It can be hard to know how to talk to or what to do for someone in recovery. If you have a loved one with a sobriety anniversary coming up, you may not know what you should do.
Celebrating a loved one’s sobriety can be challenging. On the one hand, this is a huge accomplishment, and you’re very proud of what they’ve done. On the other hand, however, you may not know whether they want to draw attention to this milestone or an appropriate way to celebrate. The good news is that it’s not quite as difficult as it seems! Keep reading to learn how to celebrate a sobriety anniversary and some sobriety gift ideas.
What Is a Sobriety Anniversary?
A sobriety anniversary marks a period that a person has remained sober after recovering from an addiction. Unlike birthdays or other anniversaries, sobriety anniversaries aren’t limited to annual celebrations. Early in the recovery process, most people celebrate sobriety milestones at one week, one month, six months and a year. Each day can be a challenge, so every milestone is celebrated during that first year. After this, it’s typical to celebrate on an annual basis, with a particular emphasis on milestones every five years.
This continued celebration is crucial, as it recognizes how difficult recovery can be. A 2014 study found that 40-60% of people relapse during the first year.
Why Celebrating a Sobriety Anniversary Is Important
Sobriety is a lifelong journey. It means an individual has to wake up and make the right choice every day. And, while that may get easier as time goes on, it’s still important to recognize the challenge. When you celebrate a sobriety anniversary, you’re acknowledging what the individual has accomplished. They’ve managed to stay on track, avoid or say no to temptations and make choices to stay healthy and happy.
A sobriety anniversary is also an opportunity to reflect on where the individual used to be and where they are now. They can recognize and celebrate how they’ve turned their life around and how much it’s improved.
Suggestions for How to Celebrate a Sobriety Anniversary
One way to help your loved one feel great about their sobriety anniversary is by turning it into a celebration. Here are some fun sobriety anniversary ideas:
Make It a Special Occasion
Treat a sobriety anniversary like a birthday or romantic anniversary, as a reason to do something special. You could book a relaxing day at a spa, go on a hike or spend the day at the beach. Or, you could order a cake and make a reservation at their favorite restaurant. For a significant milestone — five years, 10 years, etc. — consider making it extra special by booking a trip!
Spend the Day With Loved Ones
If the person doesn’t want to make their sober anniversary a big deal with celebrations, you could do something simple. Just arrange to spend the day with family or friends. This can help them connect with their support system and remind them why they’ve worked so hard to stay sober.
Witness Them Getting Their Chip
If your loved one goes to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, a sobriety anniversary typically involves getting a chip. You could offer to attend the meeting so you’re there to witness when they earn their next chip.
Often, a person who reaches a sobriety anniversary knows how lucky they are to have their support system. You can commemorate this milestone by giving back to those who don’t have such a robust support system. Volunteering together can be a great way to celebrate this special anniversary.
Suggestions for Sobriety Anniversary Gifts
On top of making plans for your loved one, you may also want to get them a sobriety anniversary gift. You want to make sure the present is appropriate and thoughtful so it compliments this significant milestone. Here are some popular sobriety gifts people give:
A Memento to Commemorate the Day
You can get your loved one a personal token to mark their accomplishment. This could be a journal or a piece of jewelry, a watch or a key chain with the date engraved.
A personalized journal is a thoughtful gift that can also help your loved one on their journey. Many people in recovery take up journaling as a way to process their thoughts. Alternatively, a watch, key chain or other frequently used item can be a constant positive reminder of what they’ve accomplished.
Write a Personal Letter
When you have a loved one who’s been through recovery, their addiction likely impacted you as well. A lovely idea for a sentimental gift is to write a letter describing what their recovery means to you. Note that you shouldn’t make this letter all about yourself but instead focus on the relationship. You might share that you’re proud of them, happy they’re healthy again and excited about the progress they’ve made. This letter can be an incredibly powerful gift that your loved one may rely on in future moments of temptation.
Donate to a Nonprofit
If your loved one has a nonprofit they support, you could make a donation on their behalf. Many organizations offer support to people struggling with addiction who can’t afford rehabilitation costs. Donating is a nice gesture that gives back to the community and helps others still making progress toward sobriety.
A sobriety anniversary is an opportunity to show your loved one how proud you are and that you support them. To make sure you honor their wishes, consider asking them how they want to celebrate this milestone.
FHE Health Offers Recovery Help
Your first sobriety anniversary can be around the corner once you take the first step toward recovery. FHE Health is a professional rehabilitation treatment center that focuses on using evidence-based practices to address addiction. Take control of your life today, and let us help you. Contact us to learn more by calling (844) 299-0618.