If you’re anything like me, the word “celebration” immediately makes you think of partying. Though I am now in recovery and can trust myself to successfully attend a non-sober party without drinking or drugging, I rarely choose to do so. Instead, I prefer to avoid situations where I am forced to hold a conversation with people who are drunk or on drugs.
When it comes to recovery, your recovery milestones and sober anniversaries are important reminders of your successes and they should be commemorated just like any other important achievement. With the idea of a grand booze-laden bash out of the question, you may find that your celebration options are a bit bleak.
Not to fear, friends. There are plenty of options to celebrate your recovery milestones with festivity and fun. Here are 4 sobriety-approved ideas to get the party started!
1. Host a sober party.
Before my recovery, I don’t remember ever using the words “sober” and “party” in the same sentence. Fortunately, I now enjoy sober parties and can’t imagine being forced to go to one where everybody is wasted.
It might be a foreign concept to those not in recovery but a sober party is just a regular party minus the alcohol. Sometimes, I think we forget that a party is just any social gathering that involves entertainment. As you think about it in this way, the possibilities actually become endless. Just remember to stock up on munchies, sodas, music, and games.
2. Organize a day to give back.
When I think about my recovery, it makes me want to give back to the community. I want to give money to the homeless, volunteer at shelters, or give people seeking recovery a shoulder to cry on.
Celebrate your recovery by getting a small group of friends together to give back. You can put together small gift baskets and hand them out to the homeless. You can call your local shelters and see what they need and how you can help. Even something as small as picking up trash can be a great way to put your personal desires aside and start helping others.
3. Chair a meeting.
While chairing a 12-step meeting may not be feasible for everyone as some AA locations require a minimum amount of time under your belt, I recommend those who qualify give it a whirl. Celebrating your recovery this way can help you affirm your sobriety as well as help other people reach theirs. People who have seen you grow will look at you and see that the AA program still works, while newcomers will come to you and ask you how you did it.
At the end of the meeting, the positive feelings you get from hearing everyone’s stories, sharing yours, and being able to give back all the goodness you’ve received through sobriety are unsurpassable. If you don’t have time to chair a meeting, perhaps you can just suggest the topic of the meeting or volunteer to share first on your special day. Both are excellent ways to celebrate your milestones.
4. Take a personal day.
If you’re not a social butterfly, you can still celebrate your recovery by taking a personal day for yourself. Take a day off of work and do something you love. After all, it’s important to remember that you are your number one priority. Try doing something you’ve never done before. Visit a local park where you can read or have lunch in the sun. Pamper yourself. Whatever you decide to do, remember that you have worked hard for your recovery and you deserve to celebrate however you please, as long it won’t set you back on your sobriety.
While it might seem difficult to find a fun way to celebrate your recovery milestones, it becomes easier as you think about the things that truly make you happy from the inside and out—one of which is recovery in the first place.