I’m Two Years Sober, and I Don’t Feel Like Celebrating

“Congratulations! Where are you celebrating?”

Just a few days ago, I quietly acknowledged my two year sober anniversary with a “congrats” from my partner and a few Facebook posts from close friends who are also in recovery. Then I got the message that I had been dreading.

Until recently, I had attended 12 step meetings regularly. At the end of this month, multiple groups will hold celebration meetings for folks that share a July sobriety date. While most people celebrate at their home group meetings, I don’t have one so I’ll pick a group to attend on celebration night.

Sober Mommies I'm Two Years Sober and I Don't Feel Like Celebrating

Here’s the problem: I don’t feel like celebrating.

Not even a little bit. That excitement I had before, to pick up my chip and share, just isn’t there. I don’t feel like my story of recovery is valid, because my program doesn’t look like how it’s outlined in the literature. I go to counseling regularly with a therapist that is trained in substance abuse, and I’m feeling really good about my personal growth and program that I work.

I absolutely believe in the life changing experiences that people have had working the steps and having a sponsor, but that isn’t my program right now. I have not done step work, I don’t have a sponsor, and my attendance at meetings recently has been slim. A desire to stop drinking is the only requirement, but I’ve heard numerous cliches and things like; when attendance dwindles that person is separating from the herd and is now vulnerable to relapse.

I’m hurt by these comments and I’m discouraged by the behavior of people at meetings. Personally, I am struggling to identify with those who claim to live by the principles they promote. Additionally, I often hear judgemental and downright cruel things said about other members, and it’s taken the wind out of my sails. I’m not interested in the drama and the gossip of who’s working the program and who’s not.

I’m here for support in my recovery and to be a support to those who want it. I am fearful that if I celebrate at the 12 step meeting, I’ll feel it necessary to share that my program isn’t typical, and I will be judged because of it. I don’t want anyone to think that I am bashing the program, but there are other recovery options out there and, for some, they work just as well (if not better) than 12 step meetings.

Twelve step meetings have saved my butt; and I know that. There are some really good people in the program. Those I have been able to connect with have helped me stay accountable and I rely on the experience and suggestions from these other women as part of my recovery every day. Outside of the halls, I choose to discuss my recovery openly, even on social media. I have had random people contact me, knowing that I’m open about it and because of that, I have had the privilege and joy of accompanying new people to their first meetings and watching them grow in their own sobriety.

I was reminded recently that we don’t really celebrate for us, we do it to show other people that recovery is possible. I want anyone who may be questioning whether or not they can maintain sobriety to know that we absolutely can and do recover. If there is someone in the halls that needs to hear what I say, I do want to be there.

Now, how do I find the courage and motivation to get up there and tell the truth?

 

This amazing post was submitted by Amanda.

A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.

2 Comments on “I’m Two Years Sober, and I Don’t Feel Like Celebrating

  1. I’m so sorry you feel this way. 2 years of sobriety is absolutely worth celebrating, but you have the right to celebrate in your way, and, more importantly, FOR YOU. While I understand the idea of giving others hope, I’m pretty sure that a two year celebration should be a cause for reflecting on how much your life has improved, how you feel in yourself, not about some obligation to be a role model.

    My recovery was not AA directed. I have only been to one meeting in my life, and that was because it was at a conference I was attending and I was curious. It was pleasant enough, but I didn’t feel any desire or need to attend more. I struggle sometimes to connect with AA philosophy at all, there are many similarities in the spiritual aspects of it and my path to recovery (yoga philosophy and practices gave my myself, and I didn’t need to drink anymore), but I disagree with a lot of their core teachings, especially about the ‘once an addict, always an addict’ mentality. That is almost certainly true if you believe it, but if you choose to believe you can be free, then you can be free.

    Sobriety is a choice I make now, because my life is simply so much better when I am sober. I was addicted and powerless, but my recovery began when I took responsiblity for it, not when I surrendered it.

    I hope you do find a way to celebrate and be joyful for this 2 years of sobriety, and I know that there will definitely be places where your truth will be heard and needed, and I hope you find those. Wishing you love and joy in your life

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