Last Updated: February 15, 2023
If you are dealing with a substance use disorder, it might seem like a celebration is hard to find. After all, you have struggled for a long time, and you know that it can be difficult to stay sober and in recovery. However, it can also be joyful. Recovery is not just a hard time; it is an exciting time as well. Here are some of the times that you should celebrate because your sobriety is a cause for celebration.
1. When You Are No Longer Physically Dependent on Drugs or Alcohol
This can happen early on in your road to recovery. With medical assistance, you can move safely off drugs or alcohol, moving through symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal can be scary to many people who are looking at becoming sober. Seeing people who have moved onto another stage of recovery and then celebrating this milestone yourself allows you to acknowledge that you have made progress, even if you feel like you are very early in your recovery. According to Dual Diagnosis, at this time – potentially around 30 days into your recovery, you are “still working through some of the issues that helped (the) addiction to develop.”
2. When You Start to Work Through Your Feelings
Many people turn to drugs and alcohol due to past or current trauma or other diagnoses that lead to intense and difficult emotions. In rehab, you will start to gain strategies to help you manage these emotions without turning back to drugs and alcohol. You will build your personal strategies through counseling and alternative therapies such as art, recreation, and even specialist therapies such as equine therapy. Over time, you will find that you can access support groups as well, such as 12-step or other groups. The community that you find and the strategies and daily practices that you develop can help you manage your feelings without drugs and alcohol.
3. Achieving a Personal Goal
Your goals can drop by the wayside when you are handling a substance use disorder. When you reclaim them, this is cause for celebration.
For instance, if you have always wanted to work in a new field but you were feeling trapped by your old job and your old life, looking for and securing work in that field is something to celebrate. It is a new step into a new life that feels more like you.
You do not need to make a huge change in your career to celebrate, either. If you find yourself seeking out new ways of being, enjoying new hobbies, and finding new friends, you can celebrate this as well. These are all part of the you who is sober – a person who enjoys a well-rounded work and life balance that works for your overall health and wellbeing.
4. Maintaining Your Mental Health
Many people struggle with a dual diagnosis. You might have ADHD, anxiety, depression, or another diagnosis that makes it even harder to get and stay sober. When you develop strategies and seek help to find a way to manage your mental health diagnosis, this is a time to celebrate. You are not only taking a step toward mental wellness, but you are helping to secure your physical wellbeing and sobriety.
5. Reentering Relationships and Work
If you have decided to make a change in your life or you want to go back to your existing workplace, it is a big step to move into this workplace as your new, sober self. You might find yourself celebrating a life of sobriety that involves meaningful work. You are feeling well enough and you have the strategies and support systems you need to manage work and your recovery.
6. Feeling Physically Capable
Substance use is not only a mental and emotional load – it is also a physical one. When you entered rehab, you might have thought that you would never feel physically good again. Exercise can create a natural feeling of happiness, and it can make you feel strong, powerful, and in control. Whether you celebrate losing weight and becoming more physically fit or learning a new sport such as running, when you feel strong and capable, it is a cause for celebration.
7. Significant Anniversaries
You are in recovery for life. Every day could be a celebration, but people might choose to celebrate some particularly significant milestones. Once you are 5 years or 10 years into your recovery, you will really have something to celebrate. Who knows what you will have achieved due in part to your sobriety? Some people in recovery have moved into deeper, closer relationships with the friends and family that they had before they started on the recovery process, while others will have changed their lives entirely, looking for a new direction in work or in life. Celebrate the many years of positive choices that you have made.
8. When You Can Support Others
Over time, you will grow into your recovery. You will know that your situation is always evolving, and you will develop new strategies for staying sober. After a time, you can begin to share this knowledge with others. You might become involved in a 12-step program or even choose a career in an area such as youth work or counseling.
According to Drug Rehab, the sobriety journey “is an opportunity to grow our spirits, to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, and to gain independence that was previously inconceivable.” When you become involved in supporting others, this is a new step in your recovery, and it speaks to the feeling of competence that you have about your ability to stay sober.
At The Recovery Village Columbus, we think that recovery is something to strive for and something to celebrate. We know that you are on your own journey of recovery, and we are here to support you through the many steps of that process, from medical assistance to aftercare. Whether you are looking for Ohio addiction treatment resources or seeking a support system, contact us today to learn about admission.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.