Second (Sober) Convention

It is early morning and I am alone in a gorgeous suite at a resort in Quebec. Last night I accepted a national award on behalf of my company at a Mardi Gras-themed event – a wild party and I had plenty to celebrate.

I did celebrate, in my new way. I celebrated with the new dress I wore, and with a pair of 4″ Fleuvogs (if you don’t know what Fleuvogs are, ask your wife. If you do know what Fluevogs are, you will certainly want to know that they are Paris Platforms in black and that I also have a pair of ice blue Macciatos that are to die for). I celebrated with a glass of sparkling apple juice while I dressed for the event, and another glass to toast my success before bed.

It was an easy, happy occasion and I felt comfortable the whole night. As I said “non, merci” again and again to the server offering wine at dinner, my only discomfort was embarrassment at my lack of bilingualism. Water was fine. And it was, it really was.

It was a whirlwind of a week that brought me here, and as I was packing the night before I left, I thought back to the last convention I attended just six months earlier. “That last convention was hard. Should I be worried?” I wondered. “I don’t feel at all anxious – is that because I truly am not or because I’ve just been too busy to think about it?”

I waited a moment to see if any clouds gathered over my head.

Nope. All clear. Sunshine and metaphoric blue sky all around.

It was easy. It is easy. This morning I popped out of bed at 6 am fresh as a daisy and eager to dress for the breakfast session. Many of last night’s revellers won’t even make it there.  Of those who do, I plan to find the various folks I met last evening and stop a moment to say hello, exchange business cards, and speak briefly about the points on which we connected earlier. There is a software developer who has a product I am interested in, a pair of brothers with a similar business to my own who I am hoping will be interested in exchanging a tour of operations, and a fellow who won an award last night with a project similar to one I am working on, whose brain I need to pick. I have my work cut out for me.

It is a remarkably different experience than Sober Convention Number One six months ago.

Back then I found it much harder to get through it all. This time it has felt natural and effortless.

This is who I am now.

The self-serve bar in my suite is not calling to me at all, except for the chocolate bars (which I have resisted). It is not a problem to not drink, even thought I am alone and no one would even know.

I just don’t do that any more. This is who I am now.

It is exactly one year today since the moment I knew I needed to stop drinking. My actual anniversary is in two days, because that’s how long it took me to listen to my heart.

One year….

Those of you who said, “It gets better,” were right. I could’t image that it would but it has.

Those of you who are reading this because you are struggling through the mucky parts, please be encouraged. Take heart.

It gets better.

It gets great!


  1. wow.. I’m not sure if you check this as often anymore, but I began reading your blog a few days ago. It has consumed my free time. I have considered quitting drinking all together on several occasions, and the ‘can i do it forever?’ is constantly looming… or i’ll say, well i’ll just do it for a while, and go from there… and i have. I dont drink like i did in my early twenties any longer, but that doesn’t mean i dont have a problem. Coming from a family of alcoholics… i KNOW my fate if i choose not to do something about this pattern in my life.

    I lost my father 6 years ago from liver disease due to his excessive drinking and liver disease… which was a joy to grow up dealing with. But unfortunately, the genes have passed on to my sister and myself. I was diagnosed with liver disease in February.. I’m now 29, but was diagnosed at 28. It was a MAJOR eye opener. I didn’t understand how it had happened (well i did, but really, i didn’t think it would have happened). The Drs. have since told me, “ah just quit drinking, take better care of yourself, it will heal itself! ” and “oh theres so many people walking around out there with liver disease, the good thing is that it regenerates!” However, for me, it feels like a ticking time bomb… a death sentence. If my dad died with the same thing only 20 years older than i am, then i better get my poop in a group.

