Saturday 1 Aug, 2015, 12:33pm by Mrs D 14 comments

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. wow so forgot about this site just remembered as i read mrs d going without when it first can out. I am now 2 years and 1 month and 9 days sober wow wot a miracle and yes really starting to get my life together. Gee its great being lynda getting to know me l love it. Its exhausting being sober i have never been so busy gosh i must have been lazy. Life for me when i was drinking , I couldnt live with out it and in the end couldnt live with it, it was a horrible place to be, wot a waste of a good person. Like wot i have just read its a marathon i am in for the long haul. one day at a time!!! For anyone out there struggling with this shit disease hang in there its totally worth it, freedom to have a great sober life. If i can do it so can you

  2. So glad you wrote on this! I know it’s so silly and newbie-ish but I remember 30 days was horrible! I was so proud of myself but felt really alone. That was around the time I joined living sober cause I needed more sober supports. This post really helps and will serve me well when I get to 1 year:)

  3. Thank goodness @MrsD and all the rest of you feel the same as me. If it wasn’t for this site how would we know? It’s hard to come to the realisation that becoming sober is just the start. The same old shit is still there, clearer than ever. It’s exhausting looking at it and it’s exhausting ignoring it. I’m not going anywhere else though so time to dig in and get on with it using all the tools I can get from LS.

  4. @MrsD and the above comments all resonated with me.
    Two weeks to go and I will celebrate my first year sober anniversary.
    For me it is like I have just peeled off the first layer of an onion skin, there have been a few tears shed and the goat track as @prudence described has been full of potholes and at times taken me to some very high but steep cliffs.
    I know that there are many more layers of the onion to get through, it’s going to take a little time to be able to process the reasons why I actually drank. In some ways I think giving up the drink was the easy bit.. Understanding why I drank , is the challenging bit.
    There will no doubt be a few more tears along this layer of skin .. Many more too go.

  5. I am a month away from a year sober, and reading this post really resonated. Already I’m thinking, ‘so what’s next?”. I’m not cured, and that’s a bit of a disappointment, really. Having said that, I am reaping all the wonderful benefits of living a sober life, which is good. Because I sense that this is going to be a very long journey. Once again, it’s all about today. Fuck soberversaries! I’m celebrating today!!!

  6. Every sober day is a day worth celebrating- I couldn’t agree more. I love getting significant sober time under my belt and I feel very proud as the days turn into months. It’s a much needed boost for my self esteem, confidence and self respect. I remember last year on my birthday I was recently sober, about 3 months, and I was dying for a margarita – or ten! This year I couldn’t care less, and the only margarita I want is a virgin one, or better yet, my favourite elderflower cordial and soda. The progress within a year is bewildering in the best way possible, and I can’t wait to see even more benefits emerge, one day at a time. So while it’s great to watch the numbers grow, I know that whatever number day it is, tomorrow I will get up and live it sober, and that sober day will be a good one.

  7. Yes, Living sober is very much a marathon and not a sprint.
    Maybe very much like a softball game and the 1 year mark is like smacking the booze out of our lives with all the power and strength we can muster, sliding into first base in a cloud of excitement whilst not tripping and getting out!
    The game is on but to stay in the game, to get to the next base, takes careful planning, learning strategies and tactics to make that run. We look back to where we have been and know we can’t go that way so the only way is forward. The crowds cheering us on but at times we are doubting ourselves that we will make it to the safety of the next base. However we realise, we got ourselves out on that field, we smacked that shit out of the ball park! So we dust ourselves off and straightening our cap and get back into the game with the mind set we will hit a home run in the end because whoever steps up to the plate is a bloody winner!
    Sober and not out (to it ;) ) !! :) ;)

  8. I’m “only” 148 days into this sobriety thing and have learnt so much. A lot of it has been very dark, very painful and not stuff I want to go through ever again. But I wouldn’t go back to drinking. Ever. Never, ever. I love each day ticking over, because it puts more distance between the real me and the false me. False me was a quiet, socially awkward introvert who drank to become the fun, outgoing, life of the party, party girl. Yuck, no thanks. I’m enjoying the real me. I’ve missed her. I left her in high school. So getting to know her again is a treat! Sobriety is one, big, ongoing yummy treat despite the shittyness. You don’t really need to put the emphasis on the one year soberversary, cos all that’s going to do is turn it into New Years Eve – over hyped disappointment! Enjoy each little treasure along the way. Yes, even the lessons learnt from the shittyness!

  9. Yep, you’ve got me down to a tee too! I’ve just passed the one year mark and although my kids made a fuss of me and everyone on LS were hugely generous with their praise and congratulations and truly lovely comments to me, I have been feeling particularly raw, flat and having some massive cravings and thoughts around drinking. Kind of doubting myself…….”can I really continue to do this?” But I’m working my way through it all, and deep down there is still that wonderful spark of absolute amazement at myself for having achieved this. I do not want to let go of this. I will get through the rough parts. I will continue to learn and grow and sit with my uncomfortable feelings. It’s a long row to hoe, to achieve a fulfilled happy sober life, and I understand that I am still a fledgling. I aim to keep stumbling along my little goat track, and take the good with the bad, the highs with the lows, the pink clouds with the stormings and thunder. I am very grateful to be where and how I am today, and how boring would my life be if I attained perfection this early on in the piece?

    1. Love how you worded “my own little goat track” @prudence. I think it is like that for each of us. Although we’re all kicking out booze from our lives, it’s for reasons unique to each of us that we guzzled the stuff in the first place. And now we really have to face those reasons and ask how and what are we without that poison booze?
      Just yesterday by 8:30 am the thought came into my head that I want a drink. Work was stressful n I just wanted to look forward to a temporary escape.
      We are newbies at this aren’t we in comparison to our years spent chucking the stuff down our throats?
      Goat tracks usually come out at beautiful places

  10. This is brilliant @mrs-d I hit my 8 month yesterday (still a while to go til my 1 year) & whilst I am very proud, I have found key dates really hard – 30, 60, 100, 180 & 8 months, which made me think I was “ungrateful”.

    This has made me realise that actually I am normal!! And whilst there are 4 months still to go, I am putting in strategies for my 1 year: to recognise but not celebrate & to fix myself a decadent, comforting sober tool-kit for then.

    Thank you x

  11. Wow, thank you so much for this. My one year is coming up in a week and I have been feeling almost down about it, especially the closer it gets. You put into words exactly what I’ve been feeling and couldn’t figure out. Once again, I’m discovering I’m not alone and this is all part of the journey. Wanting that big release but feeling flat, continuing this raw sober life. You brilliantly captured what I’ve been struggling to understand. Thank you.

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