I laid in bed last night thinking about a conversation I had with an individual about counting the days of sobriety. The only method I am familiar with, or even really thought of was ..."You remain clean so many days, keep track of the amount of time, and if you slip up you start from scratch".
What a disheartening and discouraging way of accounting for your progress and set backs. No wonder so many fall off the wagon, you cant ever see the progression. All you know is that you must scratch everything and start again from the bottom.
Imagine this chain. So much work has gone into cutting out the strips and placing each one together, each signifying something special. It finally reaches across the room, and now you must trash it all; All of it is worth nothing, and you must begin again. How heart wrenching! How does one ever feel like they have accomplished anything?
Lets now take this same chain....Each day you carefully choose your paper, cut it out, you may even design it, then you glue it on to your chain. Some days it may be a challenge, maybe you don't want to cut today, or maybe the color isn't right, but you still somehow make that link for the end of your chain.The next day something goes awry...for whatever reason, you mess up your link and you can't glue it on.
Is your chain completely ruined? Why is there need to scrap the whole chain for one ruined link? Haven't you worked so hard on those other links? Why shouldn't we count the effort and work and accomplishment that went into all those other links, just because we messed up one?
It is my suggestion ( thanks to this individual whom I conversed with) that we keep the good links, and trash only the links that we messed up. That way we see our progression, we see the hard work we have done, we see that we actually have accomplished something, and our chain is really a lot longer than we give ourselves credit for. With enough time, and enough practice, just maybe we won't screw up any more links, and our chain will be long enough to reach the moon.