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Sobriety Dates.

19 July 2012

To the person who found my blog with the search string: “Do you change your sobriety date if you drink but don’t get drunk?” Yes. You do. It’s about intention. You don’t have to get drunk to need a new sobriety date. The point of sobriety is to be free from the influence of alcohol. Free from the bad decision-making. The regrets and resentments. If you find your relationship to alcohol has progressed to the point that you need to have a sobriety date, then any deliberate consumption of alcohol after that date invalidates the previous date.

We don’t say: “I haven’t gotten drunk since Smarch 34th, 2100”. We say that we haven’t taken a drink. Haven’t needed to consume any alcohol. If you can drink and not get drunk, regularly and habitually, if you only get drunk when it’s appropriate and convenient and safe and fun, then you don’t need a sobriety date. If you need a sobriety date, then that date is the last time you took a drink.

This is my opinion, of course. Nothing is set in stone. Your sobriety date is none of my business. But if I had a sponsee who drank, but didn’t get drunk, and wouldn’t change their sobriety date? It would be the end of my sponsorship of them. Drinking and not changing your sobriety date is not, in my opinion, acting honestly in the face of the disease. And I believe that it is likely to lead to further relapse. Which is what that is.

One Comment leave one →
  1. furtheron permalink
    23 July 2012 07:15

    Good post. I know one guy at my home group only claims x-1 year sober. He actually didn’t drink on the day he considers now his sobriety date, but he bought booze and would have if his wife hadn’t punched him in the face, taken the drink and poured it down the sink and walked out in a a blaze of anger, tears and recrimination. He called another AA – that person said. “I won’t buy you a drink but I will take you to the store and I’ll lend you the money”. In the car park he turned that person and said “Take me to a meeting I’m starting again”… hence his sobriety date is that day. His rules not mine but I see his point. His wife never did come back sadly but he now says in reality he needed all that to realise just how bad it still was.

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