Your sobriety date is one of the most important parts of your recovery. The first day that you got clean is either the first day you didn’t use or the last day you used and went to treatment. For most men, it is both one of the best and the worst days of their lives. When we come to our sobriety date, we usually do not do so gracefully. We have hit something close to what we might call “bottom”- the worst our addiction and our lives had become as of yet; bad enough to warrant a life changing decision like seeking sobriety. Forever, our sobriety date remains imprinted on our soul. The day we got sober is our anchor to our recovery. Changing that date means everything. We don’t want to relapse. We don’t want to face another bottom. We don’t want to start over. Part of the reason we celebrate our sobriety date is to keep our momentum going- another month, another three months, another six months, and another year committed to our sobriety.
Celebrating your sobriety with a drink or a drug may sound ridiculous, however, ridiculous is the path of logic when it comes to addiction. Many a men make mistakes when it comes to celebrating their sobriety, their greatest mistake being turning to a drink or drug to celebrate. Though sobriety date anniversaries are joyous times, they are often accompanied by discomfort and what is often described as “squirrely” feelings. The “anniversary effect” phenomenon of trauma applies to celebrating your sobriety date. Despite all the good which has come of your recovery, your sobriety date is still a reminder of how bad addiction was when it was at its worst. All of those negative, frightening feelings can be overwhelming and quickly lead you down the wrong path. To stay on the path of recovery, follow these do’s and don’t’s.
- Do celebrate with friends and family
- Don’t celebrate alone
- Do reflect on what it was like, how you’ve changed, and how life is now
- Don’t spend time lamenting over the “good old days”
- Don’t get lost in a cycle of shame and guilt over how bad your addiction had become
- Do something special to you to celebrate that day
- Don’t do something you might have done in your addiction if it will trigger you
- Do share your story with other men from a place of humility
- Don’t brag about your sobriety from a place of ego
- Do feel proud of yourself, because you should!
- Don’t forget to find gratitude for all the people who have supported you on your journey
- Do indulge in some delicious treats
- Don’t go overboard wrecking your body with sugar or caffeine
- Do remember that it is still one day at a time, no matter how far you have come
- Don’t forget that all it takes is one relapse to take you away from recovery
Your sobriety date can be today. At Tree House Recovery, we are helping men find freedom from addiction by guiding them through physical and mental transformations. Sustainable change creates sustainable recovery. Call us today for information on how you or a man in need in your life can find freedom from addiction: (503) 850-2474