Why You Should Be Celebrating Your Recovery Birthday
All of us choose to recognize major life events and occasions with celebrations. Marriages, birthdays, anniversaries … these are just a few of the life events many of us celebrate regularly, but they all have one thing in common. They each signify personal growth and progress, which is something to be proud of. Yes that’s right!
If you are currently enrolled in a drug and alcohol rehab program Recovery birthday should be one of those annual milestones that you celebrate. This date carries a powerful meaning and purpose, and it’s important to recognize that as you continue your life in recovery. If you’ve never considered celebrating your Recovery birthday or aren’t even sure what it is, here is an explanation as well as a few ideas on how to celebrate.
What Is a Recovery Birthday?
Celebrating Recovery Birthdays at Shafa
Remembering and celebrating Recovery milestones is not a new thing. People in recovery have been celebrating their Recovery milestones for decades, with one of the first references of a personal Recovery memento dating back to the mid-1940s and carried by Clarence H. Snyder.1 Although it was not a formal celebration, this memento was a reminder of the progress and growth that he experienced over time in recovery.
A Recovery birthday (also known as a Recovery anniversary, sober anniversary, recovery anniversary, or Recovery milestone) also serves as a reminder of the progress you’ve made. It can be the last day you used drugs or drank alcohol. It can also be the day after you last used. Or if you prefer, it can be the date that you first entered a drug and alcohol rehab treatment program. Only you can determine what date will serve as your Recovery birthday, but the most important thing is that it carries special significance for you.
As you well know, relapse is also a part of recovery, but it does not signify failure. If you choose to remember more than one Recovery anniversary after relapsing, that’s up to you. For some, doing so may serve as a reminder that recovery is a continuous, lifelong process and it’s worth fighting for.
The Significance of Celebrating Recovery
If you’ve never considered celebrating your Recovery birthday or Recovery anniversary, here are just a few reasons why you might want to start.
Celebrating a Recovery birthday reminds us to be humble.
All of us have done things we’re not proud of and no one is perfect. Whether you’ve been sober for two months or 12 years, we should all remember that we didn’t get here on our own. Most of us probably had a whole group of people supporting us, cheering us on, and providing encouragement and counsel along the way. When we look back at our Recovery birthdays, we should remember that our success is not a reflection of how great we are, rather it is a reflection of all the care and support that was poured into us by others.
Celebrating a Recovery birthday gives us an opportunity to thank our mentors and peers.
Addiction and Recovery
Recovery should be celebrated, in whatever way that looks like for you. Taking time to mark these milestones can not only be fun, but personally rewarding. Alternatively, tracking success in Recovery may not be for everyone, and that is completely understandable and normal. Some people may even find that looking at the number of days in Recovery as a constant reminder that relapse is always a risk. For these reasons and many more, it’s okay to keep your recovery to yourself and just be glad to be living a life in sobriety.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction or substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, get help now. Mental health and substance use disorders often co-occur and must be treated simultaneously as a dual diagnosis for the best success in recovery.
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