September is National Recovery Month
It’s the perfect time to celebrate your recovery, especially if you haven’t done so yet. Whether you’ve been sober for two weeks or two years, you’ve really accomplished something, and you need to remember and celebrate that, and not just during National Recovery Month, but all the time. Maybe you used to associate celebration with substance use, or maybe you just don’t like celebrating yourself, but either way, it’s perfectly ok to take some time to acknowledge what you’ve achieved.
Here are 10 ways to celebrate your recovery this month:
Share Your Accomplishment with the People in Your Life
Whether it’s your close family and friends or the fellow members of a support group, sharing your experiences and what you’ve accomplished can be cathartic and rewarding. Allowing yourself to be proud of what you’ve done is ok!
Celebrate Those Who Believed in You
Celebrate not only yourself, but the people who believed in you. When you’re celebrating your recovery milestones, it’s a great time to go ahead and express gratitude to those people. Your support network is such an important part of recovery, and if there are people in your life who made recovery possible, you’ll feel great letting them know – and they’ll feel great, too.
Keep a Recovery Journal
If you don’t already keep a recovery journal, now’s a great time to start one. It might seem cheesy, but journaling is one of the best ways to understand and process our feelings and stay accountable and work toward our goals, and a recovery journal in particular is very helpful for many people. You can write about whatever you want in your journal – like the obstacles you’ve overcome or your recovery milestones and other accomplishments. Journaling can also help you to work through those painful or hard-to-understand emotions that may be difficult to understand and process.
Throw a Recovery Party
Recovery is very personal, and it’s a different experience for each individual. So maybe the idea of inviting friends and family over to celebrate your recovery feels cringey, but if it doesn’t, it’s a great way to celebrate yourself and the people who’ve supported you in a fun environment. Make sure to invite fellow sober friends and family, as well as friends and loved ones who are supportive of your choices – and avoid inviting the people you know may not be so supportive. You could play games, eat, make and drink mocktails, and just catch up. If you’ve recently become sober, or if you simply don’t want to be around alcohol or drugs, make it a sober party, but if you feel comfortable and in control when other people are drinking, you can certainly give people the option to do so. It’s entirely your call.
Go On an Adventure
Many people who’ve chosen recovery have reported that, although at first, things may seem less fun without drugs or alcohol, recovery made them realize that life is much more fun and much more interesting when you’re not dependent on substances to have a good time. Take advantage of your newfound clarity to do something exciting. Try go-karts, hiking, paddle boating, kayaking, or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, ziplining or even skydiving. Some people like to celebrate something this big with a big adventure.
Try Something New
Even though it may not be as thrilling as skydiving, trying anything that’s new to you can feel exciting. Trying something new is a wonderful way to celebrate your recovery. So whether it’s a paint party, camping, salsa dancing, a new sport or group activity, or even just a new food, trying new things can challenge you to leave fear behind and continue to make positive changes in your life.
Write a Letter to Yourself
Write a letter to yourself, congratulating yourself on how far you’ve come. You can do this with pen and paper, and keep it somewhere safe at home, or you can use something like FutureMe.Org – a free service that allows you to send an email to your future self. After you write the email, you can choose the day you want it to be sent, and, as long as you have the same email address, you’ll see it in your inbox on that date. You can set the date as far in the future as you like, but most people set it for one year. So, one year from now, you can read the letter you wrote, and remember all that you’ve done, how good it felt to recover, and how far you’ve come.
Share Your Story
If you feel comfortable doing so, share your story on social media or on your blog. Recovery is, once again, very personal, so you should never feel pressured to tell anyone your story, but it can be very rewarding to share your experiences – and you may be able to help someone else who’s struggling. You can also help to fight the stigma that surrounds substance abuse, and let people know that it’s ok to ask for help.
Commemorate Your Recovery
Sometimes creating something can be very helpful when it comes to our mental health. Art is healing, and you can tap into that healing power by painting, sculpting, or otherwise creating something that tells your story or expresses the myriad of emotions that you probably went through during recovery. If you’re not the creative type, you can commission something. Some people even choose to get a tattoo to celebrate their recovery.
Become a Sponsor for Someone Else in Recovery
There’s no better way to celebrate recovery than to help someone else begin their journey. Sometimes it takes seeing someone else who made it through recovery to know that it really is possible, and seeing that person be happier and healthier and living a more carefree, more engaged, and more fulfilled life, can be the motivation they need. If you are able and willing, becoming a sponsor for someone is a wonderful way to celebrate your own recovery.
A Community of Hope and Caring
We hope this list gave you some ideas on how you can celebrate your recovery. There’s no shame in surviving substance abuse. In fact, it’s proof you’re strong, resilient, and highly capable. So don’t be afraid to really celebrate you this month, and always! And if you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out. Our goal is to provide fair access to mental health and substance abuse services to all members of our community. You can make an appointment for same-day access on our website, or you can reach our 24/7 crisis line at 757-925-2484 anytime you need to talk to someone.
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