Limits of the 30 day test


August 4, 2016

I know the standard test to ‘prove’ you aren’t addicted is to give up something for 30 days, but I want to say that it’s not always true. Sure, it’s probably a good test in many ways. You get a chance to see how it feels to live without something, maybe you take it for granted, maybe you use it too often. It can really open your eyes.

But it also might mean nothing. I did 30 says of sobriety back in the day. I was worried about my drinking and wanted to test myself. So I signed up and white-knuckled my way through 30 days sober. When it was done, though, I went right back to drinking. After all, I’d made it. I wasn’t addicted! Right? Right!

Well no, I hadn’t truly scratched the surface of why I was drinking. Hanging on for dear life while I wait out my prison sentence doesn’t always mean you’ve solved your problems. It just means I’m really stubborn. I did another 30 days, and then another, and yet more, and I still do them now a couple of times a year to keep myself aware of my drinking. It’s an ongoing process, not a one-time deal. 30 days is a great deep dive into sobriety when you’ve been checked out for a long time, but it’s not a perfect test. Only we, in our hearts, know what’s right. Only we, in our hearts, can admit when we have a problem.

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