Recovery is a constant journey, and even those who have graduated from a center for alcohol and drug treatment still face challenges to their sobriety. However, an individual should not isolate themself to avoid these stresses. Celebrating accomplishments and milestones and creating new holiday traditions are part of maintaining sobriety. Hosting these celebrations can provide the sense of control necessary to balance sobriety with such earned festivities.
The Need for Celebration
Recovery is filled with trials and change, and it is essential to celebrate overcoming obstacles and embrace a transformed mentality and lifestyle. While many may be wary of celebrating their accomplishments due to either prevalent feelings of guilt or uncertainty on how to celebrate, it is always crucial to acknowledge when an individual has accomplished personal goals or reached significant milestones.
Celebration is critical for acknowledging continued progress in recovery. Whether celebrating a full year sober, rebuilding relationships, or even applying or interviewing for a new job, taking time to recognize these accomplishments and the hurdles is paramount. Hosting dedicated celebrations can help an individual remain motivated in their recovery journey; one should never feel as if they cannot relish in these accomplishments due to preconceived notions surrounding parties or celebrations.
Others may face the unique hurdles that holidays present in recovery. From holiday celebrations to summertime cookouts, these festivities can come packaged with stressful memories or may hold close connotations to substance abuse.
Finding new ways to celebrate, rather than avoiding festivities and family gatherings as a whole, is a significant turning point in an individual’s continued sobriety. Throwing celebrations for these events can ensure that an individual is able to engage with family and friends while maintaining focus on sobriety.
Hosting Your Own Sober Celebration
There can be many reasons to celebrate sobriety. Sober birthdays or milestones should never go unrecognized, while others may want to continue building on holiday traditions in a sober light. An individual should never have to ignore these aspects of life in order to prioritize sobriety.
However, how an individual celebrates will change, and hosting celebrations is the best way to ensure that they can express themselves and have fun while aligning with sober goals. There are a few strategies individuals can employ to ensure these celebrations are as effective as possible.
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#1. Control the Guest List
One of the main advantages of hosting one’s own celebrations is that one can control the guest list, inviting only people who are aware and accepting of a dedicated sober celebration. Unforeseen guests or those who do not understand an individual’s sober decisions can compromise any atmosphere.
Inviting only trusted friends and family members that are okay with abstaining from other influences can ensure that these celebrations remain sober. Curating the guest list and surrounding oneself with trusted people can also provide mental respite, as the individual will trust those around them to remain equally abstinent from the use of drugs or alcohol.
#2. Create New Traditions
While individuals may already have traditions in place from their time using drugs or alcohol, these traditions may need to be changed to accommodate a new lifestyle. Even if not directly engaging with drugs or alcohol, some activities may be too closely tied to substance abuse, and changing these traditions can help quell these stresses. Creating new traditions is a great way to add distance from these previous connotations and prioritize continued sobriety.
Hosting one’s own celebrations can mean an individual can set up new activities to engage with. Embracing new traditions or focusing on the spirit of the holiday rather than previous customs can all create distance from previous practices, making celebrations and holidays feel renewed in a sober light. New traditions don’t need to be anything extravagant. Starting gift exchanges, movie marathons, or game nights can all promote these new traditions in recovery.
#3. Keep an Itinerary
Planning specific events ahead of time — such as when to put on a movie or when food will hit the table — can help an individual continue to structure their festivities in a controlled manner. This will ensure that the individual always has something to focus on while creating an engaging event for all.
#4. Have an Escape Plan
Maintaining one’s hard-earned sobriety can be difficult, and even the most planned and curated celebrations can still come with unforeseen stresses. Hosting a celebration also ensures that one has access to the best possible support going into these situations.
Having a support system ready to intercept during times of stress or enacting an escape plan in case of any unforeseen stresses, can help individuals prepare the best possible plan given the people in attendance and location. Having code words or a dedicated place where one can get away from festivities is crucial, and being able to readily employ such a plan can make a huge difference in securing one’s continued sobriety and mental health.
Celebrating holidays and milestones in sobriety can feel intimidating. However, we at Hawaii Island Recovery understand the need to identify and celebrate overcoming each obstacle along your recovery journey. Being able to relish in your accomplishments while maintaining sobriety is a profound feeling. Our trained staff and supportive community of peers enable us to create an atmosphere for you to champion your best accomplishments and strides throughout the recovery process. From your first step into detox to ongoing outpatient care, our rehab in Hawaii is prepared to stand beside you each step of the way, providing educated support and celebrating your hard-earned accomplishments. For more information on how we can create a plan for you, or to learn more about the unique natural, experiential, and spiritual advantages of a Hawaii environment, call to speak to a caring staff member today at (866) 390-5070.