Sobriety: One Year Down, Many More to Go

Today, I’m celebrating my first anniversary. One year clean and sober. Go me.

I thought I’d be a lot happier today, but really, all I’ve been able to think lately is, “Why the [insert expletive of choice] did it take me this long?”

I spent the vast majority of my 20’s in a state somewhere between a haze and a stupor, and I have a lot to regret. In many ways, I don’t much feel like celebrating the one year of semi-normal behavior stacked up against the many lost years of stupidity and damage. But I’m making a point to note the day and reflect on all that’s happened in the past year.

In AA and NA, they tell you not to make any major changes or commitments in the first year. My biggest changes (new job, new city, moving in with my partner) began just as my days of debauchery were ending, so my sobriety seemed like just one more blank page in an unwritten book. I was excited to prove to the world that it would like the new and improved me. The responsible me. The competent, professional, kind me.

As I started dealing with my problems rather than trying to drown them and process my feelings rather than indulge in them, the year progressed really well. All kinds of good things were happening. I was making progress by leaps and bounds, and I was seeing positive, incremental changes all the time. And as the last weeks of my first year sober rolled around, I felt I had finally achieved the impossible: adulthood.

The biggest thing I’ve gained in my first year of sobriety is self-respect. That deep chasm in my heart of hearts that nothing could fill but which I tried to fill by using and drinking — that’s gone. Filled and closed once and for all, and by me alone. I no longer need the affirmation of others — don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it, but it’s icing on the cake, not the basis for my self-esteem.

The other big gain has been the ability to solve my own problems. The littlest things used to derail me. A bad day at the laundromat might lead to my downing a fifth or more of gin. (Eww, gross.) Any sort of interpersonal anxiety would lead to a days-long bender of epic proportions and nightmarish consequences. These days, I have a lot more calm and stability than that. I deal with problems large and small head-on. I don’t panic; I solve.

Still, life lessons like those seem so friggin’ basic. “Look, Ma! I have self-respect and problem-solving skills!” Aren’t those the kinds of things I should have learned in 6th grade or so?

Nevertheless, without those skills, I’d be adrift right now. The biggest life change of the year — a breakup I neither expected nor wanted — happened about a month ago. If it had happened six months ago, I’m pretty sure I’d be face-down in a ditch by now. But having my Medal of Self-Respect and my Commemorative Problem-Solving Pin, I went out, got myself an apartment, and did my best to carry on and not dwell on the negative.

I honestly am doing the very best I can, but I really don’t feel I’ve accomplished anything to be proud of. I’ve reformed. I stopped a bad behavior. I didn’t save anyone else’s life or make a significant contribution to society. I haven’t discovered anything previously unknown. I just did the right thing, the thing I should have been doing all along.

Alright, I’ll admit I’d probably be a lot more into celebrating if my ex (gosh, that’s a weird word to type) was celebrating with me. He was my biggest motivator and the most powerful catalyst in making the decision to once and for all get my act together. I did it, at the time, to save a faltering relationship. He loved me as a drunk (why, I’ll never know); I thought he would love me even more as a clear-eyed, confident woman.

This did not turn out to be the case.

In the words of a favorite book from my childhood, “For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

I’ve gained the whole world. I’ve got my life back. I’m in control. But I’ve lost so much along the way. In a sense, this relationship was just the latest casualty, its termination a delayed aftereffect.

I’m continuing with my life as strong and clear-headed as anyone could be. I can’t dwell on the past, and I wish I didn’t even have to grieve. (Surprise, surprise: The recovering addict is rather wont to avoid emotional pain.)

But no matter what — no matter what — I will not drink and I will not use. That part of my life is forever over. Knowing deep down to my foundation that regardless of any circumstance, I will be sober — that unshakable realization is my anniversary present to myself.

And for this anniversary, that is sufficient.

