They are hard. I hate to have to admit that because they are also fun and wonderful.. but on another level they are hard work.

We give up booze, we set ourselves targets, we work towards them, we count the days, the weeks, the months, then we hit a big Soberversary and we want to ‘celebrate’ but our old hard-wired ‘celebrations’ techniques aren’t in use.. and really all we are ‘celebrating’ is an ongoing raw sober life… and so we find ourselves feeling proud but also strangely a bit flat.

We want a big release but the release doesn’t come because we are still working on dealing with life in the raw. We are still facing every single day, trial & tribulation with a wide open (sober) brain.

The truth is soberversaries are a bit of a downer as well as being a big upper as well.

Lots of members here at Living Sober are hitting nice big milestones right about how and are happy and proud yet many are strangely struggling a bit as well.

Personally I think the one-year soberversary is particularly hard. Yes  WOW! – you have made it through 12 long months with no alcohol. You have beaten numerous cravings, navigated your way through many social situations, lurched your way through many emotional states and PHEW!… now you are here. One whole year – woo hoo!

Um. Now what…?

Truth is while in one sense one year is fucking amaze-balls fantastic, in another sense it’s actually relatively speaking quite a short stretch of sober time. If you are like me and spent 20+ years drinking alcohol steadily and heavily.. one year without that liquid drug isn’t very long. Read back over some of the Sober Stories I’ve been posting lately – often these long-timers say it takes a good 2-3 years before everything starts to calm down. I know that is a bummer, but maybe it’s just best to think of this as a long game – a marathon not a sprint – and be prepared to feel a bit let down as the first big soberversaries slide by.

That is NOT to say that you shouldn’t shout your own praises from the rooftops!! Nor that you shouldn’t go out and buy yourself a BIG FAT SOBER TREAT!!! Nor that you shouldn’t feel quietly extremely pleased and proud of yourself.

I have said it a million times before and I will say it again. Anyone who digs deep and works hard to kick shit booze to the curb is BRAVE and AMAZING.

And really – forget soberversaries. Every sober day is a day to celebrate.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Mari135 1 year ago

    So good….and so needed to read this today. oxoxox Thank you Mrs. D!

  2. Kelley 1 year ago

    I love the way you write. I can so relate. It makes me feel normal. I trying to from being new normal. 🙂

  3. Trijntje 1 year ago

    I have very difficult time. I am reading both books. Mrs D. I am sure that especially the second one will help getting on top of my emotional seasaw. I think I am the worst alcoholic in the world. It certainly has ruined a big part of my life.

  4. Olivia 1 year ago

    I came here about three years ago. It didn’t stick at first. I read your book and I came back and came back. I joined StopDrinking on Reddit. My two year anniversary was last week. Thank you for your inspiration.

  5. SwooshGirl 1 year ago

    Congratulations indeed @mrsd !! And I read this post with interest as I feel the same! Such ‘now whats?’ !!! So much so I sometimes have ‘why carry-ons?’ Oh dear… but, carry on I do, and for now, that is enough, and what you said about the long termers taking around 2-3 years before these answers start to settle down… is very reassuring to me. And, after all, I am 451 days today! And that IS something to CELEBRATE. And, final point, I couldn’t’ have got here, without your site and support… Thank you BIG time!!! Much love from England!! XXXX

  6. Anonymous 1 year ago

    I’m new year and not sure how to get around the site. I was 4 months sober and started back again. Why? Stress probably from work.

    I’m 51 year old closet vodka drinker and can’t believe I am. I never used to drink and started after my brother died around 8 years ago. now what?

    • Joni 1 year ago

      Welcome to LS. To navigate this site and find the support you need click on the “Community Area”. You will find lots of support and advice there.

  7. Lawrence 1 year ago

    Congrats Mrs D! Day 23 for me and I thank you for giving me all these lovely caring people for support. Aroha.

