I took my last drink of alcohol (hopefully for good) on February 19, 2007. I smoked my last cigarette (also hopefully for good) on December 31, 2010. In contrast, my friend quit street drugs and alcohol years ago, but she doesn’t know the exact dates.
12-step programs emphasize dates. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous all celebrate sobriety dates, clean dates and abstinence dates, respectively. For me, my sobriety date is extremely important. It commemorates a miraculous day when I was given another chance to live. The day I quit smoking is important to me too, but I might not remember it if it didn’t coincide with New Year’s. Perhaps I care more about my sobriety date because my struggle with alcohol was much harder. Even so, for the clean and sober folks I know who do not commemorate a specific clean date, (mind you, this is the minority of clean and sober folks I know) it is not because their sobriety isn’t important to them.