73 thoughts on “Sobriety: One Year Down, Many More to Go

  1. Congratulations! Sharing such a personal triumph in such an open way is commendable and a great service to others. There are many people who are never able to pull themselves out of a spiral. I have several friends who didn’t make it. It is a true achievement and something to be proud of. Take care!

  2. Congrats on one year! You have every reason to be proud, though I can also see why you are reluctant to be proud. Something to keep in mind though, is that you have no idea what trauma/drama you may have avoided in the last year. How do you know that you didn’t save a life, or make a change in someone else’s? While we all tend to be very hard on ourselves when we learn that we’ve been living the wrong life, we should also remind ourselves that kicking ourselves doesn’t solve anything either. Honesty is good, but don’t punish yourself for the past. Remember the past, yes you should. It will serve as a reminder of why you don’t want to return to those old habits. But focus on the present, where you are a terrific, inspiring person with her whole life ahead of her.
    You are so right about your sobriety being your best anniversary present to yourself.

    P.S. Completely unrelated, I love the site update, I usually only follow you on RSS, so maybe the update is old, but it is wonderful!

    • My thoughts exactly Megan. Jolie, I think you saved your own life and every kindness you do from the moment you took that first step to recovery. Instead of being one more cautionary tale you’ve become an inspiration. Furthermore, too many sixth graders have dealt with issues well beyond their years. I don’t offer it as an excuse and I’m certain you wouldn’t claim it but it is too often a fact.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Wow Jolie girl, you touched my heart. Keep trucking lady. You’re such a beautiful soul, I can just sense it over your words in this blog. We’re all here for you, everybody who loves you online & offline. You’ve gained yourself back, and it’s okay to start anew. My heart breaks for your recent loss, but I have faith that you’re going to find more strength and greater happiness again. This time, with your clear-headed selfπŸ™‚β€ Jenae

  4. I know we don’t know one another well, but I did want to pipe with an “unneeded” word of praise here. Congratulations! I’ve seen a handful of people struggle with this, with varying degrees of success. It may not feel like a big accomplishment, but it is, and you should take the moment to take pride in yourself for (re)discovering that inner-strength.

    And boo on the ex. I definitely empathize, watching as one of my past exes started dating me while I was lost and weak, and then grew less supportive the stronger and more successful I became. But you’re destined to find someone now who has the personal confidence and strength to love this great you, too.πŸ™‚

  5. Jolie,

    You *have* accomplished something worth commending, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. You’ve done something incredibly difficult and inspirational, and the fact that you did it for yourself doesn’t take away from those aspects of what you’ve done. Yes, it’s unfortunately marked by a period of unexpected sadness, but that doesn’t take away from what you’ve done over the past 12 months because of, in spite of, and alongside this.

    So whether or not you feel like you’ve accomplished something, whether or not you feel like celebrating, whether or not you feel like you’ve just accomplished the basics – congratulations; you’ve done something incredibly difficult and changed your life along the way. At the very least you can say that you’ve damn well earned the ability to look yourself in the eye and like what you see, and you;ve done it through circumstances that were more difficult than most people will ever know – and that’s something worth celebrating.

  6. Congratulations Jolie, you ahve accomplished more than you think. It took a lot of strength to not stay on the bad course you were on, and to stay the course when faced with significant challenges. Life is good, enjoy it!

  7. Wow, so inpired Jolie. I just celebrated 3 years myself at the end of March and it took me until then to really reach the level of strength and self-respect you are talking about. Be proud. Once you turn it over to something bigger than yourself and commit to doing whatever it takes to stay sober, just sit back and watch your world unfold in front of you. You will see that the unfortunate love lost and pain you are feeling now is just the beginning of something newer and brighter.