  8. Cinderella 1 year ago

    Ohhhh myyyy Gawwwd Mrs D 😉 That is a precious number of years, each one an inspiration to us all for sure….Big congrats indeed xx 🙂

  9. Bondi 1 year ago

    Congratulations @mrs-d, you really are a superstar. As someone has already posted, it’s not just your life you have changed but also the lives of thousands of others. Thank you for being so brave and sharing all the ups and downs of sober life, and bringing all of us together. Enjoy your treat. Xoxoxo

  10. Stevieboy 1 year ago

    Congrats Mrs D – you’re a legend, and not many achieve that, especially when they are still as young as you.
    I know what you mean about the “Um … now what?” feeling with anniversaries: life goes on, somebody has to put the rubbish out and the car still needs petrol. But it’s also a time to look back. What about the times you have now avoided feeling crap in the morning, or hiding, and what about the money you’ve saved.. But for you, what about the hundreds and hundreds of people you have helped in a really significant way, the lives you have improved, the relationships you have positively impacted. That is a wonderful legacy worth celebrating – and bugger something to drink – what about something dazzling to wear!

  11. R51 1 year ago

    CONGRATS @mrs-d. 5 years. Woohoo. I’m day 151 today and I cannot begin to tell you how much your site and my newfound friends have helped me!!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!!

  12. IslandOne 1 year ago

    Super-timely for me, @mrs-d – I hit one year on Saturday. I’ll have a big fat English breakfast to celebrate. The marathon metaphor is quite close in one way. Running those, you count off the miles as you achieve them – but you still have to keep running. In another way though, it’s a little different, because the journey gets easier as you go.

  13. Lucy 1 year ago

    Mrs D your amazing… your books are 2 of my sober tools and I couldn’t stay sober without the support from this site… I look forward everyday to getting on here and sharing. Today I’m 5 months sober so your post is very welcome. Everyday in the raw and working hard on myself will be forever I know, but my god it’s so much better than when I was pissed everyday and night for years… A new happy life…. Thanks Mrs D. xx

  14. Tom4500 1 year ago

    And on that note, I smile at how I count how many months, as a new parent describes their child’s age. So my sobriety is in the toddler stage. When my 1.5 yr gets here, I’ll be celebrating with an order of that amazing salmon with dill sauce that the Wrought Iron Grill serves. An inward celebration. No cakes with candles and people singing happy sobriety. Just a little satisfaction. And a good piece of salmon, out to dinner with my wife. Also, I want to echo “every sober day is a day to celebrate”. Enough about me though, I like your 5 year sign, and thanks for the post.

  15. Normaleelucid 1 year ago

    Funny I was just thinking another year would soon be rolling by. Dread to think where we would all be now and how many others would be effected. Ugh! Thank goodness , just thank you actually! Forever grateful xox

  16. Begoodtomyself 1 year ago

    Thanks @mrs-d, your description does capture the feeling/situation well. You know you’ve achieved something big and yet…. I do like the comparison of our journey being a marathon, it certainly feels that way while being awesome and freeing and authentic at the same time. Thanks again xox

  17. JM 1 year ago

    Very true, Mrs. D! Some people count days, like me, and some don’t, like my brother and a few people on this site. I find it motivating, the idea of having to reset the counter has kept me from drinking in earlier days. When I’m coming up on a big, momentous number I’m excited about it, I mention it to my husband, sometimes my dad.. And then I think about a treat, and I tend to eschew buying little things so I have more money for trips, which is the biggest treat I can imagine. And life, grinding and difficult, jubilant and light, keeps happening. That last line of yours makes a lot of sense – every sober day is a day to celebrate. Sometimes when I’m walking my dog in the evening, I think of 5 things that went well during the day. It’s often my classes, and it’s always that ‘I’m sober’. Yep. Thanks for your post! xo

    • Joni 1 year ago

      Yay I did it! Today is Day 100!!! 🙂 Mrs. D. Your timing is impeccable, I needed to hear that so I won’t be disappointed if my first big milestone feels kinda flat. Heck I’ll take flat over being hungover any day. Onwards and upwards. Congrats on your 5 incredible years! LS has been my lifeline and I can’t thank you enough for all you do.
      This is a great day to be sober! 🙂
      Love and blessing.
      J xxx

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Living Sober by NZ Drug Foundation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Built with love by Bamboo Creative and powered by Flywheel. 2019.

Forgot your details?

Create Account