The Date

All alcoholics have a date. The recovering ones. When was your last drink? I’ve talked with people twenty years sober, they can pin it down to the hour. I can’t. I’ve never had a date, or never known one. It was a Sunday in January. The tenth or the seventeenth. Today or next week. It went like this: I quit and then struggled. Mentally ached. Excruciated. Not drinking was my sole focus. I pounded seltzers, stared at books but didn’t read, crawled into bed to escape. Two or three weeks later, I couldn’t remember. Was it two weeks or three? It seemed an eternity.  It’s easy now. The desire faded. I found substitutes—AF Guinness my current. I found pride in a sober life. It’s just a date. The longer I go, the less it matters. Seven years today… or maybe next week.  

Photo by Dennis Steinauer

20 thoughts on “The Date

  1. I have a date. I started my sobriety journey on 4/21/20. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. It was robbing me of the life I wanted but couldn’t build, focused on the wrong things. Coming up in 3 years, it no longer owns me. Free at last and plan to keep it that way.

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  2. Thanks for this Jeff, my date is like yours “first or second week” in October, 2020. Then there’s the “clean AND sober date” which is about a year ago. Feels great to be released from that, or to at least have put it in a place it doesn’t control us.

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  3. Jeff, I haven’t got a firm date for when I stopped drinking (and drugging) either. I know it’s about ten years, but even then, it could be a bit more or a bit less. It used to bother me not having a date, and I think, last year, I adopted April 27th for some unknown reason. Like you, as time goes by, it doesn’t worry me not knowing anymore. I’m just very grateful that I’ve been clean and sober for a long time now and have, more or less, repaired the damaged relationships that suffered in the wake of my drinking days. Congratulations on your sober journey, even if you can’t remember the exact date. By the way, I discovered AF Guinness at Christmas. It was quite good with my Christmas dinner, although I did prefer the AF sparkling rosé.

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    • I love the Guinness pub draft. Having one now to celebrate. I know the date doesn’t matter, but owning a date seems to be so ingrained in the sobriety community. I guess I’ve picked Jan 10 since I wrote about it today. I know at some point I’ll stop counting years and need to do math to figure out how long it’s been. That will be the end of the journey.

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  4. I spent a year plus or minus, “self-medicating” with a fith of gin every day, when I was cut off from my pain management doctor and medications.
    I can’t remember what year it was, or what day I stopped either. I’ve been extremely fortunate to dodge the “addiction” bullet. Dependence I definitely have, but I’m pretty sure it’s different from the psychological, emotional, mental parts of addiction.

    So, congrats whenever for choosing to live a healthier life🥳

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  5. Based on how long it took me to ‘get over’ my drinking, It’s clear that I was psychologically or emotionally addicted. And also self medicating OCD and anxiety for 20 years. Looking back, I feel pretty stupid to not have seen all that. Something interesting… lots of sober bloggers.

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