2021, Or A Full Calendar Year Sober

Reflections Of My First Calendar Year Sober

Well, isn't this something?! My first calendar year sober—and what a year! I've said it many times this year, but I never knew my life could be this grand without a vodka bottle. I never knew I could experience so many wonderful moments and events without the “aid” of alcohol. And, on those days when I would dream of sobriety, I never thought I'd be this grateful to be sober!

Of course I imagined I would be happier, healthier, with better finances, but I never knew I’d feel whole. I never knew I’d feel right, after spending years feeling wrong. I don’t think of myself with regret or shame any longer. I don’t view the future as ominous and bleak. 

In fact, the future seems limitless and full of potential, which lead me to reflect on the paradigm shift I experienced this year, where I noticed three major pillars: sustaining my sobriety—coping with urges/cravings, publishing At Least I’m Not The Frog, and reconnecting with my family and friends. Lemme break it down for ya.

To begin, let's tackle maintaining my sobriety throughout this year. And let me just say, this is the first calendar year I've remained sober since probably 2000. Seriously. And while I've been fairly fortunate on this front, I've still encountered my fair share of battles. But after spending the last several years trying, in earnest, to grasp sobriety, I believe I laid a rather strong foundation. You see, over this last year, when I would feel the prickling's of an urge or craving, I immediately brought out reinforcements. By distracting myself with another activity, meditating, or reaching out to family or friends, I kept the damned vodka bottle at bay. This year, for the first time in my life, I implemented the tools and tricks taught to me over the last decade. This year, for the first time in my life, I truly surrendered my alcoholism to a force greater than myself. This year, for the first time in my life, I took pride in myself, deciding to wage war against booze, rather than with it.

For those struggling with sustaining their sobriety, I would encourage you to persevere. Don't let the substance win. And I know it's so easy for me to write that; I know that actually living it, coping in the moment of it, can seem all-encompassing. It feels as though there's nothing else in this universe except you, your pain, and your substance of choice. But that's just not true. The universe is actually on your side, the universe is your champion. Once I learned to harness this mentality, I felt my life begin to shift. I felt a sense of elevation, to a higher plane, without the aid of a bottle or pill.

It was during this time, around February and March of this year, that my resilience began to pay off. I clearly understood the message I wanted to convey in At Least I'm Not The Frog, and I felt the warmth and security of my family and friends returning. There was a profound sense of accomplishment and pride, and I allowed that to bolster and fuel me for the months to come.

In writing At Least I'm Not The Frog, I knew it was important to tell a story in which my readers would feel a sense of identification. I wanted my fellow alcoholics and addicts to see themselves and their actions on the page, in order for them to feel less alone. Less wrong or cheated. I wanted to validate them, for they are condemned quite enough. And listen, I am continuously blown away by the response to my story, and very honored that I achieved what I set out do. It means my 11 years of getting wasted weren't wasted at all; I was merely building a survival guide for my fellows.

But perhaps most importantly, what changed me the most, was that I rekindled the relationships with my family and friends. I've posted about this before (please see Your Friends Still Love You and Making Amends For Your Addictive Behavior) but wanted to reiterate the importance of finding grace with my loved ones, for I do not believe I could have maintained my sobriety without this vital gift. We crave affection, love, and acceptance, it's a part of being human, and I'm so lucky to have these individuals in my life.

I hope your 2021 was a year of growth and opportunity. I hope you began to find yourself, to forgive yourself, and to love yourself. I hope you're happy and working toward a fulfilling goal. But if that was not your 2021, that's okay, too. You didn't fail--you didn't "do the year wrong." You did the best you could, and I'm proud of you. And guess what? Tomorrow is a brand new year! A chance to start fresh! Carpe diem the f*** out of 2022!

We're worth it, we're perfect just the way we are, and here's to a great 2022!

Happy New Year, y'all! Have fun!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you, Charlie, for being you. I am so happy to have found you and look forward to meeting you someday. Happy New Year, with much fondness and respect. Judi P.

    1. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to meet you! 💛💙💚♥️


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