Five years Sober

Five years. Five amazing, clear, relieving, hard, excruciatingly painful, deeply joyful and contented years.

So many things have happened during these five years, I have reconnected and grown with my family and, recently, faced a crisis that will change our lives forever. My husband and I are separating after 25 years together. He has been my best friend. I’m not sure what things look like apart.

In these five years I have faced early sobriety, depression, a city wide evacuation due to a forest fire that I drove through, job difficulties, a child with depression and now marital strife.

I have become a yoga teacher, gotten tattoos, found my inner self and truly know what unconditional self acceptance feels like, even if I don’t always have it.

Step one was to put down the bottle and take a good look around. If I hadn’t done that I would have missed so much.

The journey is never easy, but that is why it is so worth it. I thank each and every person who reads or comments or writes a blog sharing their experience. It always reminds me that deep down we are all the same and that the answer is always love.

Stillness and peace


56 thoughts on “Five years Sober

  1. Massive congratulations!! You are awesome Anne. You’ve been a constant source of inspiration and support since my day 1. I think about you and how you are much more than I come on here (does that sound weird?!) but one day I hope to rock out with soda water with you! With love, xxx

  2. Congratulations! I read this and was filled with such joy. I’m approaching one year and you are an inspiration. I’m going to have to quote that line about looking around, having missed so much if you hadn’t put the bottle down. That sums up exactly how I feel and I’m so grateful that I did too. This is such a lovely testament to sobriety and you genuinely made my heart soar. Lots of love and again, huge congratulations! Anna xx

  3. Oh Anne a huge CONGRATULATIONS on the 5 years!!! OMGosh look at what you have faced and yet that demon has not pulled you back down. You my friend are an freakin Warrior. I am sorry to hear that on top of the other things that now you are going through marital strife. I am how ever very impressed with what you have done for YOURSELF and wow what great steps you have taken. Thank you so much for all the support you have shown me on my journey, people like yourself really do make a huge difference in our journeys. XOX

  4. Happy 🎂 Birthday
    I was 18 years sober a few weeks ago. This program gives us back the freedom to be who ever we wish to be; to walk the Rd with so many millions of of others, never truly along as HP walks alongside us and sometimes carry’s us.

    I wish you much serenity going through this new chapter in your life.


      1. Aah likewise Anne. <3.
        That first post… the one where I thought I had 'done it' – succeeded at sobriety because I had not been drinking for 2 days? That one? :-D. And then slowly, slowly, slowly you all woke me up to the idea that sobriety is more than 'not drinking'. As you so beautifully write about. ❤
        xx, Feeling

  5. Congratulations on your 5 year soberversary, Anne! You’ve been a shining light, a beacon of hope, for me since I got sober. Your calm, compassionate kindness has helped me and so many others – more than you know. I’m sorry for your marital issues; I know you are very well aware that we can do hard things sober. Sending you such a big hug. Please keep writing and sharing your journey.


  6. I had this feeling that something was up. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. It seems like a lot of crisis in a few years. You barely finish one huge thing and then the next one starts. I had a period of time like that. I ended up isolating to the point that I couldn’t walk outside. I could get in my car and leave town to shop or go to work and I was fine there, but in my town, especially my yard, I was almost paralyzed. I hated going to the school events. I was just so tired of explaining why everything was harder for my family.  WOTY is coming up. It’s my favorite time of the blog year! Remember when I did My Year of Yes? Lol Looking forward to your WOTY. It’s been great sharing the last 5 years together. You rock.

    1. I am taking your comment to heart. I am not going to hide. I do feel battered and overwhelmed, and hurt by betrayal. But I also feel my inner self is ok.
      I’m going to tread gently, and get lots of support.
      I need a word…I must think hard.
      Hugs to you

  7. Congratulations on five years, Anne!! Thank you for your loyal presence out here in cybersobrietyland, your honesty and insights and wisdom, your support for me personally. I am grateful for you. Sending you hugs and warmth and clarity and peace in your path through your marital stuff. xo Adrian

  8. You are an inspiration. And a source of comfort and strength to so many people. I hope you also have a source of comfort and strength to draw from during this rough time in your life. So sorry to hear about it.

