Sixty Days Clean: Perseverance on a Long & Winding Road

Big Sur winding trailMy son and I were texting each other yesterday and his ended with this:

PS – I got 60 days clean today. xxoo

Sixty days clean. A postscript.

So many emotions swirling around in my mind: joy, pride, tenderness, hope, fear.

We’ve been here before so many times. Two months, Three months. Four months. Each time I think: This is the beginning of forever. The dragon is finally slain.

Only it wasn’t.

So. Sixty days. Not very long when we consider all that is past and all that is to come.

Still, I feel hopeful, thankful, blessed. There’s much to celebrate, regardless of the outcome. Sixty-five days ago I had thought I had lost him forever.

So in that spirit I am celebrating what feels, emotionally, like a huge milestone. Even though rationally, I know this is only the tiniest beginning of what I hope will be a lifelong journey.

And I remind myself:

“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
― Oliver Goldsmith

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
― Margaret Thatcher

“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.”
― James A. Michener

Perseverance (and faith) is what we need to sustain us on our long journeys.

Given that, I’ve choreographed some thoughts to encourage us on the long and winding road.

A Speech on Perseverance (and Faith) Told in Quotations

“I know now, after fifty years, that the finding/losing, forgetting/remembering, leaving/returning, never stops. The whole of life is about another chance, and while we are alive, till the very end, there is always another chance.”
― Jeanette WintersonWhy Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

“I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.”
― Madeleine AlbrightMadam Secretary: A Memoir

“The doing of something productive regardless of the outcome is an act of faith. The doing of a small something when a large something is too much for us is perhaps especially an act of faith. Faith means going forward by whatever means we can.”
― Julia CameronFinding Water: The Art of Perseverance

“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.”
― L. Frank BaumThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”
― Nelson Mandela

“We’re all going to keep fighting, Harry. You know that?”
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit

“When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.”
― Isak Dinesen

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”
― Winston Churchill

“Sure I am this day . . .  that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.”
― Winston Churchill

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
― John Quincy Adams

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit

 

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24 thoughts on “Sixty Days Clean: Perseverance on a Long & Winding Road

  1. Congratulations! It is tough to stay in the moment, to enjoy what you have right now without fear of the future, especially with addictions. I suppose everything in life is like that, however. We have to snatch some joy in the moment without fearing what may come later.

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  2. Thank you for your wonderful blog. You are a gifted writer. I have felt everything you have written. I also pimped for my son, I believed all the lies, I watched all the cycles of mania and depression and anger. Today, he’s been clean for 17 months and even so, some days I can feel the fear that we will go back there again. I’m so happy for your son that he’s made it 60 days! He will make it for good this time…relish his victory!

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  3. Reblogged this on Our Young Addicts and commented:
    We are so inspired and encouraged by the stories our community shares with each other. Meet another parent who blogs about her son’s experiences (the ups and downs) with addiction. Together, we get smarter and stronger. Thanks for being part of this community, and congrats to your son on 60 days sober!

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  4. Congrats to your son, and how cool that he texted you that encouraging message of sobriety! Each period of sobriety reinforces the possibility of long-term sobriety. Love the positive quotations about perseverance and faith – it’s totally fitting.

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  5. It is so wonderful that your son has 60 days!! Being a recovering drug addict/alcoholic myself, I know just how difficult that is to achieve – and keep at. I, too, had my periods of sobriety before I finally stuck with it, and each time I relapsed I felt worse and worse about myself. Addiction is stronger than anything I have ever encountered – love, family, faith, everything. So anyone who is able to “slay the dragon” even for 24 hours is a miracle. Wishing your son endless amounts of perseverance and strength to continue on his journey of sobriety. God bless

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  6. What a blessing, 60 days is :). When I was 60 days clean I thought I had conquered the world, in my mind anyway. Slaying the dragon is a difficult task. Congratulations to your son and to you, I’ll keep praying for day 61. Much love ❤
    Art

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  7. I know illness in a loved one of a different type, and know this mix of emotions. I will keep you and your son in my prayers and envision many more days, forever.

    And I love what you did with this post, it’s encouraging to read for any struggling path.

    I will return to it, and you should (even though it’s yours). Great quotes here, great!

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