Maybe We Need A Do-Over Instead Of A Day-One’r

We all have to start at Day One. Every single one of us has typed Day One, some of us multiple times. I think when we start reading sober blogs we may be under the impression that there are rules to sobriety that need to be followed or else YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Including but not limited to:

  • You must attend AA meetings
  • You must be in some sort of counseling/treatment
  • You must meditate/practice mindfullness/see with your third eye, etc
  • You must read books by sobriety experts
  • You must read fiction/autobiography about alcoholism
  • You must write your blog posts every day
  • You must “de-clutter”
  • You must do yoga
  • You must become a runner/weight lifter/sporty person
  • You must OR must not drink NA beer & wine (depending on who you ask)
  • You must give yourself treats/find a substitute for alcohol during your craving periods
  • You must post a list of gratitude
  • You must have a PLAN
  • You must start over at DAY ONE if you fuck up and have some alcohol

There are a lot of things on this list that helped me, and a lot of things that have help other people and they are not the same things. All of them are legit, none of them are necessary. At the end of the day there is only one rule to sobriety:


Everything else is just an opinion or an option.

I drank a few beers after I began my sobriety journey. I did not return to Day One. Partly because I didn’t get wasted, and I felt like my goal in the beginning was pretty much not to be wasted. But mostly because I knew in my heart, even by that point at 3 or 4 weeks in, that I DIDN’T WANT THAT ANYMORE. I felt weird while I was doing it and happy when it was over and relieved the next day when it was behind me. I re-joined my wagon, already in progress.

Day One is the first day of your journey, after you admit you want sobriety, the first step down a really long and sometimes treacherous road. Sometimes you’ll get a ride and it will seem like flying, and sometimes you’ll be crawling on your knees. It’s no wonder we fall occasionally, it’s exhausting.

I hope anyone who’s horrified and depressed and demoralized by ANOTHER FUCKING DAY ONE realizes that as long as they are committed to their sobriety they’re still on the path!  You’re still doing it! You are not a failure, your road is just a little rockier than some. If you are in this for 100 days, it’s not going to matter if you have to tack on another 2-3 weeks at the end to make it legit. By that time, it won’t matter. If you are in this for the LONG HAUL, your missteps in the beginning will not be of consequence in a year, or two.

If you’re preference or goal is to do a certain number of sober days uninterrupted then by all means nothing wrong with Day One. But I hope no one lets that hold them back from the real goal which is being sober.

Whatever else you do, please please PLEASE don’t give up. Because if you do I’ll be up on your metaphorical blog-porch and IN YOUR FACE with my PESKY OPTIMISM telling that YOU CAN DO IT, DAMMIT. You’ve been warned.


29 thoughts on “Maybe We Need A Do-Over Instead Of A Day-One’r

  1. Exactly! All the MUST stuff just keeps my brain focused away from drinking and lots of that MUST stuff is fun! But it can become an extra burden, make life overwhelmig, and then wham. And I super agree with your day one. Once you know you are a problem drinker, you just can’t UNknow that. As usual, your post is spot on, supportive & funny. Lori

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read blog posts from people who think sobriety is just too PRECIOUS with all the yoga and meditation and green tea etc and they don’t want that lifestyle, like somehow Gwyneth Paltrow got a hold of it and now it’s not Boho enough. Hahah! Back in the day, it was all about chugging coffee and smoking cigs on the front stoop of AA meeting! Anyway YES, once you know it is known and you’re “working on it” or you’re not. Thanks, Lori. I love your posts too:)


  2. Yes. Just don’t drink.

    As an aside, this comes up a lot. Counting days. I have never like counting days, and I have no idea what my day count is, although it will be 2 years on December 1.

    AA does put a lot of stake in days. If you aren’t in AA I see absolutely nothing that says you need to consider yourself back at day 1. Every day is a new day. And that’s all we have.

    But at AA rigorous honesty is one of the most important facets of the program and time alcohol free is part of that. So, e expectation would be you restarted you counting from your last drink.

    No one makes anyone go to AA or gets chips. But if you do, it’s probably worth considering this.

