The journey to recovery is long and difficult. Every day is a struggle, some more than others. On your sobriety anniversary, you celebrate every day where you said “no,” every day that you stayed committed to your goals, and everything you have accomplished. Because of your sobriety, you have made your future bright. This is a huge accomplishment! Take time to invest in your future even more by celebrating your sobriety anniversary. There are numerous ways for your celebration to not lead to relapse. Keep reading for a few ideas on how you can celebrate your sobriety anniversary with those who matter most, including yourself.
Thank the People Who Supported You
Recovery is a huge personal accomplishment, but the likelihood is that you could not have gotten there without other people’s help. Good support systems can be the difference makers between success and failure. Celebrate your anniversary by reaching out to those who supported you along the way and thanking them. Showing your appreciation will remind yourself and them why they stuck with you through the hard times. It may even help them through some of their own difficult times. Gratitude is a beautiful way to give back to those who gave you so much.
Splurge on Something Nice
The bigger the milestone, the more there is to celebrate. You have worked each day to stay sober and resist temptation. Remind yourself why you are staying sober by splurging on something nice for yourself. Every time you see or use that something, you will remember that all your hard work has been worth it. Some may think that they do not deserve it, but celebrating successes is what helps keep us from turning them into failures. Don’t be afraid to celebrate yourself like you would anyone else, you deserve it!
Take a Trip
Have a travel bug? Have a destination you have been dying to go to, but haven’t had the opportunity? Now is your chance! Celebrating your sobriety anniversary is a great opportunity for you to take a celebration trip. If you are out traveling and relaxing, you’ll feel a great deal of validation for sticking with your goals. This time can also help you reset and make new plans for your future. A sobriety anniversary is a big deal and deserves to be given attention. Give yourself attention by taking a trip to see something new and unwind.
Throw a Party
One of the best ways to celebrate any major moment in life is with a party. Invite close friends, family members, and mentors over for a gathering. If preparation for parties stresses you out, keep it small and keep it simple. Instead of cooking an entire meal, consider setting out appetizers with toothpicks for easy handling. This will also make for quick and easy cleanup which will let you enjoy the gathering that much more. Creating an atmosphere where people can comfortably gather and celebrate with you, will remind you that your sobriety isn’t just for yourself; it is for the people you love.
Celebrate With Loved Ones
Speaking of celebrating with loved ones, they are most likely a major part of why you decided to get sober. Reach out to them and facilitate a gathering, either with a party or sit-down dinner. Take time to talk with them individually and thank them for their love and support. When you leave those conversations, you will feel connected, special, and an increased level of love and determination. Your loved ones are your biggest cheerleaders, and they will always want to celebrate your accomplishments with you.
Get a Special Token
For many, going to AA or NA meetings has been a major support on their journey to sobriety. Mentors and friends form relationships in those meetings that are deep and personal. Getting a special token helps symbolize this amazing milestone. Each time you see it, you will be reminded of the meetings you had and the relationships you cultivated. Owning a token is a personal reminder and an inspiration to those around them. With your token, you can be a mentor to others who struggle. This token can also act as a physical reminder to yourself and to others that people are never alone in their journey as recovering addicts.
Most individuals cannot stay on track without love and support from a whole community of people. Consider celebrating your anniversary by volunteering. Take this opportunity to serve someone in return for all the help you have received. Volunteering does not have to be in helping recovering addicts, volunteering at a homeless shelter, food kitchen, after-school program, or anything else you feel passionate about is a great way to celebrate. Reaching out to help others will increase your self-esteem and change the world, for the better, for someone else.
This might sound unique but scheduling a photography session is the perfect way to recognize your anniversary. Think of the time when you were struggling with addiction: Were you happy? What was your life like? More importantly, in this case, do you remember what you looked like? Since choosing to remain sober, you have changed in numerous ways. You have certainly changed physically. Don’t be afraid to document the good changes in your life. Schedule a photography session so you can be reminded of where you were and where you started. The change in your smile and the smile of those around you will show through the pictures.
Sobriety is a lifelong journey, recognize your day-to-day success by celebrating along the way. You deserve to be proud of yourself; better yet, you deserve to celebrate yourself. You’ve done lots of great work and God has helped you along the way. Spend the anniversary with people you love, thank those who helped you along the way, do something nice for yourself, and take a moment to recognize how far you’ve come. Taking the time to celebrate will give you hope and encouragement to keep going and stay committed to your resolution to stay sober. As the Bible says in Psalms 18:2–6, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” With continued persistence and God’s help, you can continue to stay sober and live your best life with confidence.
If you’ve conquered your addiction, apply to become part of the alumni program for additional support!