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Understanding the Value of Celebrating Recovery Milestones

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), seven in ten and two in three adults consider themselves to be in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and other mental health disorders respectively. In the process of recovering, you uncover strengths, talents, coping skills, and the ability to lead a self-directed life. Thus, recovery is about more than abstaining from using substances in your life. Recovery is a dynamic process of change in which you discover hope. With hope, you can build the belief and tools you need to overcome challenges and lead a courageous life in recovery. Therefore, the recovery process highlights the need to understand the value of recovery milestones.

At Driftwood Recovery, we believe celebrating recovery milestones is integral to sustained recovery as it turns clinical insight into action. With recovery milestones, you can recognize the work you have put into your personal growth and change. Moreover, recovery milestones support the changes in thinking that have contributed to building resilience and healing. Thus, we are committed to providing a vibrant alumni program in which you can truly celebrate your recovery milestones.

Yet, you may question what recovery milestones are. How can an alumni program support maintaining your recovery by celebrating recovery milestones? Deepening your understanding of the value of recovery milestones can give you insight into the benefits of recovery milestones for long-term healing.

Celebration: Understanding the Value of Recovery Milestones

Throughout life, you celebrate many important events, holidays, and milestones like weddings, graduations, heritage months, birthdays, and anniversaries. Yet, celebrating milestones is not confined to dates marked on a calendar. As noted in “The Importance of Celebrating Milestones” from Maryville University, milestones come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you survived finals week, completed a project, or got out of bed, accomplishing something difficult for you should be celebrated. When you celebrate big, medium, and small milestones, they remind you that you are capable of doing difficult things.

The accomplishment of small goals drives you forward and encourages you to accomplish bigger goals. Thus, celebrating recovery milestones can be invaluable to sustained recovery. Recovery is a lifelong process, and the road from substance use to sobriety and long-term recovery can feel overwhelming. Sometimes, the challenge of overcoming addiction can feel like there is a giant, unmovable mountain that keeps growing as you climb it. However, with recovery milestones, you can see and celebrate those markers of progress in treatment and beyond. Listed below are some of the ways celebrating recovery milestones can support your well-being and recovery:

  • Boost confidence
  • Sustain motivation
  • Reinforce commitment to recovery
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Reinforce resilience to relapse
  • Empowers self-awareness and agency
    • Reflection and gratitude
  • Support the power of community support

Setting realistic and attainable recovery milestones supports whole-person healing in every wellness domain. Yet, how can you celebrate your recovery and recovery milestones?

Ways to Celebrate Your Recovery Milestones

Celebrating recovery milestones is more than the anniversary of your sobriety. Rather, recovery milestones can encompass regularly going to therapy sessions, effectively using adaptive coping skills, getting a job, returning to school, and repairing relationships. There is a wide range of recovery milestones, from small to large, that you can and should celebrate. Some of the ways you can celebrate your recovery milestones include:

  • Sharing your successes with peers
  • Include your loved one in your celebration
    • Go out to eat
    • Host a sober birthday party
  • Creating a milestone journal
  • Make a reflection journal
  • Engage in self-care
  • Volunteer work
  • Build a tradition to celebrate each year
    • Take a trip
    • Go hiking
    • Plant a tree
  • Express gratitude to those who have supported you
    • Send a message
    • Spend time with them
    • Give them a meaningful gift

Looking at ways you can celebrate your recovery milestones highlights the importance of community in recovery.

Celebrating Recovery: Finding Gratitude for Sustained Recovery

Reflecting on your achievements and the people supporting you through your recovery is impactful. In particular, practicing gratitude during recovery milestones is invaluable to sustaining recovery. As the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) states, gratitude is one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness and well-being. With gratitude, you can improve happiness, hope, social connection, and motivation for self-improvement and positive change. Listed below are some of the ways you can practice gratitude:

  • Reflect on the positive little and big things
  • Allow yourself to enjoy those positive experiences
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Express gratitude to others
  • Meditate

The practice of gratitude further showcases celebrating recovery milestones as valuable to supporting psychological well-being.

Disrupting Self-Stigma by Celebrating Recovery Milestones

One of the many challenges of SUD and recovery is the sense of shame and guilt you may feel from stigma. Public, structural, and self-stigma can contribute to difficulties in seeking treatment and maintaining recovery. In particular, self-stigma can lead to negative self-beliefs, impairing important components of well-being like self-esteem, motivation, and hope. However, celebrating recovery milestones can help dismantle negative self-beliefs to foster healthier thinking and behavior patterns. Although public and structural stigma cannot be changed overnight, celebrating recovery milestones can help you believe in yourself again.

Learning How to Celebrate You at Driftwood Recovery

At Driftwood Recovery, we recognize that connection and community in a vibrant alumni program are vital to sustained recovery. Thus, celebrating recovery milestones is one of the ways you can engage in connection and community for healing. Through recovery milestones, you foster and build upon a foundation of community in your peers and loved ones. Therefore, we are dedicated to providing resources like the Driftwood App to share your milestones with others and milestone dinners in our alumni program. With recovery milestones in our alumni program, you are reminded that you are not alone and recovery is something to take pride in and celebrate.

Recovery is a lifelong process that has highs and lows along the way. It is most often during the low periods that cravings and triggers can erode your resilience and put you at risk for relapse. Moreover, SUD and recovery stigma can increase self-stigma. Internalized stigma can increase negative self-beliefs and impair your self-esteem to overcome challenges and avoid maladaptive coping strategies. However, celebrating recovery milestones can empower you to overcome challenges throughout your recovery journey. By celebrating recovery milestones, you can grow and sustain your confidence and motivation for recovery. Therefore, at Driftwood Recovery, we are dedicated to providing an alumni program that supports celebrating recovery milestones for long-term recovery. Call (512) 759-8330 to start celebrating your recovery today.