  8. Excellent post, Jolie! I don’t know you personally, but that won’t stop me from celebrating your 1st year! Atta girl!

  9. You go girl! Wear your Medal of Self-Respect and my Commemorative Problem-Solving Pin proudly; it’s huge achievement and a real victory. Only one of many to come.
    I’m trying to get my life in order, cleaning up my act, dropping the bottle and learning how to take care of myself and those around me. Your story and courage is inspiring. Congratulations. Rephrasing the famous poem, ‘you are now the captain of your soul, the master of your fate’.
    Un abrazo!

  10. Congratulations. It’s a rough road. One I’ve seen many around me continue down. They keep at it, for better…..or worse. You keep at it, too.

  11. You are the onion with many layers.
    Interesting.
    I’m gonna sleep on this but may respond more later if that’s ok.
    Initial question has to be…. in these few weeks after the split, have you considered going back to alcohol?

    sn

    • It’s crossed my mind. So has slapping children, jumping in front of trains, launching into angry tirades online, and any number of other stupid, harmful and reckless things I never intend to do.

      Sure, the thought will sometimes be there. “I’m alone and feel like crap. I could always buy a bottle of wine and drink it by myself in a hot bath. No one would even know.” But at this point, I’m enough of an adult to let that thought pass, because I know where those actions lead.

      • Ok…. had time to sleep and process…..
        Your said your ‘ex’ was your motivator to stop drinking. Was this because he actually motivated you or the faltering relationship was the motivator? If it was the latter, then not relapsing is quite a feat and one you should take a short private moment to celebrate (despite what you said above).
        The reason being, if an addiction is halted via a third party, that person is the direct link to the positive step and provides all the motivation. For most people, when that link is broken so is the motivation. I don’t know the stats, but for people in recovery in your situation you are certainly in the minority.

        One small word of advice… continue to be true to yourself. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of having to maintain the ‘good news’ story once it’s public to not lose face. Living the lie is an easy place to go but can cause major problems down the line. If you have any low points, re-post and let the (digital) hands reach-in to help.

        sn

  12. Hey Jolie,

    I’ve also had big issues with drink (and um, stuff), and I also reformed while I was with my ex-girlfriend, who was a total inspiration for me, as she was always sober, sensible and stoic. Since that time my attitude to drinking has changed a lot, whereby I now know that I cannot become successful if I devote so much time and energy to getting off my head.

    I think that’s what is so surprising about drinking; it’s how much energy can be lost in doing it. Peer pressure doesn’t help at all, and I find the culture of binge drinking (that we get over here in the UK more I believe) is such a strange thing, because it makes people feel bad for not going out and getting wasted. Even the word ‘wasted’ conjures up images of destruction and yet no one seems to recognise this fact, and they tout their wastedness with pride to anyone that cares to ask. This is not an honourable thing to do, and yet todays youth seem to believe it is.

    If there was a competition to see who was more ****** up in their past, I think I would win. Really. And I’m only 27. (I’m not suggesting it’s a competition btw!)

    To be frank ever since I read your blog post about personal change, I’ve recognised a kindred spirit in what you do and what you’re about, so well done for having inspired me (and loads of others) to be better, to concentrate on what’s important and to keep on the straight and narrow. You have made change to other people, even people half-way round the world, so don’t worry about that!

    The only thing I will add though is that your time spent drinking was not entirely ‘wasted’. It has made you the person you are, and has probably taught you about how to be tough in life, in a way. I’m sure you had some fun in those times and it wasn’t all bad. I’d like to point out too that I am pro-legalisation of cannabis as I think this is the one sin that can be genuinely creative, it’s totally natural, and it helps old people deal with their lives. My dad smokes weed and it makes him happy, so why not. It’s not ANYTHING like drink or other things. Rock musicians the world over have been inspired by smoking it, as have I, even with programming. It just helps unlock creativity (IF you are the sort of person that can be inspired in such ways). Of course, moderation is the key, and nothing in excess is good (even water!)

