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!