Sobriety is a lifelong journey – a concept that might feel daunting to consider. That’s why it can help to have specific anniversaries to look forward to. The road to recovery isn’t always a straight, smooth path, especially in the earliest stages. It’s crucial to recognize any victories that occur along the way, no matter how small they might seem. Here are some ways to celebrate sobriety milestones.
1. Sobriety Chips or Coins
Participants in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs often receive small tokens called chips or coins to signify how long they’ve been sober. These badges serve as physical reminders of progress made on the recovery journey and can be a source of pride and motivation.
Because all AA groups operate independently, chip use and appearance vary widely. However, members often receive these tokens at specific sobriety milestones, such as one month, one year, etc. Some 12-step groups also offer a 24-hour medallion to remind new members that staying sober is a one-day-at-a-time decision. If your group offers coins, chips or other tokens, collecting them can inspire you to keep pursuing your goals.
2. Get Yourself a Gift
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many people from being able to attend in-person 12-step group meetings, you may want to take it upon yourself to commemorate various sobriety milestones with personalized mementos. Have a watch, keychain, ring or another small item engraved with the date or your favorite recovery saying. Every time you look at it, it can renew your enthusiasm.
3. Celebrate With Loved Ones
Recovery is a significant accomplishment, and one you might not have achieved without your dedicated support system. Take the opportunity to celebrate your sobriety milestones by surrounding yourself with the friends and loved ones who have been there for you at every step of the way. Inviting your sober supporters to share in your success is an excellent way to make amends to people you hurt during active addiction and show them how much you appreciate them.
4. Check on Your Recovery Progress
Your sobriety anniversary is an excellent time to take a “pulse check” of your progress – especially if you feel like you might be on the verge of relapsing. Schedule a meeting with your therapist or recovery sponsor. If you feel stable enough to do so, pay it forward by spending the day volunteering for a mental health crisis hotline.
5. Make It a Special Occasion
Like your birthday, you can treat your sobriety anniversary as a personal holiday. Take the day to treat yourself to something fun and rewarding. The crucial thing is that you recognize your success with something unique and memorable, like a massage, a yoga retreat or a day on the water.
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