How important is your recovery date to you…that date when you finally threw in the towel on active addiction and walked into a life of recovery? Do you celebrate the date on it’s anniversary in any way? Circulate it publicly? Use it as a benchmark when looking for friendships, support or sponsorship if relevant? What role does your recovery date, and that of others, play in your life…and why?
For me, this year I have to admit…I forgot the date until I checked my phone and saw it was January 3rd. Immediately, I was awash with gratitude…having escaped the vice like grip of addiction 4 years previously for a second time. I wrote about it online and shared my gratitude in a couple of AA meetings that day. A quiet day, a little emotional and reflective…it ended quite fittingly with a family games night. That was it, anniversary done for another year.
In relation to being part of a 12 step community..I’ve only ever picked up one anniversary coin and that was eight years ago, it was my sponsors first coin and I treasure it. I gave a rousing speech at the monthly anniversary meeting but it didn’t sit well with me internally, I had yet to understand the value of authenticity in recovery versus being fully embraced by everyone. I’ve not picked up an anniversary coin since…but I do enjoy the celebration of others who do. Some say a celebration is good for the newcomer to hear, everyday is a day to celebrate in recovery.
I don’t publish my recovery date either nor initially search for it in another (aside from a newcomer situation) when getting to know them, that’s just me. I live my recovery day by day and personal experience has me listening more for quality and less at quantity when considering healthy recovery generally. Without a doubt they often correlate. And what exactly does a recovery date reflect? Abstinence from just alcohol, and/or all mood altering substances (prescribed medications can be a hot potato for some) or behaviours such as gambling, sex and compulsive shopping? Perhaps some people have multiple recovery dates reflecting different addictions. At the end of the day, it appears to me that a recovery date is open to both individual and recovery mode interpretation..there is no universal guideline in determining a date.
Interesting to reflect on. From a discussion perspective, there are no right or wrong answers…just experiences and thoughts to be shared. I’ve given mine…feel free to use or not use the opening questions as a loose guide if you want to participate. Curious to hear the experiences of others…let’s learn from each other and grow 🙂