Have you heard the Jerry Seinfeld story about not breaking the chain? Someone once asked him how he got to be such a good comedian and he said, “I sit down and write jokes every day. Some days I don’t feel funny, I have writer’s block, I’m tired, or I have other things on my mind, but I always sit down and write, even if it’s bad writing. I show up and I don’t break the chain.”
He kept a calendar behind his desk and he put a red X on each day that he wrote. He didn’t break the chain (of X’s) and that’s how Jerry Seinfeld became a great comedian.
That’s how I stopped drinking.
I didn’t break the chain. I downloaded the Good Habits app on my iPhone and at the end of each day, I added another X to my digital calendar.
So I downloaded the Good Habits app and checked off the first day that I didn’t drink, and then the next day, and the next. That’s how I did it in the beginning. Were there days I wanted to drink. Hell yes! Was it always easy? No! Did I have hard, stressful days? Yes, and I still have hard days.
But I looked forward to marking that X on my calendar. It was a sense of accomplishment even if it felt like nothing else was going right. It may sound silly, but marking a calendar with an X each day helped me a lot.
I marked that digital calendar every day for 365 days and then a little bit beyond.
One day at a time has a lot of merits especially in the early days of quitting an addictive substance. Just begin. You can do it, even on the hard, most uncomfortable days. You can choose, hour by hour, day by day to not drink. Just don’t break the chain and this too (whatever this is) will always pass.
Is it worth it? YES!
For more on this topic: Listen to Episode 14, To Count Or Not To Count? on the “Editing Our Drinking and Our Lives” Podcast with Aidan Donnelley Rowley and Jolene Park.