Although most people have their own way of defining it, a sober anniversary is typically either the last day a person used or the first clean day. Naturally, it’s a big deal to someone who has overcome addiction. This is a day to reflect on where they’ve been and where they’re headed and thank the people who have helped them along that journey.
Just like a birthday, wedding anniversary, or even New Year’s Day, a sober anniversary is a sign of progress. It’s a milestone that marks another year of overcoming obstacles and renewing one’s commitment to leading a life that’s free from addiction. It’s an anniversary of a new beginning.
That deserves a celebration! Here are five ways to celebrate your loved one’s sober anniversary.
People spend generously when someone has lived or stayed married for another year. Isn’t someone who has managed to stay sober for another year and truly survived equally deserving of a gift?
Go ahead and splurge on someone who has stuck with their recovery, refused to give in to temptation, and changed their life. It can be fun, funny, or meaningful. It can be an experience, like a fancy dinner, sporting event, concert, or theatre performance. Take them on vacation to a place where they won’t be tempted by their surroundings.
Just remember that sober anniversaries are gift-worthy!
The idea here is that a person is likely would be missing out on special moments and experiences if they were still suffering from and struggling with addiction. In this way, sober anniversaries are the perfect time to celebrate life with new adventures!
Does your loved one want to go skydiving or bungee jumping? Have they always dreamed of going for a swim with dolphins? Did they express interest in learning to surf or fly a helicopter? What about climbing a big mountain or going on an African safari? Or singing lead in a band? Or running a 10K or marathon?
Whatever happens to be on it, you could help cross something off their bucket list every year until until the list is empty… Then help them to make a new one!
A necklace, bracelet, watch, or framed art with an inspirational quote will serve as a daily reminder of your loved one’s sobriety and the hard work that went into their achievement. This type of memento will also provide daily inspiration and motivation to stay the course, stay focused on recovery, and remain grateful for the happiness and opportunities made possible by sobriety.
Use a handwritten letter to show your loved one how much they mean to you and how proud of them you are. Encourage them to continue on their recovery journey. Talk about the things you look forward to doing with them. Include a photo that captures your relationship with your loved one.
Nobody writes letters anymore, which will make the gesture that much more special and appreciated.
There were probably dark days when a person struggling with addiction wasn’t exactly kind, respectful, or appreciative of loved ones, co-workers, and total strangers. Gratitude always takes center stage when celebrating a sobriety anniversary.
Think of ways to give back with your loved one. Volunteer with an organization that had a role in their recovery. Make a donation in your loved one’s name. Encourage them to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting and be an inspiration for people struggling to overcome addiction.
Giving back and showing gratitude could very well be the most rewarding way to celebrate a sober anniversary.
Offering co-ed medical detox programs in Los Angeles, California, DetoxLA takes great joy in helping people take the first steps toward their own sober anniversaries. So if you or a loved one is ready to seek help for addiction or are looking for alcohol and drug detox treatment in Hollywood, contact DetoxLA today.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Dane is the Director of Brand Strategy for Never Alone Recovery, where he helps brands in the mental health, addiction, and recovery industries connect with their audiences. Dane’s interests include technology, the film industry, travel, marketing, music, and coffee.