Celebrating 7 Awesome Years of Sober Life

7 years, 2556 days, one-day at a time. It’s mind-boggling really. How the hell did that happen? I remember a time when I could not go 24 hours without a drink.

My life is so completely different today, that I am starting to get a feeling that people do not really believe that I was ever a hopeless alcoholic… LOL!

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My soberversary lands on the day which is known in the United States as the Tax Day, but I sure did not plan it that way. When I woke up that morning, I actually did not know what day it was, and I did not know that it was going to be the last time I would be drunk for the next 7 years.

I did however know that something was terribly wrong. I was in the depths of an addiction that was so unpredictable, so consuming, and so dangerous that I could not imagine how I was going to get out of it. EVER.

I first tried to quit drinking back in 2002 after I was convicted of a DUI (Driving Under Influence) and lost my license for a year. What followed was many failed attempts to moderate my drinking – no, I could not just have one, or two, or three. After the fist drink, I drank all that was available! So after realizing that it was probably impossible for me to stop drinking, I miraculously stayed sober for an entire week, and concluded that I was not an alcoholic… because clearly an alcoholic would not be able to stay sober that long!

I made this kind of barter all the time – if I can do this, or that, or if this does not happen, or if it does happen, then I am not an alcoholic. I never looked at the things that had already happened, that were pretty good indications that I was an alcoholic; drinking daily, blacking out most of the time, having to detox because I drank too much, not being able to show up for work because I was still drunk in the morning, and getting a DUI with 3x the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). These events never seemed odd to me because I still had a place to live, and a job to go to most of the time. I was just too smart for it all. This crazy thinking never seemed to worry me, and it was not until I was sober for a while that I realized that thinking was a part of the disease. (You can read my entire story of journey to recovery HERE.)

Me

Today I am trying to fully integrate myself in the world around me as a person in long-term recovery from alcohol use dependence. This has been a slow journey as it has been hard for me to “out” myself as an alcoholic to people outside the 12-step fellowship. The social stigma associated with alcoholism as well as recovery is still alive and well. But I kept meeting people who were absolutely open about recovery and it had a huge impact on me! There are many of us out there! We are not alone and I can see how the openness benefits all of us. So I believe that for me, by not speaking out and being open, I was harbouring that stigma myself – the very stigma that kept me from seeking help sooner.

Drinking is so socially acceptable that most people don’t even think twice about their use or abuse of it. But according to NIAAA, 16.6 million adults ages 18 and older had an Alcohol Use Dependence in 2013. This includes 10.8 million men and 5.8 million women. (Source National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

That is a staggering number.

You know what is also staggering?

There are over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs! (Source Faces and Voices of Recovery)

Yes, you read that right! There are more of us in recovery than those still in addiction. That means that if each one of us helps just one person, we can kick this thing in the butt! Recovery works! It’s time for us to start talking about how life in recovery is possible for all of us.

My recovery has been, and continues to be, a remarkable journey – sometimes easy, sometimes not. As the time goes on, I have learned to embrace life on life’s terms and do be an active participant in my life. However, I did not do all this on my own! Many people have helped me along the way. They carried me when I was weak, they loved me when I could not, and they let me know that things were going to be OK. There is a special kind of love shared between all of us, from my 12-step network, to the amazing sober blog world, and the wonderful #recoveryposse on Twitter and Facebook. You are all amazing and I am so very grateful that our paths have crossed. I most definitely could not have done any of this without all of you! Thank you!

Change is not a bolt of lightning that arrives with a zap. It is a bridge built brick by brick, every day, with sweat and humility and slips. It is hard work, and slow work, but it can be thrilling to watch it take shape. –Sarah Hepola


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.

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39 Comments Add yours

  1. mishedup says:

    Amazing! Congratulations on your birthday, and on the way you put yourself out there to help others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Mishedup! Thank you for all your support and kind words. Sending hugs.