    All the best,
    Alex

    • Alex, thanks so much for your kind words. I appreciate your sharing your own story. =)

      And yeah, the drinking (and “stuff”) culture in the U.S., particularly in the tech/dev crowd, is absurd. Conferences, launch parties, meetups — they’re always all about walking the fine line between achieving an altered state and peeing your own (or somebody else’s) pants in a drunken stupor. More than one friend of mine has struggled with maintaining friendships while preserving his or her own health and dignity.

      As for weed, dude. I have absolutely no problem with weed… for other people, at least. Personally, I know I would use it to escape my problems, and I’ve done so in the past. But I don’t have a problem with others using it, and I really think it should be legal.

      • Hello, thanks for the reply.

        I read a story in the paper a while ago about a PR guru based in London that died because of her commitment to PR meetings and the various events she attended. Yes she actually died through what you’re talking about, the ‘professional excess’ that comes about from these meet-ups. It’s actually a hazard of the job.

        I’m glad you think weed is cool, because it is. What isn’t cool is the criminality associated with it.

        Honestly though, there would be less violence on the streets, and less domestic abuse if everyone was smoking weed instead of drinking all the time.

        After all is said and done, a clear mind is best. It’s certainly the most productive.

        Hope you’re doing ok.

    • Uh Alex… “that Stuff” alters your mind to where you can’t make proper descisions. Yeah its cool if your playing the guitar or painting a pic but if your house is on fire and you have to get your kids out it doesn’t come in handy !! Lets not pretend living up to your potential is one of its strong points. !! Your right it does unlock something …thats what drugs do !! Plz don’t sell yourself short and think its ok if you only just “do that” its another justification and your kidding yourself and your life is so worth the full experience. I did waste many years of my life and sold myself short but damm I thought I had fun !! I have to wonder though did all the non-partying people never have fun !! Hmmmmm LOL !!

  13. Don’t take away from what you’ve done! It takes a lot of strength to do what you’ve done and you should be very proud.

    And you never know, by writing things like this, you just might help someone else who’s in a similar situation.

  14. Jolie, au contraire when you say “anything to be proud of”. You’re dealing with issues rather than avoiding them (or compounding them). You’ve accomplished a year of sobriety… something many people cannot claim. And to reiterate what others have already commented: you’ve saved yourself, and who knows what you have yet to achieve? Perhaps someone else reading this now or years from now will be inspired by your action and in turn save themselves from harm. Great post, and as usual, wonderful job!

  15. Be proud and strong. Solo and happy is viable, and should you later on choose to find a new partner, you’re an incredibly attractive and intelligent woman with much to offer.

    More to offer now than you had before, in fact, because the intelligence isn’t clouded.

  16. Nice work. One thing I have always found strange as I continue to be sober is having people congratulating me. For what? Being normal? So I’m not going to congratulate you on your sobriety, I am going to thank you.

    I feel in many ways I have gotten my friend back. And Im excited for you. And proud of you, and just a little stoked for me to be able to hang out with you again and not constantly worry if you were going to break.

    (yeah, I know it’s selfish of me, but I *missed* you…)

    *high five* my friend. Hang soon.

  17. Interesting how this interweb interweaves us. All joking aside I am in a similar boat at somewhere around 1.733πŸ™‚ years so I had to comment. Jack Trimpey wrote the cure for my demons. All it took was one read and never drank another drop. Quite remarkable to say the least.

    Well done Jolie. I’m happy for you.

    -JB

  18. You are loved and you are not alone. Admittedly I have even struggled with this sometimes, even when Kristie is in the room next to me. It’s a feeling we create, and a feeling we can change by getting out in the world, with our friends… thankfully, we have many, including each other. So call me any time, or call Kristie or any of us. We’d love to see you more, especially now since you are so much closer…πŸ™‚

  19. Jolie,

    Mazel tov for sharing the experience. It’s a lot to share, the sobriety , the newness of life and the end of a relationship: especially when you know that your ex can read anything you put out there. I think that’s part of living in the world with real power (vulnerability: same thing) and integrity.