    Anyway, sober is better. Life is awesome alcohol free. And however you stay that way, as long as it’s legal, is the right path.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahahah! I like how you slipped the “legal” thing in there, Anne, so we can all be legit. Remember I’m in Oregon, where everything goes:)
    Regarding honesty, obviously you can’t be drinking and lying about it or you’re wasting your time (and everyone else’s if you’re in a program or blogging) but I think being sent to the “penalty box” is disheartening and it eradicates all the work you put in up til you messed up.
    But yah, however ya need to get there, it’s all good (but stay law-compliant!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You wrote it for me, didn’t you? 🙂 Thank you! Your comment and suppport and advise was appreciated and badly needed. Especially this last weekend. I love you being so direct. And to the point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve been trying so hard and working at it so long, I didn’t want to stop trying. Because I know you want it. So yes, for you and a few other folks who had slips. You don’t have to be perfect:)


  5. Exactly!! I know I am on the same path that I began in Dec 2014. I am open to all faucets or suggestions and I’ll try anything once, but ultimately I agree just do not drink. I personally like counting my days, but not in a bad way, like I dread another day #1. I just like to see the number getting bigger, it motivates me, plus I like picking out cute number pics on google 🙂 Haha I LOVE the fact that I can taylor my own plan and take what works and leave the rest!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It can be overwhelming enough just stopping drinking without thinking ” I need to be mindful, eat well, practice positive thinking, start running/sport/activity, read sober books, blog ,do yoga, etc” Take the pressure off and focus on one thing, not drinking! that’s all we need to do. Everyone is different, so find what works for you, especially in the early days. If standing on one leg singing “I’m a little teapot” while munching on on a bar chocolate keeps me from not drinking, I’m gonna do it damn it! – you all got a visual then didn’t you? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You know, I started blogs before at several of my Day One’s. And I stopped writing (stupid me) when I fell off the wagon. As if there was some unwritten rule that I can’t write a sober blog if I drink. Utter Bullshit. All those people who blog, regardless, drinking or not – way braver than me. ( And yes, let’s not have the hipsters taking over soberland please – they’re already started wearing plaid – hipster lumberjacks for f*ucks sake, where will it end?)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Betty!
    When I first tried to get sober, it was just don’t drink today.
    My final slip was just that. A slip. Not a relapse. I told everyone (I was not blogging at the time), so I could be honest.
    I remember my sponsor wouldn’t meet with me for awhile.
    I felt as if I was being punished.
    We are humans and imperfect.
    I do agree with Anne about honesty. I have to be honest about my drinking.
    So if I slip again, I still would tell everyone.
    Counting days seem to help me, but I think the bottom line is this:
    If you want to stop drinking, do whatever will work for you to succeed.
    And if you don’t succeed at first, try again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Wendy. Exactly, I feel like there is a difference between a slip and relapse– usually a slip is corrected quickly once we realize, no no I didn’t want to do that. As opposed to SCREW IT I’M GOING ON A 2 MONTH BENDER NOW! Not sure if I made that clear in my post:) I think honestly is helpful, and fessing UP makes people feel better. I just hate to see people beating themselves up because they made a mistake when they are still actively working on sobriety. But yes, everyone must do what works for them and I begrudge no one any tool that helps:)
      Hugs to you, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true! My slip helped me realize I didn’t want that anymore! So I got right back on the path.
        Punishing yourself for a slip keeps you from learning.
        Kiss Kiss!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this. Made me laugh a lot, but it’s so true. You are so right. When I said ‘day one again’ it didn’t feel right, because it wasn’t day one at all. I had come so far since that first day. That first moment when I started to accept that I needed to, and most importantly WANTED to change.
    And I know I tried to overdo it with wanting to make everything so super positive and do everything and be everything RIGHT NOW and I was exhausting myself when really just not drinking day by day was more than enough!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes! This is actually what I was trying to say and you said it better.
      That’s so true, we try so hard to fix everything at once, and INSTANTLY AMAZING. And we’re just not:) haha! I mean we ARE, but not like that. One thing at a time, and no drink at any time:)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amazing, love this post. Still being a relative newby to sobriety I had no idea the counting days concept came via AA – not that it bothers me where it came from – but it is a harsh concept for some if we do have a slip or short relapse, and it can negate all the hard work done before. Honesty is the all important key. How many days since a last drink can be important but just getting through and not having a drink can be so hard some days and that one day is so important that almost any day can be day one they are consecutive day one’s

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You Bring So much Sanity into Sober Blogging :-).

    “Do not let one mistake ruin your resolve”

    . Luckily it’s not about religion ! It’s just about fucking stop drinking 🙂

    And if we fellow travelers can’t be openminded and sometimes easy going / have a laugh – how should we expect it from the rest of the World :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Word.
    I had a friend recently tell me, “I fell off the wagon.” This is because she, in the moment her girlfriend was telling her she had cheated on her, had a swig of a beer that was on the table, then drank one more. She had been sober for over a year at that time, and had been sober ever since – and had that same experience, “I don’t want this.”
    She was upset because she felt like she had to go back to day one. I told her, “If anything, this proves how strong you are in your sobriety – you had a slip in an intense moment, then immediately gave it up.” To me, that’s something to be celebrated, not decried. Radical honesty is one thing – but is it honest to view all slip-ups as relapses? I’m not sure..

    Liked by 1 person

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