With September coined as National Recovery Month, a relevant topic that some may forget to discuss is the importance of celebrating recovery. There are so many things that people celebrate throughout their lives. We celebrate birthdays, new jobs, relationships, anniversaries, and much more. Celebrating these important milestones in a person’s life shouldn’t be taken for granted, and the same goes for celebrating your recovery.
Whether someone has been sober for a month or a year is an incredible victory that needs to be acknowledged. Not only is it important to celebrate recovery milestones and anniversaries for one individual, but it can also serve as an important reminder and motivator for the other individuals in a group. Whether in a meeting, a support group, or a group therapy session, discussing the milestone can help inspire others. Witnessing the trials and tribulations you have gone through to get to where you are today can inspire others to realize that they can do the same.
History of Recovery
Before today’s day and age, addiction, substance use, and mental disorders were taboo, barely spoken about, and even worse, never treated. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), mental health and substance use disorders were “considered to be intractable, and stories of recovery were rare.” Those struggling with substance use disorders or mental illness “were expected to end up in the least favorable places in society.”
The article from the SAMHSA on celebrating recovery also mentions the rejection often faced from family, friends, and or communities, causing individuals to feel disgraced and shameful. Unfortunately, many may continue to feel these things despite our progress with acceptance, understanding, and compassion for those struggling and trying to maintain recovery.
In a recent article, we discussed National Recovery Month in a little more detail. In summary, recovery month has helped to evolve the recovery process over the years. SAMHSA’s Recovery Month is, as they claim, “writing a new chapter in American History by bringing substance use and mental illness into the light and honoring the many pathways to recovery.”
In addition to celebrating recovery, it’s a time to focus on relapse prevention and education as well. We can effectively aid in the destigmatization of addiction, mental and substance use disorders by educating others.
Measuring the Success of Recovery
There is no one way to measure the success of recovery. It is dependent on the purpose, which is based essentially on the goals a person sets for themselves during early treatment and recovery. At the Lakehouse Recovery Center, we prioritize individualized treatment plans and emphasize the importance of our clients taking control of their recovery.
Working with the counselors and case managers we provide, you can develop several goals you would like to set in place not only for your recovery but also in the new phase of your life you’re creating for yourself. These can include job-related goals, reviewing interview skills, looking into continuing education programs, and helping to find the resources that can help achieve those goals.
In addition to goal setting, case managers will also emphasize relapse prevention programs. In order to celebrate your recovery, it’s essential to be realistic about the threats that you may face. Triggers, cravings, lack of support or resources, and co-occurring mental illnesses are all factors that can affect long-term recovery.
For those supporting loved ones in recovery, there are some things you can do to aid in their success. It’s important to create a safe space for those in recovery, allowing them a place to heal surrounded by people they love.
How to Celebrate Your Recovery
There are many ways for individuals to celebrate their recovery. Just as we celebrate birthdays to celebrate people, anniversaries to commemorate events, and parties to celebrate accomplishments, recovery is as incredible as anything else, if not more, given the amount of hard work that has to be put in every single day. Some ways individuals may celebrate recovery may include:
- Celebrating as you would a birthday with a gathering of your most loved and trusted friends who have supported you along your journey, similar to celebrating a birthday.
- Attending and perhaps even leading a meeting. Receiving a One-Year Chip should not only be commemorated but also has the potential to inspire others to continue recovery.
- Celebrate by giving back. Some people feel a sense of duty to help others with similar struggles. This can be volunteering with outreach or support organizations that provide resources to those who need treatment or recovery.
National Recovery Month has only been celebrated since 1989. The topics of addiction, substance use disorder, behavioral health, and even mental illness are so often seen as dark, daunting issues that we forget about the silver linings. Instead of focusing on waking up in the morning worried about how you will maintain recovery, you could choose at night to celebrate another day of recovery. How you celebrate your recovery is up to you, but it should absolutely be celebrated. Whether it is a year, a month, or even a day sober, taking pride in the accomplishment can help you push on and inspire others to do the same in their journey. Here at The Lakehouse Recovery Center, we want to help you achieve those accomplishments and celebrate the success of every single client that comes into our doors. To begin your path to recovery, call the Lakehouse today at (877) 762-3707.