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Sober Not Yets versus Drunk Not Agains

There is this saying in the rooms when people with high bottoms refer to the consequence from drinking that have not yet happened to them, but they still could if they drink again – they call them the “NOT YETS.”
But last night at the meeting, the leader talked about her “NOT AGAINs.” She talked about how the “not yets” are hard for her to measure. Since she doesn’t know what they could be, they just don’t seem real to her. But the “not agains” she knows very well; if she picks up, all the AGAINs will happen… again!

She went on describing her thought process: again she would think she has it all under control, and she could just have a few drinks, again she would end up drinking way more than she intended, again she would probable make an ass of herself, again she would wake up with a horrendous hangover, again she would stumble to make it to work, again she would be waiting anxiously all day to have a drink, again she would get drunk with no intentions to do so, again she would be hangover… AGAIN she would have done something stupid, and again she would feel shame and guilt! And again she would have to crawl back to the rooms and again she would have to start over! “NOT AGAIN!” She exclaimed at the end.

I know I can’t capture the power of her lead here, but I tell you, I was in tears! Seriously. I still have some “not yets” I am sure, although I had several serious consequences caused by my drinking. But we all have some not yets, and yes, they are hard to imagine sometimes, because I tend to think that, well that can’t/won’t happen to me! But the “not agains,” OMG, I know all of those! I’ve been there many times, it doesn’t get any better, it’s just the same vicious cycle, over and over and over again, except each time it gets worse! I have never heard anyone say, oh “I relapsed, and it was fabulous!” I have to remember that alcoholism is an incurable, progressive, fatal disease. It does not get better!

So on the flip side, I am going to end with this:
I am so very grateful to not have to drink again, and that I am feeling happy again, and that I never have to feel hungover again, or be stuck in shame and guilt again, and that I am sober again!


What AGAINs are you grateful for?

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  1. That’s a good one.
    I am grateful that I will never lose control again. I am grateful that I am not afraid of what will happen anymore
    I am grateful for my second chance of a wonderful new world
    I am grateful that I am getting to really know me for the first time
    I am grateful that I finally like myself
    C x


  2. Love this!
    Never heard that before and thanks for sharing..I will definitely be sharing it too!
    Not again (smacks self-upside head!)..NEVER again!


  3. I am grateful that I found a way out of the miserable cycle. I am grateful I don’t have to black out AGAIN. I am grateful I don’t have to wake up with that sick, anxious, shameful ‘what did I do exactly’ feeling AGAIN or feel filled with remorse for something I know I did do AGAIN. I am grateful not to experience a wretched miserable hangover AGAIN. I am grateful not to lose all control over my drinking yet AGAIN and get messy, sloppy, stupid, compulsive. I am grateful for the quiet sense of relief and confidence that comes with knowing I will not drink on a given night out and therefore not worrying about any of those consequences happening AGAIN. Waking up without them the next day is still bliss.

    I really like this as I too have struggled with the ‘not yets’. I get it in theory but there is this little voice that wonders ‘would I really have ever got that bad? Surely not’. Probably bullshit I know but there it is. Whereas the agains, oh god yeah, I get that.


    • Hi Lilly!
      Oh me too! The not yets seemed like they just happen to those other people, there was always someone worse off than me – like yeah I got a DUI but only one, so that’s not too bad. Our minds are so crazy, I could always justify anything. But the repetitiousness cycle of I am never going to drink again, to I’ll just have one, to I got drunk again… That I knew all too well! That was happening to me, and all the time.

      And I totally agree, waking up without a consequences is a total bliss!


  4. I am grateful that I will never see that look on my family’s face (you know the one, the mixture of shame/pity/anger/puzzlement) AGAIN.
    I am grateful that I will never have to anxiously cover up my tracks AGAIN.
    I am grateful that I will never have to start my sobriety clock over AGAIN.
    And, of course, for all things written above that I will never have to do AGAIN.

    I am also grateful to you, Maggie, for lighting the way for the rest of us. Enjoy the day off! Here comes the snow!


    • Hi Josie, thank you! I am very grateful for you! You have lots of great insights and I love the meeting you chair and that you are sharing about it. I am sure that is a huge help for those who just can’t get to a meeting.

      I didn’t drink around my family, but I do remember getting that look few times from some ex boyfriends… Oh it’s turning my stomach just thinking about it. Yes, thank god not again!

      We had 2 snow days and a late day! I am ready to get back to normalcy! Lol! Did you get snowed in too?


  5. Great post…love this. And the comments too!

    The Not Yet’s soon become the Not Again’s if I let my untreated alcoholism take it’s course. The things I never thought would happen to me, did. And then when I picked up, they would happen again, or something new would take it’s place. That’s the power of this illness. And yes, those Agains…well, they don’t seem to stop us when we’re full blown into this thing, yes?

    I agree that the Yet’s are hard to quantify, as they are unknowns, but I have to just look around the rooms


  6. (oops – hit send by accident!) ….but I have to just look around the rooms and out here and anywhere else I see and hear alcoholics and understand how far and deep this thing goes. It’s learning from other people’s experiences and knowing that I am not unique nor special. Those guys and gals in jail or in the grave or who have had serious health issues, etc. never thought it would happen to them too. So once I let go of my ego in that regard, I can in a way see those Yets right in front of me.

    Wonderful post…thank you so much for this!



    • Hi Paul! Thanks for stopping by, I starter typing this reply and got sidetracked… Anyway. I totally see your point here too. I can see the yets too, though in the beginning I was in so much denial, nothing seemed to work! And I completely am aware that if I go out again, the not yets and the not agains will happen, no doubt. So, I think just for today, I’ll stay sober! 🙂

      Thanks Paul, I haven’t been able to get to your blog lately, actually I haven’t had much time for reading or writing. I hope you’re doing well! And happy holidays to you and your family!


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