It has now been over a year since I decided to get sober. The post I wrote at that time entitled Stop Drinking and Watch the Stars Align was the most popular post I’ve written so far. Which in a way surprises me – in general sobriety seems like a kind of bummer topic to lots of people.

But in a deeper way, and based on the reality of sober life, I’m not surprised at all that people were curious about that post. The thing is, just like the effects of drinking accumulate and make an imprint on your life, so do the effects of sobriety accumulate – I’ll tell you how.

Although I have a pretty epic party girl inside me, at the time I decided to get sober, she was mostly dormant. But still, I could be swept away in a matter of minutes. One drink, even a few sips of a drink, and I would feel a force come in that was not me. 

That force could spin me around and dance me off to all kind of places and experiences. Many of them were seemingly glamorous or fun, but the whole time it was still not me. I had left myself behind the moment I picked up the drink.

This subtle turning away from myself has echoes that bounce all the way back to being a very small child. It’s the feeling of needing a parent’s attention, but the parent not being there, turning away or being “busy”. It’s that feeling of needing to be heard, but instead being ignored.

The accumulation of sobriety is the accumulation of the repeated choice to be there for myself. When things are scary or overwhelming… when things are happy and celebratory… no matter what, I don’t abandon myself. I’m always right here.

Other things have shifted too. But for now, I just want to note the stability that comes with the accumulation of sobriety. It is the accumulation of trust. Day after day, it’s like sending your most tender self the message I will never leave you.


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2 thoughts on “The Accumulation of Sobriety

  1. Thank You for sharing this. I believe I am much older than you and this is my second approach at living Sober. It’s been a year and a half. Today has been a particularly difficult day for me, as I let go of a partner that I was in love with because my Sobriety was being compromised. I too can bounce way back in a nano second- but after today’s meeting I look ahead and within. Accumulating time… I need to be there for me. I love what you said about being with my most tender self. Such wise words from a young woman!

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