Make the Most of Your Sobriety Milestones

Posted on April 21st, 2011

“It’s when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached.” – Mike Huckabee, American politician, former Governor of Arkansas and Republican candidate for President of the United States in the 2008 election (born 1955)

Yes we are ordinary people. Whether we are rich or poor, highly educated or only somewhat educated, old or young or in-between, male or female, from any walk of life, we are ordinary people. We are not superhuman. We are not God. We are ordinary people.

And ordinary people can do some pretty extraordinary things – like reach seemingly impossible goals and milestones of sobriety even after chronic addiction. Maybe society has written us off, or our family and friends have given up on us. We can still rise above their less-than-positive expectations of us and achieve sobriety milestones.

It all depends on how committed we are to our recovery. What difference do milestones in sobriety make? For one thing, they’re a reminder of how far we’ve come. That we’ve put so much effort and time into our goal of abstinence is something to be celebrated, a recognition we truly deserve – and should acknowledge.

Just because the milestone is 30 days doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. In fact, the first three months of sobriety are the most critical. It’s during this time that we’re gradually gaining our foothold in recovery. It’s also during this time that we often feel the most tested, confused, uncertain, and have the most difficult time coping with triggers and cravings and urges. So, 30 days of sobriety is a big thing to those of us who reach it. In fact, it is our first demonstrable achievement in our newfound sobriety.

We all need goals. When we are new to recovery, it may seem like we don’t really have a grasp on just what our goals should be. That’s all the more reason to take the opportunity to recognize and celebrate every one of our sobriety milestones. When we reach 60 days, this is a perfect time for a round of self-congratulation – also celebrated in the rooms with our 12-step group members and sponsor. The same holds true for our three-month or 90-day sobriety milestone, then our six month and one-year anniversary of being sober.

What should we do besides accept our chip in recognition of our achievement? We should use the opportunity to redouble our efforts, to learn even more, maybe start to give back to others as they have helped us in our early time in recovery. Each person’s situation is unique. Each person will find his or her own way to acknowledge sobriety milestones and make the most of them. But for everyone who achieves a milestone in sobriety, the goal should be to keep on moving forward, to make sure that we continue to achieve progress in our ongoing journey of recovery.
 

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