    It’s all about being present and accepting and I thank you for sharing it openly.

    I share a lot too but the loss of my love has been extremely painful and difficult to be open about and I think this has given me a nudge by example that I really value.

    heather

  20. First off, I’d like to congratulate you. It takes a great deal of willpower to push through addiction, and even more to keep it at bay.

    Though, if I may bring it up, it seems as though you’ve downplayed your accomplishments a little. You identified you have a problem, especially one that is justifiable. You made steps to change the problem you had, and stuck with it. You fixed the problem, and every day make steps to never go back. This is something that not many have the volition to attempt, never mind attain.

    I’m getting the feeling that you’re benchmarking yourself against someone else. You made mention of normalcy, and further implied it later on in the essay. And while I don’t disagree that self-respect and critical thinking skills are of value; negating one’s achievements in the name of cookie-cutter expectations isn’t conducive to self-progression.

    Try siting down for a minute and defining normal. How such a concept is perceived defines the very foundation of a person. I think you’ll learn much about yourself with this quick exercise.

    The short of what I’m trying to get is: enjoy your feat, unconditionally. Don’t stress yourself out over what has already happened. We can’t go back. What you feel you’ve lost out on X you, in place, have courage, conviction and wisdom. These traits translate on a 1:1 basis across any discipline, and are invaluable.

    If nothing else, celebrate today that you are you. It just so happens that today has additional meaning, and that’s all the more reason to.

  21. I am so proud of you Jolie, you have come such a long way! I know the best is yet to come for you, too. Just when we think we cant handle another trial, our breakthroughs always come. So keep your pretty head high and bravo to you!

  22. Hey Jolie. I am not the most serious person in the world. So instead of joking on such a serious topic as addiction I am going to leave you with a drink recipe. Not being a drinker myself I made up my own drink. It’s called The Reverse Brooklyn. The ingredients are sprite, grenadine, and grapefruit juice. Basically a Shirley Temple with grapefruit juice and minus the cherries. I order it where ever I go. The day I order it and the bartender knows what I’m talking about is the day when I will know I go out too much.πŸ™‚

  23. Regarding your breakup & ability to maintain your sobriety and not ‘wind up face down in a ditch’ –πŸ˜‰ – isn’t life’s timing hilarious? Your strength and motivation is inspiring! You are young, beautiful, talented & driven – the best is yet to come, I believe!

    Congrats on one year, Jolie!

    P.S. Isn’t that quote from the book of Matthew?

  24. Just wanted to let you know that what you write here makes a difference. It’s inspiring to see someone so honest about their problems and handling them so well.

  25. Are you feeling the love? And all the support? Keep it up, Jolie. We’re proud of you and want you to be as happy and healthy as you can be. Onward!

  26. Jolie,

    Congratulations on an amazing year. You are loved by so many and your story of truly loving yourself is one that many should learn from in a search for inner peace and happiness. Even though we don’t see each other that much you are someone who I always look forward to seeing and catching up with along with hearing your laugh that is distinct and infectious. Many of us struggle with demons and tragedies in our past but few take the steps to deal with them head on. I think of someone close to me that I wish would take the steps you have and I hope that I can show her your example so she too can achieve adulthood and receive the love and happiness she deserves.

    Always your friend,

    Steve

  27. Seriously, congratulations. I was inspired to read your post. Take what you like from the following and leave what you don’t like behind. Gotta say, you need a bigger pat on the back than you’re giving yourself for being sober 1 year. Do you know the percentage of people that actually pull off sustained sobriety for 1 year? Me neither but I know it is miniscule. Right there is a huge accomplishment for you. The impact this blog and others you’ve written have had on others? Incalculable, but significant I’m sure. But the biggest accomplishment is your having shared yourself with the world this year. I don’t even know you but I do know the world is a much better place with you in it instead of avoiding it.

