Two Years Sober – What is it like?

sunset over hawaii

June 1, 2010

I have nearly completed two years of sobriety. To sum them both up; year 1 was hell, and year 2 has been the best year of my life since I was about 6 years old.

Not only am I nearly 2 years sober but I am happier more days than I am not. I am a different person today. I am confident, happy, and I am earning the respect of those closest to me.

I am fit and healthy, I am positive, I am pro-active and I know this is cliché but I am on a journey that feels really good.

I have become comfortable with who I am today. I have accepted that I have an alcoholic past. I have done intense work on myself using personal development, introspection, counselling, journaling, exercising, reading and prayer.

Although I am in a good place within myself right now, it doesn’t mean that my life is without problems. I have many challenges in my life right now that are extremely difficult and unfortunate. The good news is that I no longer need to escape in order to cope. I do not cope anymore, I live.

At two years sober I am excited about the future. There is so much that I want to experience. I have hopes and dreams and I am enjoying taking action in order to accomplish everything on my life list. I can’t remember feeling this enthusiastic about living; it is a great way to feel.

I find it unfortunate that sobriety has so much bad press. Nearly everything I read about sobriety is negative. The blogs, websites and forums are filled with people who write about their experience in sobriety sounding so depressed. They write about how tough each day is how life is a struggle. They go on and on only finding the tiniest things in life to be happy about but complaining relentlessly about everything else. The negativity is intense. I am not saying that these people are without reason; I am just saying that sobriety is not and does not have to be depressing forever.

I tried AA many years ago and although I recognize how significant it has been for many alcoholics, personally I found it very depressing and my sobriety back then lasted a little more than 6 weeks.

This time around, I did all sorts of research into staying sober, including reading some of The Big Book. I also looked into Holistic recovery approaches, Women for Sobriety, and the Seven Weeks to Sobriety method. I have kept an open mind about recovery and what works.

So, here I am, nearly two years sober for the first time in seventeen years. I have a second chance at life and I am enjoying sobriety more days than I am not.

Almost without realizing it, my second year of sobriety has been about finding faith and using prayer. I have developed a faith and confidence in God which I have never known before. This didn’t happen over night nor was it something I set out to do but it has proved to be the most successful method of sustaining sobriety that I have come across.

I have spent time studying the Bible and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone regardless of whether you believe in God or not. It is such a practical book that teaches you how to live, cope, handle others, and live a worthy life. This book is amazing and it is turning my life around.

Maybe if I give you an idea of how I use prayer and faith in my own life, you will understand how and why it is changing my life.

I felt a little uneasy when I woke up today. I couldn’t really put my finger on the reason why but this was a familiar feeling from old.

Later in the day, I thought back to this morning and the uneasy feeling I had. It had disappeared almost as soon as I realized I had it. I thought back to my drinking days, just under two years ago. I would wake up with the uneasy feeling every day. I would spend all day trying to get rid of it, usually by having a few drinks to keep it at bay. I didn’t have prayer, faith and God back then. I just had me. I would feel scared, alone, anxious and panic ridden most of the time. The only time I would feel good was once I had a few drinks in me. Only then, would I feel ok and be able to handle whatever was on the agenda for the day.  I could never quite explain how I felt to friends or family. I had created an alter ego that everyone knew. It was seldom that I would come clean and tell everyone how I really felt. Now and again when life got too tough (which was often), I would have a mini melt down and tell some of how I felt to my closest friends. Usually this confession would soon be forgotten, it would be replaced with the feel good conversation a few drinks brings on. Then I would be back to my alter ego, who everyone was used to.

The difference today, and every day in my life now is that I never feel alone for very long. No matter how uneasy I feel, or what difficulty arises in my life, I don’t feel as unglued as I used to. I don’t feel alone or terrified or desperate for a drink to make me feel better. That part of my life has changed dramatically. Praying and having faith in God is the reason I am able to enjoy and live sobriety as well as I do.

I can’t tell anyone how to live but I can tell you what I have done to get me two sober years of living after half a lifetime of alcoholism. I hope this helps. I have to recommend the Bible though, it is truly an amazing lifeline.

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8 thoughts on “Two Years Sober – What is it like?

  1. Awesome post, Madison!

    So cool to see you following a non-traditional recovery path, and finding such huge success. Very inspiring!

  2. Madison, thank you for this blog, please keep writing. I have been searching for online help for ages and yoour posts, filled with faith help me so much. I only pray I can write a similar article myself to say that I am free and sober! God bless you

  3. Hi Vess,
    Thank you for the encouraging words. I am glad you like what you have read. I sometimes wonder if people really want to read my thoughts and my own personal journey, many people want to read ‘How to’ posts. I think though, when it comes to sobriety, people really do want to know what goes through someones mind so that they can have someone to relate to.
    Keep coming back!

  4. Thanks so much for this post. It was exactly what I needed to read this morning. I am coming up on 2 years sober and clean. I realize this is the time when my body and brain are cleaning out all that “junk”, and I have been feeling so uneasy and anxious. I’ve also felt that it might be time to leave AA and replace it with more Bible time and Church. I’m still sorting through a lot of stuff–where did my personality go???–the alter ego made a lot of sense to me. It’s time to open my Bible and face the fears I drank away, to discover rhe woman God created me to be in the first place. Wish me luck! Anyway, thanks for sharing, and God bless!

  5. Thank you for this post. I am also a recovering alcoholic who, in two days time, will be celebrating two years sober. I also stray from the traditional ways of AA and having a sponsor to stay sober. My faith in God has been my rock through my sobriety and it is so awesome to hear someone else who has had such a similar experience. Living everyday now is infinitely better than the life i had previously and i wouldn’t go back for anything. I love how you made the point to capitalize on how life is not a constant depression in sobriety. Sobriety after a life of addiction truly is amazing. I honestly think i appreciate everyday life more than ever could have been possible had i not went through the hell of alcohol addiction and come out the other side by the grace of God. Your post brought tears to my eyes and i truly thank you for sharing.

  6. Hi Aaron,
    I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. Congratulations on your sobriety! I understand your appreciation for life after alcohol addiction. There are so many days when I just thank God for what I have now. I am truly grateful. I don’t think anyone other than someone in recovery can truly get this. It can be the simplest of things that make me feel so grateful. I get so happy by enjoying something that once upon a time, I rarely even acknowledged! Thanks again Aaron.

  7. Congratulations all on your sobriety..but its like you have gone from one addiction to another. The universe is a magical place when you take away fairy tales that block your mind. Look into your faith question it, being free from religion and experienc e this earth and the whole universe is one crazy feeling.

  8. wow…im coming up on two years myself…had tried to quit to other times through AA..faile both times after 6 months. This last tiime I was agnostic had now faith…but amazing events happened that lead me the Christianity (specifically Catholicism) I went through conversion and never read an AA book or stepped inside a meeting…just a week ago I looked at the 12 steps and during my conversion I completeted them all without knowing? WOW…

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