    I vowed that I was done when i got the diagnosis. It lasted about 2 weeks. My sister drinks very heavily and we live together, so her constantly being enebriated was making it a little hard to want to be sober. So in the last few months, I’ve just been thinking about it and i think that even if its 2 or 3 drinks, shots, or whatever after work, its becoming every day. I notice my banking account, and the dent this ‘hobby’ is putting in it. I know I’m an alcoholic, even if i dont crave everyday, drink everyday, or get wasted everytime i drink… but i’ve known that since the FIRST time I hid a 40 of miller lite in the dumpster outside mine and my ex boyfriends house when i had just turned 21. I dont know why that stands out in my mind, but I think its definately there for a reason. Anyways, I stumbled upon your blog because my sister (of all people) send me a link to a few articles about what it felt like to be sober after a year… i immediately was stuck to this blog. Even though i’m not there yet, I will be… I know it has to happen, and honestly, being diagnosed with the liver disease was exactly the excuse i needed to MAKE myself stop… and THATS why i KNOW i’m an alcoholic…


    • PS— I meant to specify that the reason i commented on this was because it brought me to tears as i read the end, so i figured it was time to say what was on my mind! THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS! This is a new found outlet for me, and I will continue to read the rest of your blogs and find others to help me get through it.


  2. I’m privately quitting drinking, I don’t want to discuss it amongst friends. I appreciate the positive energy that I stumbled onto here. It’s beautiful and so simple. Thank you so much for this place to share feelings and personal growth. This is exactly what I need, I’m pleasantly surprised!


  3. I’m so glad to hear it gets easier. I’ve been warned about the 9-month mark. I hope that is not my experience. I love that you claim your identity as you wish it to be, “This is who I am now.” I have just decided to give up my old identity as a party girl. Thank you for inspiring new thinking.


  4. Excellent writing! I’m nearing day 14 (again…I was at 60 a few weeks ago and drank a couple times) and feeling the ups and downs. Today, I was happy to discover that absolute, always-and-forever abstinence might not be a necessity — maybe I CAN rehabilitate my drinking habits…of the past decade? Anyway, I ONLY drank red wine, and it got me into LOADS of trouble. I crave it all day, every day, and almost three months later, I’d open that bottle on my counter in a heartbeat…if I didn’t want to stop drinking as badly as I do. So, your posts have helped me just this moment keep going, laugh, and realize that there are others struggling just like me. Look very much forward to reading more of your blog… -DDG


  5. Amazing, simply amazing. Your first sober convention is what got me through a recent event at a bar. I thought about the things you said and kept them in mind. It was uncomfortable for me but I got through it and know in the back of my mind that it will get better. It is better already, at only 80 days sober.

    So I’d like to know, can you pinpoint your one moment when you knew you had to quit drinking? I’m having a hard time doing the same. Because I had so many moments when I knew. But that ONE moment?

    Good job, and thanks for posting.


    • Congrats on 80+ days! Isn’t it amazing how the days add up? There was “one moment” for me. I wrote about it in detail in this post: I will never forget that day or the power that came over me. It was an incredible, terrifying, wonderful gift that I will always be grateful for.

      That said, there were lots of little moments that led up to the “great realization” and perhaps paved the way and prepared me to receive that big gift of awareness. The need to quit, the sincere desire to change came to me many times before and yet I always swatted them away. Little by little, the residue of those moments built into something that couldn’t be ignored.

      Maybe you can’t pinpoint one big moment because there isn’t just one. Perhaps you were moved by many many hairline cracks that added up to one big shift.


  6. Big hugs and some fresh-squeezed orange juice to bring our blood sugar up for the new day. I rejoice in your sobriety and hope many more anniversaries will follow.


  7. WOW! how time flies. Congrats to you on your new shoes! and the sobriety of course. today I am on day 2. again. it was great to get your post in my mailbox. perfect actually! thank you.


  8. Yes! How great this is to read! And I totally agree. It is becoming who I am, this sober person. And that feels just fine! Just went to a wedding (my 3rd in 6 months sober) and it was so so totally fine, great even. Just feels right. Good for you xxx


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