In general, those of us who have struggled with addiction remember with visceral clarity the day we became sober for good. Though we may remember very little about the process of the addiction through the years. We might not have felt it taking hold; we may not have remembered the first time we ever used (let alone abused) a substance. Still, whether it’s the one-year chip we carry in our wallet or the setting (St. Patrick’s Day, 2004, etc.), we tend to remember when we let it go.
Now there might be a lot of feelings around that. Lots of people who have never dealt with substance abuse issues may wonder if you keep track, or if they should bring it up. Addicts tend to hide in the shadows at times, putting an aura of “That’s all behind me now” and only contemplate their achievement in their thoughts. Instead of cloaking it in shame, be proud of your commitment and progress. This is where the Sober-Versary comes in.
The anniversary of your sobriety is no small matter, and it should be treated like any momentous celebration. The only catch? YOU are the one who decides how to celebrate it. It doesn’t matter if you want to go to the last place you ever drank and consider for a moment how far you’ve come, or taking your family out for complete, blissful fun. You deserve to celebrate, and to be celebrated. (OBVIOUS NOTE: Don’t celebrate by using again).
Feeling a little bit awkward? Not sure how to start? Try these small tips to get your creative juices flowing and who knows? You may have a yearly tradition in the works before you know it:
- Return to the scene of your last use if you can. Spend a moment contemplating how far you’ve come.
- Each year on your Sober-Versary, note all the things you learned about yourself since your last Sober-Versary.
- Grab some friends and family and whomever helped you leave addiction behind. Head to the park with them and let them know how much you appreciate their support.
- If you’re the open-book type, write a short—or long—post on social media, telling your story
- Each year, treat yourself to undertake something life-affirming rather than something destructive. Guitar lessons, art classes, learning to do your taxes—the choice is up to you!
None of this is mandatory, nor is it essential to continued sobriety. Nevertheless, when we build ourselves from rubble, we should be allowed to look in awe at what we’ve created—on our own terms, with our full hearts.
Leave addiction behind and celebrate the wonder that is you at Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California. We are a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint—it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138