In a new series we've started, recently my fav main character relapses and starts drinking again. His mates come collect him, take him home and tuck him in.
They tell him, "We gotchu man, we your Day One. We here. "
And all three friends stay, falling asleep awkwardly in chairs in the living room while he sleeps off his bender.
I damn near cried there and said "fuck what a beautiful thing to say - they must all be in the program too!"
(which was extra ironic cos they're dealers)
Then the next scene had them all partying (and drinking albeit more "responsibly") together. Which confused me, and clearly Erika too, cos she went, "I guess this means they're....aaall on Day One again?"
So OBVVY, cos we old, I went to urban dictionary thinking I'd missed something. And it's told me the obvious - that it's a commonly used phrase to indicate someone's been around for a person since day one/ day dot/ forever.
[Side note: this is the thing with new-old phrases and urban dictionary. Phrases get misused or their origins forgotten oor more recently, phrases get used as an overstatement or understatement, which deeply confuses our parents' generation, but then the more frequently they get used (sometimes ironically), the less people using it know what it was actually supposed to mean! But I digress.]
I personally am pretty certain the phrase holds far deeper meaning. So even if Urban Dictionary never tells you this, here's what it means to me:
When you're in AA or NA, Day One is feckin' hard folks. It's hella scary, you're sometimes shaking and crying and not necessarily because you're withdrawing either - it's just confronting, you hate yourself and you want to tap out but clearly you've spent so much time tapping out you've not got a problem.
It's the First Step you're taking, admitting you're powerless and walking into those rooms.
But it can take a while, and you can have many Day Ones.
So in the context of the program, if someone's (there for me on) my Day One, which is the first day I have not used, they're often seeing me at my lowest and my most vulnerable.
And because Recovery is a day at a time, my sobriety today doesn't guarantee my sobriety tomorrow.
We can lapse/relapse at any time.
Some of us work hard to never have to do Day One again, and some of us, despite our best intentions, find ourselves doing Day One more times than we can forgive ourselves for. But the fact of the matter is, everyone else in the rooms has been there, we've all been on Day One and know how it feels.
But Whether it's my 1st Day One ever, or my last Day One - if I'm in the safety of the rooms saying "I'm on Day One", it always feels like I'm naked in front of a crowd. Yep, especially if you've had a few Day Ones just that year after months of being clean each time.
So if I ever say to you:
"I'm here, I'm your Day One love "
Just know that I only ever mean it in the only context I know;
That I know what it feels like to be broken and vulnerable, to feel powerless and ashamed. To constantly feel like you're actually the Antagonist in the play, when you thought you were the Anti-Protagonist.
But on your Day One, whilst it might feel like you're all alone, wading through the aftermath of destruction you caused whilst in addiction, you are not alone.
And whether it's your first Day One or your last, and for all the Day Ones you might end up having, you'll never have to be alone again.
Plus, if you stick around long enough, you'll have a Day Two.