Do you have a loved one celebrating a sober anniversary?
Whether it’s been one year or 10, getting your loved one a little something is a great way to express how proud you are of them. For example, a sober anniversary card can be a sincere and heartfelt option. The problem is that finding the right way to say “congratulations on your sobriety” can be challenging. Maybe you don’t want to come across as insensitive or even cheesy in your anniversary card for sobriety. Fortunately, our Pompano substance abuse treatment center shares what to write in a sobriety anniversary card that will best express your congratulations.
What to Say on a Sobriety Anniversary Card
A sober anniversary equates to a birthday or other similar event. It’s a milestone that deserves recognition and congratulations. Below are some tips on writing a sober anniversary card that can help express how you feel.
Express How Proud You Are
Relapse is a common issue among people in addiction recovery. In fact, a 2017 study showed that 40 to 60 percent of people who received drug or alcohol addiction treatment would relapse in the first year.1 Sobriety is a lifelong commitment marked by many roadblocks and challenges. Because addiction is a chronic disease, the desire to use drugs or drink alcohol never really goes away. Like many other chronic illnesses, a person can return to drugs and alcohol after a long period of sobriety or abstinence, a process known as relapse. Anything can trigger this switch, from emotional struggles to seeing an old friend they used to hang out with before they entered rehab. Controlling these urges and staying strong in the face of temptation is no easy task.
“I’m proud of you” is a powerful statement and reminder of how far they’ve come. Most, if not all, recovering addicts have days where they want to throw in the metaphorical towel and give up the race, but your support can keep them going. Acknowledge their commitment to their sobriety in your card in the best way you can.
Offer Help and Support
Reinforcing your relationship with a loved one in recovery from addiction shows them they're not alone. Sobriety can feel like a lonely path when they're the only ones in their families or friend groups battling substance abuse, so it's important to remind them they have someone they can count on for support. Write them a sweet message they can lean on when they hit a roadblock and need the extra boost.
Additionally, there are various ways to offer companionship to help someone in addiction recovery. Don’t limit your outpourings to one sobriety card a year. During the other 364 days of sobriety, send your loved one a text to see how they’re doing, invite them to a sober event, or meet up with them for coffee or dinner. The point of writing a card for a sober anniversary isn’t to just say “congratulations on being sober.” It’s to remind them that you’re there for both the easy and tough days.
Affirm Their Progress and Accomplishments
Let’s face it. It feels good to receive recognition for something you did right. Verbally recognizing the progress a person has made in their recovery journey shows them that their efforts are noticeable, and others see their achievements as well. This affirmation is encouraging to someone who may feel like they’ve hit a standstill in their sobriety. Also, people in recovery often feel undeserving and guilty after reflecting on how their actions have impacted their loved ones, health, and career. Recognizing their efforts to make positive changes and improve their life tells them that they deserve a new life without addiction, which will build their confidence.
At Banyan Pompano, we understand how important a solid support system is for someone in recovery from addiction. As previously mentioned, sobriety can often feel like a lonely road, but having loved ones who offer support and guidance reminds the individual why being sober is awesome. However, offering continuous support to an addict in recovery isn’t always easy. Addiction is a disease that requires long-term care and patience. Not only can watching a loved one struggle be stressful but helping them with other tasks and challenges can take a toll on you, as well.
Fortunately, our Banyan in Pompano Beach offers a family program for the loved ones of addicts who need support, too. Not only do we want to offer you the emotional support you need, but we also educate the loved ones of our patients about the ins and outs of addiction to ensure everyone is on the same page. Our program utilizes individual and group therapy sessions to promote healing between patients and their close friends and family. If you have a loved one with an addiction, we can help you be there for them.
“Happy Sober Anniversary” Sample Messages
It’s not always easy to put emotions into words. If you’ve read our tips above and still need ideas for what to write in a sobriety anniversary card, don’t worry. Below are some sample messages you can use.
- “I’m so happy to see you taking care of yourself.”
- “You’ve grown into such a strong and independent person.”
- “I’m so proud of you and the progress you’ve made.”
- “You deserve to be happy.”
- “I’m happy you’re doing so well. Keep up the awesome work!”
- “You are deserving of a happy and sober life.”
- “You’re doing great, don’t give up.”
- “I'm here for anything you need.”
- “Let’s create an annual tradition to celebrate your progress.”
- “I am so proud of you for overcoming addiction. You’re an inspiration to those currently battling this condition. I hope you continue to grow in your journey, and we can celebrate together again next year.”
While these sample messages can give you ideas for writing, it’s important to add a personal twist to your message. Mention a specific situation that the person handled well or something they said that showed their progress. These personal moments and memories are what connect you to the individual, so they’ll appreciate it and think it all the more special when you mention them in light of their progress.
What Not to Write in a Sobriety Anniversary Card
Even when said with good intentions, certain things might come off as harsh or insensitive to someone in recovery. Below are some things you shouldn't put in a sober anniversary card.
- “I have a friend/loved one in recovery.”
- “I didn’t know you were going through this.”
- “Why didn’t you tell me you were in recovery?”
- “How long ago did you become sober?”
- “I understand how you feel.”
When talking to someone about their sobriety, it’s better to focus on their progress and how proud you are of them. Don’t direct the conversation to yourself unless it’s to express a positive feeling. Avoid personal or invasive questions that can make them feel uncomfortable or cornered.