Sobriety is the benefit of not relapsing

I have been thinking about my sobriety all wrong. Being sober is not the most important thing not relapsing is. Sobriety is the benefit of not relapsing. so my question to the old timers ( which if someone could define how long it takes to be one) did the time between your relapses increase and did the time in relapse decrease each time. For example I went 10 days sober and 2 days in relapse.
so if I go say 80 days sober 1 day relapse I would say i’m making progress. I guess my question is there a normal progression in not relapsing.Also felt it was easier to get back on the wagon the 2nd time sober did you find this true for you.

Love your feedback and opinion

If I went 80 days sober and then relapsed I would ask myself what I did wrong that made me think a drink was ok.


Or look at what I stopped doing that got me those 80 days.

To me the old timers are the 20+ year sober peeps. God willing, someday I’ll be an old timer

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Good question. Personally, for me relapsing is out of the question. Could it happen, sure…will it happen today…no. i drank for 25 years. There were times in that 25 years I quit. Looking back I dont consider it sober time and relapsing. I quit then as a way to deal with the guilt.

Today I will protect my soberiety at all costs, it is the single most important thing I do.

Edit: I am approaching 9 and months…while old…not a sobriety old timer.


I’m lucky enough ,(or not depending how you look at it) that I have an old timer to see me through, my Dad was an alcoholic and has been sober 23 yrs. He’s not disappointed in me for having alcohol problems, he’s proud of me for doing this journey back


I think sobriety and not relapsing are 2 sides of the same coin, just depends on how you see it.

I am not an old timer so I’m not sure how valid my point of view is or if there is any value to it.

That being said, this is my second real attempt at sobriety. My first attempt, earlier this year, lasted 58 days followed by a 5 month relapse. I see relapse as a failure or breaking point in a system. After the failure is identified, it needs to be fixed. My failure was not handling emotions constructively. Drinking was my go to, especially with anger or hurt. My last relapse was both anger and hurt, I failed. So now im fixing that. The length of my relapse was related to how much I cared, I didn’t care, so I lasted a long time. That too needed to be fixed.

So, the sum of it all, for me, sobriety is constant checking the system and fixing what might fail. It’s work. And the work doesn’t stop, ever, lest something will break.


Hell 1 year around here makes you an old timer.

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I hope not lol

Always depends on the room. Some rooms, 6 months are old timers, some 50 years.

I think it’s a combination of time and actually working a good program. I know guys with 7 years that carry themselves as old timers

i’d consider an “old timer” someone with over 20 years of sobriety. there’s no real definition, that’s just my take. though, just because someone has 20 years doesn’t mean they’re doing great. i know of a couple “old timers” that seem pretty miserable. i also know of some people with far less time that seem to be thoroughly enjoying life. i work to model my sobriety after people who look pretty happy and have a considerable length of sobriety, though i’m interested in hearing what keeps anyone sober, be it 20 years, 10 years, 1 year, 1 month, or just sober today. : )

not many “old timers” on this forum. but plenty of people to hear from and see what’s been working for them.

since being engaged in my recovery and working a program i have relapsed once. i was clean/sober for five months and went back out for three weeks. prior to that i “relapsed” every day for quite some time. because every day i was telling myself “tomorrow i’m gonna stop” or “come tuesday i’m gonna ease off”. well i never “eased off” and every tomorrow i was starting back up again.

i don’t think there is any “normal progression” for not relapsing. i’d advise you to just focus on staying sober. but i’m not sure what your drinking/using is like, and maybe you just want to go for abstaining for periods of time. that’s totally fine if that’s what you’re going for. that would not work for me however. and i’m glad it felt easier for you to get back on the wagon the second time as you mentioned. that’s not true for a great many people. i can not relate to that. i pray i never find myself in the situation where i have to stop again. it was incredibly difficult for me to do so.

anyhow. best to you and keep browsing around the forum you might find more things that also change the way you look at your sobriety : )


My last quit was 30 days. My last relapse was 11 months. It wasn’t like my quits got longer. My relapses got deeper and harder to come back from. Like a fighter who gets knocked out. The next time he’s hit hard, the likelihood of a knockout increases.

It’s ok to see sobriety as the benefit of not relapsing, if you choose to measure sobriety as the time between relapses. I choose to define an relapse as an intentional interpretation in my sobriety. It is a tumor showing up which ends my remission, maintaining such is 100% within my control.

For me, a good life is the benefit of sobriety. The absence of guilt, or shame or remorse, this is a benefit of sobriety. A strong marriage and solid relationships with my kids, this is the benefit of sobriety. The respect of my peers, lack of hangovers, close to $5K saved, normal blood pressure, cholesterol, weight loss, physical and mental conditioning, and a healthy spiritual life, are all benefits of sobriety.

And all I have to do to have all of this is to say “no” to one drink…the drink that matters…the first drink. If I do this, I can’t have a second or third or eighth drink. I can’t have a relapse.

Decide to be better and then be better. Keep getting better at getting better each and every day.


Not being an old timer, I’m going to leave this at this:

I have never seen or been made aware of any better place to connect with old-timers than AA. As much as I like AA, I won’t complain if you only show up to get old timer phone numbers and coffee times set up and ignore the program. Wisdom seeking is good.

Also no old timer, only have 4 months. I had it put to me this way: Take a stereo, crank it up to 11, then turn it off and put it on the shelf. If I turn it back on it doesn’t matter if it’s tomorrow or ten years from now, it still comes on full blast.

I know what’ll happen if I drink. Thinking on it too much may have me reaching for the stereo. I prefer to focus on sobriety. To throw the damn thing out the window and learn to play guitar.


Emotions are the killers. I can spend all day at work with shit going round my head and get myself to the point where I know that all I have to do is drink and it will ease (temporarily I know). I don’t want to drink because I worked hard to get 1 day let alone 30 odd. I don’t want to have to do it again. If I “relapsed” I don’t know when I’d come back.

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Um. Is it unfair for me to say " why relapse" I mean if you can do so many days sober? Why go back?
I mean I’m relatively new to this but I have fought bloody hard to get here!! And I’m not willingly going to let something take that from me. Hopefully! I can’t tell what’s in store for me obviously. But today I’m not drinking.