If you’ve watched loved ones struggle with addiction, you know how heart wrenching it is to see them suffer. If they have been working on their sobriety, you also know how hard they have to work – every single day.
Even if you offer encouragement and support, sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. Sobriety is difficult, and every success deserves to be celebrated. When addicts make it one day, one week, one month, one year, and longer, they should be praised.
Whether in small or big ways, here are some ideas for how you can celebrate sobriety milestones.
Write a note
Writing a card or letter about how proud you are is meaningful and will likely be treasured for years to come. Don’t worry about writing perfectly, rather simply express how you feel. Tell a story about the moment you realized your loved one had turned a corner, share a poem, or simply write a few sentences about the journey you’ve been watching take place.
Give a gift
Pretty much everyone likes presents, right? This gift doesn’t have to be related to sobriety, although it certainly can be. Buy an entertaining book, craft a decoration, choose a fun board game, whatever you like. If your loved one is a snacker, pick a favorite treat. No matter the gift, make it special by wrapping it nicely. The extra effort will show your loved one you know how big a deal each milestone is.
Throw a party
Because many parties involve alcohol, people who are sober are sometimes left out. Show how much fun a party can be by planning a soiree with decorations, food, (non-alcoholic) drinks, music, games, mingling or anything else you think will make the event special. Set up a homemade photo booth for people to take pictures with props, and have them leave a copy to create a photo book after the event, so your loved one will have a memento to show that sobriety is something to celebrate.
Try something new
For the next sobriety milestone, take up a hobby you and your loved one have been talking about doing. Sign up for those dance lessons, join a hiking club, enroll in a music class, start an online meditation course, or do anything else that you can enjoy together. Not only will your loved one feel celebrated for the hard work of sobriety, your relationship will grow closer.
Because addiction is a disease that takes, use sobriety milestones as reasons to give back. Volunteer to speak to other addicts, run in a race that raises money for addiction research or help at a local rehab. You can also volunteer somewhere unrelated to addiction, such as at an animal shelter, library or community event. Both the sobriety milestone and volunteering will make you and your loved one feel good.
Connect with others
No matter how you choose to celebrate sobriety milestones, you can connect with others on the same journey. Pacific Bay Recovery understands the challenge of watching a friend, family member or loved one struggle with addiction. We are here to help.