Attaining physical sobriety isn’t easy. However, through willingness and commitment, many people complete treatment. And with the help of aftercare services and support from their loved ones, they make it to a year of sobriety.
In 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, when a member reaches their first year of sobriety, it’s cause for much celebration.
The member often receives cake, commemoration chips, and praise from fellow sober peers. Any length of sobriety for someone with an addiction is applaudable, but the first year is always special.
If you have a loved one in recovery and want to know how to celebrate their first sober year, read on to find out how to congratulate them properly.
How Special Is One Year Of Sobriety?
Someone with a drug or alcohol problem will often engage in substance abuse despite the negative consequences that arise.
Warnings from parents, partners, friends, or even authorities may not be enough to stop someone with an SUD from using or drinking.
Many mental health professionals and people with a history of substance abuse suggest the will to stop abusing substances must come from within the person.
This can mean abuse continues for years before someone decides enough is enough. After so many years of addiction, rebuilding your life after addiction is a challenge.
Unfortunately, relapse is common. The stress of living life without a chemical substitute, the heartache of lost partners due to past behaviors, or boredom can make someone resort to substances.
When someone can overcome all of these challenges and reach their year milestone, it’s a great accomplishment.
It should be celebrated not just for them but for others trying to get sober who can view this as a goal that’s attainable for them, too.
How Can I Congratulate Someone On Their Accomplishment?
There are several ways you can congratulate a loved one on a year of sobriety. Applauding this milestone is a great way to help them stay motivated in recovery.
Here are four ways to congratulate someone on their year of sobriety:
- Express pride
- Provide support and help
- Offer companionship
- Affirm Progress
Let’s explore each of these.
One of the easiest ways to congratulate a year of sobriety is to let the person know how proud you are of their accomplishment.
It’s easy for someone in recovery to forget how far they’ve come from their last drink or drug. As sober time builds, they may begin to desire other things, such as financial security or a partner.
By expressing pride in their time and acknowledging that maintaining sobriety isn’t easy, they are reminded that despite the challenges they’ve faced they’re still sober, and that’s a wonderful accomplishment.
Provide Support And Help
Some people are still fixing things from their past, even after a year of sobriety. Use this celebration to ask if you can be of assistance to them.
Support can be driving them to 12-step meetings, medical appointments, or job interviews. Maybe they need help filling out an application or creating a resume.
The point is to let them know that because they are helping themselves by choosing sobriety, you are also willing to help in their journey.
In almost all cases, no one gets sober by themselves. It usually requires the help of several people, including family members, a sponsor, and friends.
A great way to congratulate your loved one is to continue to be or inquire how you can be a part of their trusted circle.
Support systems in addiction recovery are vital for life-long addiction recovery.
Ways you can be a better companion are:
- attending meetings with your loved one
- asking what their triggers are so you can refrain from doing them
- answering their phone calls and texts when available
- being a non-judgmental and active listener
- if your partner is the one celebrating, planning a sober date
Some in recovery want to downplay their progress or don’t know how to accept praise. You can help them become more comfortable with success by affirming their journey.
This can start with simple phrases. Saying one or more of the below validations puts an exclamation point on their year and encourages them to stay on their current path.
Say these phrases to someone congratulating a year clean of substances:
- “Keep on doing what you’re doing.”
- “You deserve happiness.”
- “You’re an inspiration.”
- “I’m so happy you’re doing well.”
- “You are very strong.”
- “I’m so happy to see you taking care of yourself.”
- “I’m so proud of you.”
- “You deserve a happy and healthy life.”
Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts
If you know someone who needs help starting their path to recovery, there are many New England rehab centers for addiction treatment that can aid in beginning the process.
If you or your loved one are ready to find help, call our helpline to talk to our staff of specialists today and begin your journey to a year of sobriety.