Five years sober

For a period it was, “I’m an alcoholic,” and that tended to silence anyone . These days, unless I’m feeling generous, I simply say, “I don’t drink,” and leave it at that. When I was drinking, it never occurred to me that I was an introvert. I would have classified myself as someone who loved to be around people and go out with them at night. Thinking back to before I was sober, I usually had to drink to be around people.

People in recovery can experience a lot of shame simply for having become addicted in the first place. Most people who make their way into recovery have left a lot of pain and suffering in their wake. Feeling guilty or ashamed of past behavior or actions during active addiction is natural and healthy. People in recovery from a substance use disorder frequently have problems meeting work-related responsibilities, maintaining employment, and managing money. If you were active in your addiction for a period of time, you may have developed financial problems. It is also important to seek help from a therapist.

How Do You Celebrate Recovery One Day At a Time?

It’s a subversive, hardcore choice to take your life into your own hands. It’s an opportunity to grow into your bones, and every single crap thing that happens to you on the way only makes you stronger. My biggest fears in life include being in large groups of strange people, standing at parties by myself, and really just people in general. Alcohol helped me forget my awkwardness and not-belongingness and it helped me talk to and be with people without my neck muscles freezing up . Drunk me didn’t have to worry if I was alone at a party because drunk me didn’t abide such things. Drunk me didn’t worry if she belonged, or said the right thing, or had to have small talk because drunk me just handled that. There will be people who don’t want to date you because you’re sober.

  • Second comes the catalog of deeper, priceless loss.
  • Not just in prioritizing my recovery—which is also important—but in feeling thankful for it every day.
  • It’s been an amazing 5 years – here’s to many more.
  • One common mistake for those who are new to alcohol and drug recovery is substituting a new compulsive behavior for their old one.
  • Almost all addiction and recovery ideologies wouId suggest that this isn’t a best practice, some would say it’s outright recovery suicide.
  • People in recovery can experience a lot of shame simply for having become addicted in the first place.

I am deeply proud that I’ve found a different way of being, a way that gives me a better chance of being the person I want to be. I’ve also had to search for alternative ways to reward myself – a drink was the preferred reward for finishing a project, for doing the task I’d put off doing, for getting through the day. It turns out that I still need rewards for accomplishing the mundanities of life. During the pandemic, I started driving an hour to Albany to get interesting and exciting takeout food most Friday nights, a way of breaking the monotony of COVID sameness. It’s become one in an arsenal of rewards that I keep handy. If people press that response, I’ll either stare at them and hold an uncomfortable silence , or just change the subject. There are exceptions to this, like if someone alludes to their own struggle with alcohol, and then I might offer up a bit more of my personal experience.

All the Marbles: Five Years Sober

Without the stress and long hours of my job, I was able to focus on taking a healthier approach to sobriety. I stopped using it as an excuse and started making other positive life changes, such as seeing a therapist regularly.

amatus health

But it is a happy day, a healthy day, and an enriching day. I will go to sleep feeling satisfied with what I’ve done and excited for tomorrow. I’ll spend tonight reading a book in Spanish and drawing, two hobbies that I never had time for back when I was a drinker. I’ll also give my girlfriend a call—a wonderful woman who is also sober and who I never would have met if I was still a daily drinker. About two years ago, I managed to re-quit cigarettes, after a lot of struggling. I’ve also been exercising more than ever, and I’m in the best shape of my life, having lost over 50 pounds thanks to quitting drinking. Overall, I think of my second year sober as the year that I transitioned from struggling to enjoying my life.

years Sober birthday card

Many 12-step programs suggest that sobriety means total abstinence—never using the substance ever again. This applies only to my experience so you may be different. In my experience I’ve fallen for that same thought more than a few times. Every time I end up needing to quit completely again. So now I know that it’s all or nothing, so for me, it will continue to be nothing. How you define the matrix for that analysis is up to you. The ONLY thing I would suggest you consider is that, for whatever reason, the consequences you face in your 30’s or 40’s can be a hell of a lot worse than in your 20’s.

  • "As much as I have learned to block out destructive noise … peoples' comments and judgements can still hurt deeply with their incessant nagging 'you will never be good enough,'" she wrote.
  • Many of the effects of drinking every day can be reversed through early intervention.
  • I had quit cigarettes a few months before getting sober, but now I used my sobriety as an excuse to return to them.
  • I probably dedicated more of my life to alcoholism than you did.

And, once you learn how to wield your powers, trust me. Mental health recovery inspiration onYouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Like it or not, your struggle becomes part of the social fabric. Do you honestly have the pluck to turn around and walk the wrong way up the busy escalator? In my experience, tending a small fire of resentment toward one’s people is part of the deal.

Twenty Five Years Sober recovery sobriety 5x7" greeting card blank inside digital download

Knowing how helpful this type of article had been for me, I wanted to “pay it forward” and share my own experience with others who had recently quit drinking. For many people with a substance use disorder, it's simply a matter of never having learned the appropriate way to manage anger. Talk to your therapist, other healthcare provider, or sponsor about how to deal with your anger in ways that won't cause you to harm yourself or others or turn to alcohol or drugs. Whether your relapse means that you need to attend treatment again depends on several factors. These include how long the relapse lasted and how much you were drinking during the relapse. An extended relapse with heavy drinking can put you at risk ofalcohol withdrawalsymptoms, which can be dangerous.

Five Brands Stirring up Experiences for Sober-curious Consumers -

Five Brands Stirring up Experiences for Sober-curious Consumers.

Posted: Mon, 13 Feb 2023 11:02:45 GMT [source]

Never miss a — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Back home from a walk around the loop of options. I’m not drinking tonight, and probably not tomorrow.

For this reason, stress can trigger the same brain circuits that were triggered when you sought alcohol in the past. This means stress can lead to cravings, which can lead to a relapse. Another lawyer, sober for more than 30 years, told me he makes a commitment to his sobriety every morning. He promises himself that he will put his recovery first, and preserving his sobriety is constantly in the forefront of his mind.


This isn’t to say that all of your will be threatened, or that all of your friendships will change. Some will certainly remain, but even those aren’t necessarily long-game friendships. Sobriety is kind of like the fast-pass line at Disneyland, except the ride is growing up. So if all of your friends drink alongside you, then there’s no issue, right? Well, there’s a concept in psychology known as “confirmation bias,” and it means that we often look for evidence to support something that we already believe to be true.

Soberversary Balloons

I was sometimes going for entire days without even thinking about drinking. My depression was still pretty bad during the second year, but it slowly started getting better. There’s a phenomenon in recovery called “Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome,” which I believe I was suffering from.

What is considered a heavy drinker?

For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week.

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