Recovery is no walk in the park. Any drastic lifestyle change is challenging, but recovery is particularly difficult— it’s not just a lifestyle overhaul, it’s the healing process of both a physical and mental disease. Anyone who achieves and maintains recovery has more than earned a chance to celebrate.
Why celebrate a sobriety milestone?
The milestones of sobriety— be they one month, six months or a whole year— deserve recognition as it’s another day that you’ve chosen health for yourself and prioritized your personal values and commitments over any cravings or temptations. And that’s no easy task.
Sobriety milestones should be celebrated because they are a recognition of the challenges you’ve faced, any you continue to face and all the ones you’ve overcome. They offer the chance to reflect on your story and experiences, to give back in ways you couldn’t before and to treasure the people in your life who made it possible.
How to celebrate sobriety
Celebrating your sobriety milestones doesn’t have to be a huge to-do (although it certainly can be!). Whatever enables you to feel proud of yourself and grateful for the second chance you’ve been given is a beautiful, wholesome way to commemorate the day.
1. Write letters of thanks
It’s likely that throughout your recovery journey a number of people supported and helped you. Maybe this was your therapist who actively helped with counseling and the creation of healthy coping methods. Is a family member or friend standing out in particular? What about a member of your support group who shared an impactful and vulnerable story?
It doesn’t matter who it was or how they touched your life, taking the time to thank them could impact them in turn. Consider celebrating sobriety by writing thank-you letters to some of the most influential people, especially if you haven’t been able to thank them before. You might find renewed gratitude for them, and they’ll undoubtedly be touched by the gesture.
2. Celebrate with your support group
You might also consider celebrating your sobriety milestone with your support group. Especially if you’ve all been together throughout inpatient and outpatient treatment, the group will have shared many experiences, good and bad, and including them in such an important celebration can be a unique way of extending your gratitude.
3. Create a vision board
Vision boards are a unique way for you to visualize your future. There’s probably a lot the addiction kept you from having, so creating a vision board can help you see and begin manifesting that future life for yourself.
You can make your vision board with anything, but traditionally it’s a compilation of photos, words, phrases and ideas that motivate and inspire you. Think collage, but personalized to what you want your future to look like. This can help keep you dedicated to recovery with a visual representation of the important, inspiring goals and motivators in your life.
4. Do something you love that you rarely have time for
Self care is an important aspect of recovery, so taking the day to do something special for yourself slightly out of the ordinary can be a special way of celebrating. There are tons of activities here, including:
- Visiting a favorite theme park
- Going to the zoo
- Sightseeing a nearby big city
- Taking a trip somewhere you love or have never been
- Finally treating yourself to a spa day
- Going to a sports event
- Seeing a stage performance
Obviously, only you know what it is you’d love to do, but consider splurging (within reason, of course) to commemorate this occasion.
5. Pursue a dream that addiction impacted
While battling addiction, it’s likely all your attention was focused there, meaning you had little time to pursue your dream career or further your education. Reaching a sobriety milestone might be the perfect encouragement you need to begin the next stage of your life.
You might want to go back to school and finish college, or get a master’s degree. Maybe you’d want to look into a certificate program so you can start pursuing a dream career? Or perhaps you just want to update your resume so you can start fresh with new job applications. Whatever it is, your sobriety milestone could be the perfect time to begin reclaiming your dreams.
6. Make a meal for your people
If you want your friends or family to join you in celebrating your sobriety milestone, consider hosting them for dinner or brunch. Not only is having a meal together relaxing, it can also strengthen and build that community even more. Plus, being thanked with a home cooked meal is always appreciated.
7. Journal about the things you’re most grateful for in sobriety
Throughout your journey to sobriety, you’ve undoubtedly learned and experienced a lot. You might consider starting the day of your sobriety birthday by journaling what these experiences have taught you, how you want to use them going forward and what you’re most grateful for overall on this day.
Here to celebrate sobriety with you
No matter how you choose to commemorate your sobriety milestone, we encourage you to do so in a way that holds personal meaning to you. And congratulations! It’s a huge accomplishment to reach this stage in your journey.
If you ever need additional support in maintaining your sobriety, our counselors are here for you. Contact Real Recovery anytime by calling 855-363-7325.