After completing detox and an addiction treatment program, the first event or holiday sober can be challenging, and your birthday is no different. Birthdays can be incredibly challenging because it’s your special day and all eyes and attention are on you. If you adhere to these tips, you can count on being another year older while remaining another year sober.
You may have celebrated your big day on past birthdays by drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Now that you’re in recovery, you can choose to spend it in a more meaningful way. It would be best if you celebrated your first birthday in sobriety the opposite way you spent all your previous birthdays. For some individuals in recovery, celebrating their birthday may be very challenging because it may be a trigger for them to want to engage in substance abuse. If that is the case, you can spend your special day following your routine and maybe treat yourself to a special dinner.
There Are Various Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday Sober
Learning how to celebrate your birthday without drugs or alcohol is a milestone and is an integral part of the recovery process. There are many fun ways to celebrate birthdays and special events without drugs or alcohol—our tips on how to commemorate a sober birthday and enjoy your special day are listed below:
A birthday means you’ve made it a whole year since your last one, and it’s a great time to reflect on your accomplishments throughout the year. Getting and staying sober is something you should be very proud of. Celebrate your birthday by taking time to reflect and write down everything you have accomplished in the past year. As each day passes, it’s easy to get busy and not realize just how much you’ve done or how far you’ve gotten, so it’s a great day to think about it and get it onto paper. It serves as a reminder of why you are on the recovery path and why you should celebrate your sobriety as well.
2. Have a Self-Care Day
Getting and staying sober can be challenging, so celebrate your birthday by providing yourself with some self-care for all your hard work in the last year. Book a massage, take a yoga class, or get a pedicure to treat yourself.
3. Give Gratitude
We’ve all heard the phrase “addiction is a family disease” because everyone around the person with the substance use disorder is impacted by it. Throughout your addiction and recovery, I’m sure your support network has gone above and beyond to be there in any capacity you need. Use today as a day to recognize and thank them for supporting you throughout the last year and recognize you may not have reached this birthday without them. They will feel good, and you will feel good after letting them know you care.
4. Celebrate Your Birthday Sober with Friends & Family
Having a good meal with your friends and family is a great way to celebrate your special day. Being encompassed by people who love and support you and your recovery is an excellent way to celebrate. Plan a dinner at home or in a restaurant or get together as a group and do something fun. Spending time together, celebrating you and your sobriety is a great way to start your next chapter.
5. Do Something Fun
Make your birthday memorable by planning a fun activity. If your birthday is in the Summer, perhaps a trip to the beach would be a fun way to celebrate. You could always do ax throwing, go-karting, or bowling if you prefer indoor activities. You and the people you love and care about most-your, your family and friends, can participate in many fun, sober activities; it’s best to choose an environment that is not overwhelming or serve alcohol.
6. Attend a Meeting
Attending a 12-step meeting on your birthday is a great way to remind yourself why you are sober. Today may be a good day if you don’t usually share during meetings. Sharing your story can benefit you and others. It’s a great way to reflect on why you are sober and remind you why you don’t want to return to a time when you weren’t. Since birthdays can be a trigger, attending a meeting is a great way to deal with and cope with some of that stress.
7. New Year, New Me
Birthdays and recovery are a great way to start with a clean slate and embark on a new life. You’ve probably been sticking to a routine for a while now, which is a good thing, but it’s okay to branch out and try something new. If you have items on your bucket list, then today is a good day to cross them off the list. Maybe you’ve wanted to go back to school or save to buy a new car, things that you would have never dreamed of during active addiction. It’s a great way to keep yourself motivated toward recovery.
8. Become A Mentor or Sponsor
If you’ve been successful in recovery for a while, it may be time to support someone else who could use your help. Speaking to people new to recovery or sponsoring someone just beginning their recovery is a great way to give back. You have first-hand knowledge of the challenges and grit it takes to come this far and can provide a lot of insight that can ease a newbie’s nerves. We could also use a support group.
9. Give Back
Another way to feel good on your birthday and express gratitude for all you have are to give back by volunteering your time. This could be a fun group activity as well. There are a lot of organizations such as Habitat for Humanity that have volunteers participate in group building projects, or perhaps volunteering at a local food pantry is more your speed. Another way to give back is to organize a team to participate in a recovery walk where you can help raise money to support addiction prevention services. The Center for Prevention and Counseling has a recovery walk and allows you to join an existing team with other people in recovery or create your own. Volunteerism allows you to do something good for your community while experiencing a rewarding experience.
10. Take a Trip
You most likely didn’t travel much while you were struggling with addiction, but now that you are sober, you have the money, time, and aids to do so. Spending your birthday somewhere new is a great way to avoid people, places, and things that may trigger you to relapse on or near your birthday. A trip is always something fun to look forward to. You can choose to travel alone or with a group. Be sure you take precautionary measures to remain sober during your trip. Look up local AA or NA meetings in the area where you’ll be traveling. Be sure to let the hotel know to clear out your mini-bar. Please speak to your sponsor and provide them with your trip details. Attend a meeting before you go and when you arrive. You don’t have to keep dwelling on your past mistakes, but it’s best to plan so that you are less likely to fall into temptation. When we are not following our daily routine, new challenges can arise, so it is always best to have a plan in place.
Regardless of how you plan to commemorate your birthday, remember how far you have come and that your commitment to recovery has gotten you this far. It’s okay if you or someone you care about does slip up along the way and relapse. Just remember the sooner you take action and get back on track, the quicker you can get back on the road to recovery. Our alcohol and drug rehab center in NJ can aid you in getting the added support and advice you need to restart your recovery journey. Contact us today at (973)-774-7222 to find out more about our treatment center options.