  9. Thank you as ever for your openness and clarity. Five years is a massive achievement. I truly believe that if we can get sober, we can not only survive but thrive through all of life’s vicissitudes. With all best wishes and hope for this next chapter in your life. Prim xx

  10. dear anne, so well done on 5 years sober. and thanks for the loving encougaring words you have spread during that time!
    (i love your last sentence “(…) that deep down we are all the same and that the answer is always love.”) wishing you strength and love in this period of your life. hugs.

  11. Hey lovey, well done. Thinking of you with regards to the separation. I got hit by a major relationship betrayal in early sobriety so I think I can identify. Amazing I didn’t drink. Here for you when ever you need Sending big love Xx

  12. congratulations on your soberversary! my marriage ended when i got sober too – i had been married 24 years and we had been through a great deal of challenges as a family, but sobriety changed a lot of aspects of my life. my husband, who was still (and is still) drinking, could not understand what had happened and was in great pain for a long while. without the support of my recovery friends i would have struggled. it was the right thing to do and i am happier, and more content, than i have ever been. i wish you all the best for your new life.

  13. Congrats on the milestone and you know my heart is with you as you walk through this storm. I agree with the comment above reminding you not to hide and isolate. You don’t have to share everything but just let others hold your pain, as you have done for so many.

  14. Hearty congratulations on 5 years of amazing strength and perseverance, Anne! I remember when you spoke (Bubble Hour?) about being displaced after the dreadful fires. I admired your courage and calmness. You and Wendy have been instrumental in helping me since I quit drinking10 months ago and I’m sorry you are going through a rough patch right now. Wishing you brighter days ahead as we enter the beautiful Season of Christmas. God bless!

  15. Anne, firstly so many congratulations on your continued sobriety – what an amazing example you are and how much you have achieved
    I’m so very sorry to hear you are separating from your husband, that must be very painful for you (all) can I ask if your decision to be sober has been underneath the change? I really hope you are doing ok and will get through this time with your characteristic grace. Very best wishes Lily 🌷xxx

    1. Hi Lily
      We are both still sober. He will be 5 years in s few weeks.
      He has been suffering some serious depression and has found solace with a 20 something year old. From AA.
      So. I know I am codependent with him, but I am not willing to put up with cheating and lying.
      I also know he is suffering.
      It’s so complicated.
      But one thing I have learned is to protect myself. So a separation is necessary. Or I may make excuses for his behaviour and blame myself. I don’t want that.
      It’s a big blow.

      1. 20 Something eh…. wow. Addiction has a lot of ways of popping up. 😦 Well, he is as sick as his secrets. I am so sorry this way of expressing himself is so extremely hurtful to you. Time to take some distance – and no matter how much he is suffering: there are consequences to such behaviour. As I think to understand it now, being depressed is part of sobriety. According to natural laws of healing this it not such a strange thought: when we heal in a natural way we, like quitting drinking is a start to healing addiction, the next step is dealing with what lays underneath the addiction: the pain. Filling that up that ‘hole’ with Netflix, chocolate or a 20 something is, in my generally not so humble opinion ‘just’ another way of being addicted. However, in the last case the hurt is lashing out instead of going in. Stepping away from that is only natural.
        This was the peacefull message, more your style I believe. 🙂 If you need me to like set up a total rant to build some boundaries you know where to find me. 😉 ❤
        Looooooong hug, Feeling

  16. I am shocked and saddened to read this, Anne. I rarely rarely comment but religiously read your posts and comments on other blogs. Your wisdom and compassion have meant more to me than you can possibly ever know. You are a true gift to all of us. I hate that you are going through something so difficult – the loss of your best friend and a major change for you and your family to navigate. I send you strength and love – to all of you. Well done on five years – your sober strength will help you through this.

