Graduating from a rehabilitation facility is an exciting event and should be celebrated in grand fashion. We make a big deal of every milestone – from receiving our driver’s license, to moving into our first apartment, to our work anniversaries. Recovering from addiction is no exception – and it takes much more hard work than studying for any exam.
It is normal to be hesitant about congratulating yourself as someone in recovery. However, celebrating is more important for someone recovering from addiction than anyone else. It is fulfilling to remind yourself of where you were, and how far you have come. When things become stressful or difficult for you, thinking back to the hurdles you have faced in the past will help you give yourself a boost of confidence and help you remember you can get through anything.
Don’t Downplay Anniversaries and Milestones
Tracking your sobriety has so many benefits throughout recovery, and tracking your milestones is no exception to this. Now that you have graduated from rehab, it is the perfect time to begin thinking of how you would like to track anniversaries, and the ways you would like to celebrate. Psychologically, tracking the days you are sober after leaving rehab often keeps newly sober people from relapsing because they simply do not want to have to start over at day one again.
Celebrating anniversaries is necessary for self-recognition, and you can begin this now with your graduation from rehab. You are beginning a new journey in sobriety, and you deserve to honor each and every milestone. Whether you ask another sober friend out to dinner or simply recognize the date in an aftercare meeting, it is important that you feel proud of yourself.
Not only is it healthy for you to take joy in anniversaries and milestones, but it’s also good for others to share in your happiness and find hope in your accomplishments. You could be the person who keeps someone going when they feel hopeless in their sobriety.
Indulge in Something Just for You
Just as a person on a diet might treat themselves to a new outfit when they have hit a certain weight, you too should treat yourself for graduating from rehab. Whether this is visiting a city you have always wanted to see, eating out at your favorite restaurant, or having a few friends over for a game night, think of something that you want to do, and do it!
In recovery, there is a lot of talk about abstinence. However, this does not mean you can’t treat yourself to something you really love. So go ahead – buy the dress you have been eyeing for months! You deserve it.
Begin a Tradition
As a community, we LOVE traditions. They create fond memories, an event to look forward to, a reason to lift our spirits, and an excuse to visit with family and friends. As a yearly tradition, mark the day you graduated from rehab by creating your very own tradition. Maybe this is visiting the Thai restaurant you have always loved, or having coffee with a family member you are close to. Organize this annual event, schedule it into your calendar, and do not miss it. Creating a tradition like this will make you look forward to the anniversary of your graduation.
However you decide to celebrate graduating from rehab, just make sure you do not discredit or downplay the accomplishment. You have come a long way, and you deserve to make a big deal of such a significant milestone. Enjoy the moment, and look forward to a bright and beautiful future in sobriety.