  28. As Jolie’s mom, I am somewhat conflicted about participating this forum, but here goes:

    This date is as much a celebration for Jolie’s family as it is for her. She grew up with a keen intellect, quick wit, and generally charming persona, and watching her degrade over time was as heartbreaking a journey as a family can take. Knowing we contributed to her struggles just about killed us; knowing there was no way to help her was worse. Today I can joyfully share her celebration and declare to the world that I have my daughter back: my little pal, confidante, keeper of the treasures of my heart.

    To you, my songbird, my mind-in-another-body, my darling girl, my friend, I lift my teacup. Good on you.

    • More than anyone else, you’re the one I have always wanted to make proud and happy. I’m so, so, glad I’ve come back to life, as it were, and I am so sorry for all the years of pain I caused you.

      I love you, Mom.

  29. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I’m also getting ready to have a sobriety anniversary on April 26th. I can totally relate to your story. Of course, as I’m sure you’ve found, it seems as though recovering alcoholics and addicts seem to have more in common than most. I wanted to ask if it would be okay with you if I shared this post on my blog? My hope is to show anyone that visits my blog that I am not alone in my recovery success and by sharing others’ stories also, it further shows that sobriety is possible. I want to provide hope to anyone suffering as we once were. Thank you for sharing your story.

  30. Jolie,

    Congratulations – on the one year anniversary and equally on the power of your writing about this – perhaps even more than (your always excellent) reporting your personal blog posts here are, I’m sure, affecting many (and in turn effecting change). Don’t discount that impact in the least.

    As a very light drinker (almost non-drinker) I don’t generally feel the pressure you describe at the various tech events and parties – but then too I don’t tend to close out those parties and I’ve been missing SXSWi the past few yeas in no small part because while I enjoy the conversations the parties did at times get a bit old.

    I don’ t have a great drink recipe for parties (though I may have to try that drink suggestion by another commenter above) but I am always looking for good options.

    Once Usha and I are both in SF at the same time for more than a few days we are hoping to have a dinner/garden party to celebrate our new place and we’ll be sure to invite you (and I’ll be sure to have a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages).

  31. Wow, I’ve been following you for a few years (on and off) and I didn’t know you were going through these struggles and defeating them. I too had a rough past, this October will be 3 years sober for me. It’s an amazing journey that I suggest all embrace, no matter how old or young (I’m 25). I’ve seen it change so many people’s lives for the better. I too know what it feels like to lose what I thought was a future with a loved one and make it through. I can say that I’m sober and happy as ever today, thanks to the direction of God. There’s something much better in store for you, Jolie! I can’t wait to read about it one day.

    Although I doubt it’ll make much of a difference, I’m celebrating for you over here in Florida! Your words have been inspirational for many years, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayersπŸ™‚

  32. The interaction here with your mother is incredibly touching, you two made me misty!

    I’d like to share this quote with you:

    “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” – Pema Chondron

    You have only begun to realize your power. You’re a fucking warrior now. THAT is something to revel in. Not sure if you’ve ever read one of Pema’s books but I highly recommend them. They really resonated and empowered me. Most of all they taught me self-compassion and to stop beating myself up. Perhaps they can do the same for you.

    Have you ever heard the story of the Golden Buddha covered in clay? It is a true story and is an incredibly powerful symbol of humans, their struggle and our value:

    The Fascinating Story of the Wat Trimitr: Sukhothai Golden Buddha

    You’ve begun to chip off that clay Jolie… it protected and served you for years but now is your time to shine in your full glory.

  33. Hi, just letting you know I’m primarily reading your blog work-related (higher education, web editor, technology), but I really appreciate the personal side of your blog, and this topic takes a lot of courage to grasp on. Best of luck for the next year!

