with the actual arithmetic of my recovery. To plunge my fingers into the clay and fashion that lumpy ashtray with my own two hands, as it were.)

The strange thing? Now that I've done the math, and I'm sitting here looking at the number 731 hanging suspended from the computer monitor in front of me ... it really doesn't seem BIG enough.

Seven hundred and thirty-one days? That's ALL?

Has it really only been seven hundred and thirty-one days since the night I came home to The Tree House, with The Oregon Boyfiend's voice still ringing in my ears (You're just gonna go home and get drunk, anyway), and sensed something shift internally? Felt a door latching itself closed? Heard a new/old voice whispering in my head?

(He's right, it said. The fudker. And I don't WANT him to be right this time.)

Only seven hundred and thirty-one days since I poured myself that last half-hearted glass of lukewarm Mountain Chablis, and then just sat and looked at it for an hour, willing myself to dump it on top of a three-day-old hangover? Telling myself to drink just enough to take some of the edge off? Promising myself that if I just finished one glass, I wouldn't have to pour another? (But knowing that I would ... and I would ... and I would ...)

Only seven hundred and thirty-one days since I stood in the kitchen and resolutely dumped the rest of the chab down the sink, put the bottle into a Hefty bag already stuffed full of "empties" and hauled the whole mess upstairs to the dumpster?

Only seven hundred and thirty-one days since I said That's it. I'm done?

(I wish, sometimes, that I had a more dramatic Last Drink Story. But that's pretty much how it happened.)

I sit here and consider all of the things I have lived through since then. Answering phones at The Knife Company. Living alone in The Tree House. Flying to California, that first glorious weekend, and meeting my friend David. Falling in love. The aftermath of falling in love. Driving a slippery U-Haul truck over the Siskyou Mountains during a thunderstorm. The Ugly Pink Stove. SeaTacsBeast, MrFyre ("She's a man-eater!"), Cranky Denver Lady. Job-hunting in the Bay Area. Hiring on at The Totem Pole Company as a receptionist, then getting bumped upstairs. Franz. Upper respiratories. Incontinence. The Happy Panda Toaster. Edmund's divorce. The arrival of The World's Cutest Nephew. The Tot Visits. Feef's grandbaby. Ant murder. Christmases in TicTac. Y2K. The breast reduction stuff. Monterey. Kacie's car accident. Jaymi's graduation. Schmidty, tossing her suitcases off the balcony.

(Hell. I think about all of the things I have "lived through" in the LAST THREE DAYS ALONE, and it feels like I've lived 731 lifetimes right there.)

It just seems as though the total number of days since I took that first shaky baby step toward recovery -- and reinvention -- and restitution -- should be much, much higher. Like 3,650. Or 7,300.

Or 43,897,621.

The good news here, of course, is that someday -- God, gumption, and Geritol willing -- it will be.

Have a fabulous weekend, everybody. Thanks for all of your good thoughts this week: it has meant more than you can possibly know.

one year ago: i've still got a shot

throw a rock