Who has found it that year 2 of sobriety is harder than year 1

First off my sobriety date is 5/26/18 as I lay in bed reflecting on something that I’ve heard multiple times, the second year is harder than the first.

So I pose the question to this group and yes it seems bullyish, but only people with multiple years I’d like commenting. Is year 2 harder than year 1 of sobriety?


For me, coming up shortly on year 3, I say HELL NO. Year 2 was easier by a long shot. It wasn’t perfect and there were only a couple of rainbows and no unicorns, but year 1 was rough…especially those first weeks and months. That has been my experience. It continues to get easier sobriety wise…but I am called upon to work harder now on my mental health issues …which is what I was masking with my drinking in the first place.

Great question!!


My second year seemed to be a loooot easier. My third year has started off even better than the second.


I have found the sobriety bit has been easier in the second year but my mental health has been shit, like @SassyRocks I guess I was drinking etc to try and get away from that. So it’s felt harder in lots of ways, even though objectively I know my life is better.

I think after the initial difficulty coming to terms with the idea of sobriety it all felt quite new and exciting - lots of milestones and ‘firsts’.

But the only thing that’s certain is change and all that, so here’s hoping the best is yet to come.


If we are talking about the mental and physical compulsion to drink – yes things did get easier over time for Goat.

But year two was when the rubber met the road for Goat. No longer could Goat hide behind being a newcomer and no substantial changes in the first year. For Goat — sobriety was less about alcohol and more about working on Goat’s mental health and emotional sobriety. BUT HOLY FACK – The emotional/mental hangovers from this work for Goat are far worse than the emotional/mental aspects of pretty much all but a couple really good benders.


I think it was harder in a lot of ways. I found myself getting complacent and not wanting to work so hard. As others have said, that first year had a shine and sparkle to it. It was like I was proving to myself and the world that I actually will do it. Everyday felt like an accomplishment, especially the bad ones. Shortly after hitting my 1 year I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. What I didn’t feel immediately was a shift that required my personal recovery to become stronger and more intense. And like everyone else I’m reading here, it was the mental health that took front and center. And damn if that shit ain’t hard!

Year 3 has been it’s own ride, but I’m pretty sure its mostly the same ride that non addicts have been on most of their adult lives. It’s hard and different, crazier even, but if feel much more equipt to deal with it.

I thrive in chaos, so the first year was me kicking ass and taking names (in some alternate universe type of way).


So far, three months into year 2 and it is massively better than this time last year for me. I feel like a different person and that the hardcore work that I have put in since the start of my journey is paying off. Things continue to be complex, but it is at a deeper, more thoughtful level of my program, rather than because I have locked myself in the bathroom at work whilst I sob uncontrollably, which was pretty characteristic of my first year.


yea my second year was a breeze compared to the first. just my experience.

one of the aa sayings i really don’t like is “the first year is a gift”. i get what people are saying by that, but i also don’t like hearing it. personally that first year was incredibly tough. it was wonderful in many many ways and a miracle in my mind, but it was by no means easy. every day is a gift, and i believe that. but saying that to someone who just got a year, or saying “congrats on a year, now the work starts!” seems kind of condescending and dismissive in my mind. that’s just my take.

i had no idea if the suggestions others were telling me were going to work, i’d never done any of this recovery stuff. i simply wasn’t sure if it was going to work. and i’m not suggesting that on day 366 i understood it all or anything close, but, on day 366 i realized i’d been helped to reach a goal i’d previously never thought possible. and moving forward i had just the slightest bit more confidence that these suggestions and actions DID in fact work.

so my second year was pretty smooth. been a few months past my second one and getting a bit tense with some things going on, but i have complete faith all of it will shake out fine in the end and i just gotta ride this wave a bit. if i were experiencing this stuff in my first month or i can’t say i’d be drinking/using, but i certainly would have no faith this would work out.

best to you and keep at it :slight_smile:


My second year was so much easier. I didn’t have near the compulsion to drink, and it just seemed like normal mundane life… which I was totally wanting. Life was chaos as a drunk, I was a wrecking ball, I yearned for that regular old life of getting to work, paying bills, enjoying some simple hobbies and being there for my kids.


Year 2 was easy. Year 3 I basically forgot I was once a loser. Its not even an issue anymore and seems silly it ever was.


also, congrats on getting that year. as the posts here suggest thats no small accomplishment, so way to go. also, for what its worth, i eat dinner weekly w a small group of friends in recovery. one lady has over three decades of sobriety and she said years 22-27 were her hardest. she says that not to discourage or anything but just that life happens and shit gets fucked up and times get tough no matter how many days weve been sober. but we stand a chance moving past them in a healthy manner if were sober.

keep at it :slight_smile:

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My reasoning for asking this question is because I see myself struggling with essentially the responsibility of being a sober living house president, on a treatment committee for the district I attend more regularly, I’m a somewhat viable helper with the CPC/PI committee, struggling with trying to control my life again, as well being a father, and school. I know this is God showing me I can handle anything but sometimes it’s hard to share that while being the only person to have worked all 12 steps

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Through my first year I went through all my physical changes of sobriety then in my second year it was my mental changes.
Some find this harder some find it easer to cope with because you aren’t reaching for your DOC right away.
I definitely had my ups and downs my 2nd year now being almost 3 years which I will be 2 days after you hit 2 years. It’s gotten a lot easier

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Cant really remember dont think it was was working the program by then so id say it was easier i think

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Brad Pitt talks sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous: ‘I removed my drinking privileges’

Maeve McDermott USA TODAY

Published 11:24 AM EDT Sep 5, 2019

With starring roles in two of 2019’s biggest movies, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Ad Astra,” Brad Pitt spoke to the New York Times about a particularly cathartic experience that contributed to his health and success this year, when he quit drinking and began going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges," he said, before praising his AA group, which was comprised solely of men. “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard. It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”

Despite his status as one of Hollywood’s most recognizable movie stars, Pitt shared that nobody in his group sold his stories – told to the other members in confidence – to the tabloids.


I just failed my second year so I get it. There’s a good possibility that maintenance is a lot trickier than one would think.

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This is exactly how it’s been for me as well.


Having hit 21 months last week (I’m about 2 weeks behind Lea), my second year has been much easier. The first year was focusing on staying sober and wrapping my head around all of the wreckage I caused. This year I have been able to work on regaining the trust of my wife, some family and close friends. I haven’t even tried to mend broken bridges caused to some of my family and friends. Sobriety has allowed me to completely cut family and so called friends out of my life who were nothing but leeches.

I started the steps early on, but after my sponsor decided to start drinking, it really affected me and I stopped my 1st step half way through. I haven’t felt like started again because I don’t want to go through that again.

With that being said, year two has given me strength and shown me I can deal with adversity and still stay clean. So, I have decided on 29 APR 20, my 2nd anniversary, I will start my first step again and start recovering. I’ve stayed clean for almost 2 years, but haven’t been recovering. If sobriety gave me a good 2nd year, recovery should help year 3 be even better.