Another Milestone – and a Question

On February 18th, I marked two and a half years of continuous sobriety. This particular soberversary was greeted without fanfare, parade, treat, or celebration. Not sure how I feel about that.

On the one hand, my sobriety is like a pair of old slippers: broken in, comforting and comfortable, well-worn. Being sober is just part of who I am, instead of a conscious choice. My close circle of family and friends knows and appreciates the fact that I don’t drink (although only those closest to me – including you guys, of course – have been made privy to the real reasons behind my choice).

There’s been a not-so-subtle shift in my mindset about socializing sober. I feel strong and brave and just a little bit subversive – given our society’s insistence that you must imbibe alcohol to have fun of any kind.

I’m lucky to have some really considerate friends. I hosted a “paint night” a few weeks ago. A friend brought a bottle of special whiskey to share with everyone else, along with a pomegranate drink, just for me. Then last week, we were invited out to dinner – and the hostess had stocked up on seltzer, and even made a ginger syrup to create a special mocktail for me.

And on a related note, sometimes I still struggle with the notion of rewarding myself for NOT doing something to cause self-harm. I remember reading somewhere that “alcoholics are the only people who expect a medal for running out of a burning building.”

On the other hand,  this is hard, hard HARD, people! I still miss the taste of an ice-cold martini.  Probably will until the day I die. And I’d be lying if I said it never bothered me at all to see people at restaurants having cocktails with their meals. I still wish I could be a normal drinker. I know I will never be able to drink safely again…  So, I have to abstain.

But – considering what sobriety offers – mental clarity,  good health, peace of mind, self-respect, serenity, and joy – it’s a pretty easy choice.

So, the jury’s still out regarding a reward to mark this milestone. I don’t feel as if one is needed to entice me to continue along this path….

What about those of you who have several years of sobriety under your belt?  Do you still celebrate sobriety milestones with treats or rewards? I’d love to hear from you!

12 thoughts on “Another Milestone – and a Question

  1. Hello! I was going to say “congratulations on your 2.5 years” but now I’m not sure if I should. Haha!
    I think if it was hard to do one should celebrate. If I needed to lose weight to be healthy and I lost 100 lbs I would celebrate. If I beat cancer odds I would celebrate. So if you look at alcohol like a disease that you are no longer dying from, then yes that is a cause for celebration.
    That said, I normally don’t celebrate, but I do acknowledge and share with people (like you!!) who understand what it means.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m between 2-1/2 and 3 years, and apart from picking up a chip at my home group and posting in our little Facebook community, I don’t celebrate any way. I don’t mention the milestones to family and friends closest to me as I pass them. I guess I just figure that they only matter to others who are sober and would understand.

    BTW, posting this comment linked to my blog feels a bit like “coming out” as I haven’t written about being sober there, and when I commented on your blog before I didn’t refer to my own sobriety. It feels ok though because probably only other sober people are reading here, and people who know you personally. Baby steps toward living an authentic life?

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  3. Hurray for you! As the Queen of Celebrations I say go for it. It was so damn hard to get here I celebrate every chance I get. And life is short, celebrate those milestones. You earned a treat. Betty’s right. Awesome job, sweetie, f…Ing awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I celebrate for you, so I must celebrate for myself! I definitely congratulated myself at 3 years and bought a charm bracelet for my words of the year.

    We have overcome a huge roadblock. We have recognized a problem and taken any and all measures to correct it.

    Had I continued to drink I know I would have hurt others.

    Instead I chose life. That’s worth recognition!

    As an aside, I believe that quote refers to active drinkers, who only see themselves and want rewards for being them. I know I had a lot of selfish behaviour.

    So, he’ll yeah. Celebrate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay: “I still struggle with the notion of rewarding myself for NOT doing something to cause self-harm. I remember reading somewhere that “alcoholics are the only people who expect a medal for running out of a burning building.”” The cynicism in this quote you read somewhere is breathtaking. The comparison is bullsh*t. There is nothing nice and alluring and euphoric about a burning building, and running out of one is easy and obvious. So there’s that — that quote deserves erasure. And the act of learning how to not do something to cause self-harm is humans’ evolution, pure and simple. Learning to live in ways that harm neither ourselves nor the people (etc.) around us, or not around us and far, far away, is our task on planet earth. Alcohol addiction/abuse/dependence is just one version of harm. Transforming that inclination to harm into an inclination to keep safe, or cherish, is a big, wonderful human step toward a fuller life, for the individual and the people/animals/things in his or her vicinity. So, yes, celebrate the fullness you are creating in your body and mind and world…. it’s a good, fine instinct!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Congratulations! I am so happy to read in the comments that you’re going to celebrate by treating yourself. I’m only at 4 months but I believe that I will quietly celebrate each year anniversary by treating myself to a day at the spa or mini vacation or something (even a quiet time by myself to reflect or a small bunch of flowers or CHOCOLATE! 😉 ). I think that it’s important that we acknowledge to ourselves what we have gone through. It’s not a flippant little thing, and it’s an ongoing choice. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m right behind you on the 2-1/2 years sister, happy soberversary to us! I have stopped keeping track of the days and months, so I didn’t even know it had been that long, thanks for keeping me updated! That being said, I normally only treat myself on the yearly anniversaries. In the beginning I gave myself treats on a weekly basis, but after the 1-year mark the treats were less and less as I settled in to my new “normal”. But I will tell ya, those yearly treats are big ones! (New Dooney & Bourke purse, massage/spa day, etc.) As we all know, look at how much money we are saving by not buying those daily bottles of wine. Love you bunches!

    Liked by 1 person

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