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Sobriety Anniversaries: A Day and a Wakeup to Thirty Years. Why Anniversaries Still Matter to Me


November 2022

I mentioned at my homegroup meeting that I’d hit 30 years on Friday. I’m quite young for hitting that mark at 52 and we’ve got three new guys who just started showing up last week. One has three months, the others a couple of weeks, now. I mentioned my coming anniversary (as did my wife) as a way of letting those guys know that, if you stick around long enough and don’t die, becoming an old-timer is possible.

Everyone in the meeting, except one guy (and you know this type) got it. He, on the other hand, had to point out that I indeed hadn’t made it yet (as if I was tragically lost on this fact) and I was really only one day closer to a drink, anyway.

I pushed back hard on the sophomoric and petulant “you’re really only one day closer to a drink” bit. The notion is just plain stupid.

The idea, while sound in a cynical way, was simply tossed out there because if he gets a decently angry reaction out of me (which he failed to elicit), my reaction would justify his cynical views. Rather, I simply said in a very calm, cool voice, that’s not true at all. I’m one day closer to thirty years and that’s good enough for me. When I didn’t know any better, I would give him the angry response he wanted (and, oddly enough, he’s been a friend for more than 20 years) and I’m sure he’d feel just a little bit better about being so miserable. Today, it’s enough to exercise restraint and be kind without accepting the premise of a silly point made to bring about a strongly worded negative response – this fella’s had a rough life.

As I’ve said in the past, I celebrate the full month of my anniversary. I used to look for reasons to celebrate something so I could get good and drunk; now I celebrate my freedom from that.

I’ve got a day and a wakeup to 30 years – 20 of which is time I’d have spent in a casket if I’d kept using. That seems reason enough for a celebration to me. At least for today.



  1. E says:

    This really touched me

  2. Uncoffined says:

    Congratulations on making thirty years.

  3. Linda Dunkin says:

    Congratulations! That’s great!


  4. Yaaahhhhhooooooo!!!! 30 years of experience living without a substance!! Walking through pain and loss…enjoying this amazing thing called life and NOT picking up. Enduring and accomplishing and staying in recovery for 30 years is amaze – balls!
    I love the cynical close minded old timers..they scared us for quite some time but as we grow in recovery and life evolves – the fears lessen and the joy becomes more. Didn’t they teach us about honesty OPENMINDNESS and willingness after all❤️
    Excellent ! Celebrate the month hell celebrate for the year my friend. We are walking talking miracles ❤️🙏❤️

  5. Legend, mate! That’s no small achievement and you’ve earned that month-long celebration. You’ve been sober since I was 11 years old!

  6. Saoirsek says:

    Absolutely brilliant Jim, and as for thst idiot who said not yet…uggghhh. Every one of those sober seconds count!

    • bgddyjim says:

      He’s always been a crank like that. As long as I don’t feed it, he and I do very well. I only get into trouble when I get caught on the fishing expedition!

  7. Well Done Sir! It’s all about celebrating the freedom

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