  34. Good post. Funny, a coworker sent this to me because you have IZZE in your fridge and they happen to be one of our clients. Clarity finally hit me, and as I wrote you, my ass got dumped. I now realize that a lot of that probably has to do with my raging party/drinking issues β€” your cure was gin, mine was a butt-ton of bourbon. So, now into my second day of sobriety I have cast it aside and have gone to a couple AA meetings. Wow, what a couple days with a clear mind will do. Happy belated “birthday.” Looking forward to my first year in the past 15 that I’ve been sober. I’m sure I can be a happy-go-lucky, life of the party guy without the booze. Only time will tell, I guess. Cheers.

  35. I’m late to the party but have enjoyed the conversation here…like Micah, I don’t think in terms of “congrats” but, rather, in terms of humility and gratitude. As it turned out, I met my wife in recovery and we’re about to celebrate 18 years of marriage. One of the coolest things about that is that our relationship started with a common foundation of open communications (trust God, clean house, help others – the six-word version of the 12 Steps). While we’re both more than 20 years sober, it continues to be the foundation of our relationship.

    I will say, however, that I tend to be much more impressed with people who are in the first five years of their sober journey than folks like me with more than ten years. For me, I’d have to break just about every life habit I have to end up drunk again. However, the first five years or so was marked by a consistent need to ‘work the program’ – which was certainly inspiring but, damn, tiring, too.

    I’m not an advice-giver…so I’m just reporting that, at least for me, it’s worked out great to have my major life endeavors develop after I sobered up (marriage, career, children, etc).

    Also, I instantly love your mom…πŸ™‚ Our family came together incredibly over those first years – including when my younger brother sobered up as well…now, we’re the shit. My wife, parents, and brothers are my best friends.

  36. First of all, I want to say congratulations on your sobriety. That is huge.

    As I read this post, and particularly the part about your regrets of lost time and such, I thought of my own regrets of lost time. I’m pretty sure we all waste time – in more ways than one. I remember the exact moment the thought entered my mind that I had been married to someone I hated for 25 years. I was sitting at my computer in the breakfast area of my kitchen with the nice view of the back yard. My face was resting on my right palm as I contemplated a completely wasted quarter of a century. It was my 25th anniversary that day.

    I got divorced. Then, I wasted the next 10 years getting over it.

    At 50 years of age, I entered college. I’m officially a college senior now, a year away from completing a BS in IT. I got a 125% raise in salary as soon as I finished my Associates degree.

    What I’m saying here is you are still young – and very beautiful. We all waste time…a lot of it. You’re doing great now. I wish you all the best. You’ve got this!

  37. A Huge congrats to you on your one year of sobriety. You stated you felt you did nothing special such as saving a life or giving to the community. I have to disagree. You should be so proud of your accomplishments and best of you did save a life,”YOUR OWN” Great job and keep that positive attitude and as for myself, I just passed my 2 year sober on October 27 2011.

    Sure it is very hard to stay sober, but you need to work hard for any good to come out of it. I write hundreds of articles on alcoholism and my life with it, so I know exactly what you mean. As far as the break up, it ssems the timing worked out and not in the middle of the first year when you trying so hard to stay sober. Be strong and always believe in yourself and as you said, and I have found out myself over the last 2 years (Respect our selves) Best to you and believe and you will achieve !!

    Mark (The Clean Life)

  38. i just found this lovely web log as i was looking around the interwebs for references to various sobriety dates, one year and five years especially. i’ve been taking in some other excellent work from Caroline Knapp, Mary Karr, Elizabeth Wurtzel…. i suspect your material will be just as valuable. how are you now at 18+ months?

  39. Wow. I came over for the political hair post, then kept reading… I know some people who are sober, and I do think that this kind of sharing can help people. So, Congrats, and/or Thanks. I was totally touched by the bit with your mom!

  40. I have no idea who you are – I stumbled across your blog on the internet as I am procrastinating from updating my own blog on my one year of sobriety. Not trying to steal the thunder. Just a reminder some behaviors (clearly) take some time to chance.πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your post. I wish you well and feel inspired!

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