      Like

  2. Congratulations…that’s a wonderful milestone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Lucky 7 huh? Thank you for trudging this road with me. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will throw back the expression I learned from you: Woot! Woot! Seven years is AMAZING!!!! Thank you for the inspiration you provide every time you write 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Josie! And thank you for all your support! Hugs!
      LOL > the woot woot is supposed to be the sound that a fist pump makes! 👊 I guess people spell it all different too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations. You should be very proud of yourself. Thank you for sharing your journey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Thank you for stopping. It’s quite an accomplishment for sure. Sending hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. robertlfs says:

    Congratuatlions and thanks for all you do for the recovery community!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Robert! Thank you for your support and great insights. Hugs.

      Like

  6. ERIC EASE says:

    Congratulations. Thank you for sharing the hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Eric! Love your blog! Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ERIC EASE says:

        Thank you. I appreciate your kind words and support.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Bea says:

    Absolutely wonderful and inspiring to read x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Bea! Sending many hugs!

      Like

  8. freebreezi says:

    Congratulations, that is such an AWESOME number.
    There are all kinds of hero’s in our world and your post shares the story of one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! Sending hugs!

      Like

  9. SO wonderful 🙂 congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. IrishGirl20 says:

    Wow. Ditto on loving sobriety and it being a miracle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, true dat! Hugs 🙂

      Like

  11. thank you so much for all of your paying forward. your on-going valuable posting as a ‘long-term sober’. You truly stand out as an important inspiration for a newly sober. One of my light houses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. It does get better. It really, truly does! Sending hugs.

      Like

  12. Congratulations on your 7 years. I am happy for you. 🙂 Thank you for walking this road before me and sharing your knowledge and experience. Did you get yourself a sober gift?
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, for my gift I ate $25 worth of prime cuts of sushi. Lol! I love it and I rarely eat it because it’s so expensive here. ($25=12 pieces!) But in a big picture that would have been one night drinking at home. Glad I don’t dish out that kind of money every day. 🙂
      Sending hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Yeah! Sushi! 🙂 And yes money, amongst the many reasons not to drink. 🙂
        xx, Feeling

        Liked by 1 person

  13. abijam says:

    What an achievement, 7 years! I am struggling with the same stigma that comes with alcoholism, but it is amazing to know that there are so many people in the same boat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I sure wish I knew that there was so many of us out there in the beginning. I felt so alone back then. So I really try to focus on that. We are not alone! Sending hugs.

      Like

  14. rivieradinah says:

    Yay! You’re such a great inspiration to all of us on this journey. Thank you for all the encouragement and for everything you share. Congratulations on SEVEN YEARS!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I am so grateful for all of you also sharing your journeys. This road is much better when traveled together. Hugs.

      Like

  15. Tracy says:

    Congratulations Maggie!! 7 years!!!! I am so happy for you and know that you are inspiring people everyday in their recovery…including me!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tracy! And you inspire me! Hugs.

      Like

  16. Congratulations! You now have about two-to-one odds of staying sober for life. In another five years it will be around three-to-one. I think the milestones include the first time people believe you’re not drinking without having to argue about it, the first time you have to tell someone you had a problem, and the first time you tell them and they don’t believe you because you look so innocent and healthy. Feels good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! That’s very true, and I just noticed it recently, I have to convince people that I really was a drunk. Kinda silly huh? But good in a way, proves that recovery works! Thank you for this great comment. Hugs.

      Like

  17. SoberMom says:

    Congratulations on seven years!!! Thank YOU for all you do to help this community. It’s really a wondrous thing.

    Sherry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And Thank you for your honestly and humor! Greatly appreciated! Hugs.

      Like

  18. jmcraig2014 says:

    That is wonderful and inspiring. I like your quote about change not being a bolt of lightening, so true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And I just love that quote! I often want things to change right NOW! Then I have to read it and say, ok, brick by brick… lol! But then all the bricks add up and you’re like wow, how did that happen!? Sending hugs.

      Like

  19. april p says:

    Reblogged this on backfromtheledge.

    Like

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