  17. Congratulations on 5 years Anne! Your support from day one was instrumental in getting me to today: Day 886. I clung onto your blog like a lifeline ,especially at the beginning, and even though I’m more solid in my sobriety now, I still find your writing a huge help. I hope that we can all provide you with some comfort and support in what is bound to be a very difficult time for you and your family. I wish we didn’t have to do the hard things, but we know we can, you’ve shown us the way. 🌻

      1. I am still amazed at how much better it is. There have still been crises in my life, but they are much easier to deal with without the crushing hangovers and the heaping helping of guilt that accompanied them. Before life was shitty squared, now it has shitty times that pass.Big difference. If you find yourself down this way it would be nice to meet again😊

  18. Congratulations on 5 years. It sounds like you’re truly living through it all, blinders off. I’m sorry to hear about your separation. I cannot imagine what you’re feeling now after sharing so much of your life with someone else. You’re strong. I relate to the depressed child. We’re in the thick of it now here. I appreciate you sharing about that. ❤

  19. Five years is absolutely awesome. Congratulations!

    I’ve read your entire blog from the very beginning. You have really put your life out there. Ups and downs, happy times and not so good times. It has been a very touching and inspiring reading. I am so sorry you are going through this current crisis. I’ve been there myself. You seem like an incredibly strong person. You’ll get through it.

  20. Congratulations on five years journeying as a sober woman, Anne!
    It is such a gift that you continue to blog and share your experiences and wisdom. Your honesty, inner beauty, and grace touch so many. Love and Gratitude for that.
    Pema says, “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
    One of the greatest gifts of recovery is learning to love and trust ourselves. To give ourselves compassion and to create a tool box of self care practices that are uniquely suited to our particular needs.
    Seeing how your recovery path has been deep and honest and touches back again and again on learning about and loving yourSelf makes me feel confident you will remember Pema’s wise counsel and take the very best ever care of you during this stormy time in your life’s journey.
    Take good care.

  21. Hi Anne, I don’t know what made me look for your blog this evening, it’s been a long time since we connected. We know each other from BFB and SSI, and I used to live nearish to you…. I was surprised to read about your marriage, as I, too, have been experiencing marital strife for a few years now. The other day, we decided to set a happiness due date, and if we don’t feel we have made progress by then, we will separate. We are simply unhappy together. As hubby puts it, more like siblings or friends, than a married couple. He’s right. I would have stayed that way forever, status quo was comfortable, but we are going down a path that is leading me to greater self discovery, for which I am grateful. Even though the due date makes me feel bizarre and sad, it also leaves me somewhat relieved. I’m sorry for what you are experiencing. Hang in there ❤

  22. Enormous congratulations on your five year anniversary. What an achievement and I hope you’re quite rightly proud. I can only send you love and hugs via WordPress to wish you all the strength in the world to find a different and better place for yourself without your husband. I am trying to imagine my world without mine and I’m at a loss as to whether to stay or go. I was so sure I had found my ‘home’, my soulmate, but I have been such a fool. Sending you love. Katie

  23. You are a strong woman, with a kindness so fierce! Congrats on the five years. All else going on, you’ll find your way through it, with love and understanding. ll

  24. Congrats on the 5 years. Sorry to hear of your marriage difficulties.
    I’ve often said that the fact our marriage survived the recovery is more remarkable than it surviving the drinking years.

  25. Hi there 🤗 Blessed Peaceful Sober and Happy Christmas to you. I just received my 4th month sobriety little coin “More worth than a Olympics Gold medal to me, mind.” I seperated in June after 28 years of marriage, but that’s the beauty of Love in the form of Sobriety. We sincerely share it as a family with different circumstances. The seed of understanding only germinate by personal experience in our Sobriety. Take care and keep on writing 🌹 God Bless.

  26. I don’t know how I missed so much! I’m so sorry for the rocky times, and so proud of you for managing it all sober. You have inspired me to be double down on my recovery, and reminded me what a gift this is. Thank you. 🙂

  27. I missed this post Anne. I am sorry to hear about your separation this must be really hard for you. I am thinking of you. Well done on 5 years though that is amazing. If anyone can handle this sober you can. xx

  28. Hey! I’m sorry that I missed this!!
    Congratulations on the soberversary! You have a solid recovery, & if you keep it up, I have no doubt that you’ll overcome every bump in the road. Thanks for your faithfulness and walking it out.
    Just coming back to writing, falteringly. It makes my day when I see you’ve come by. 🙂

  29. What a fantastic post. “deep down we are all the same and that the answer is always love.” perfectly expressed. Thank you for *your* blog, Anne, you’re a true inspiration.

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