If you are grateful for a friend or family member that is celebrating a sober anniversary, then be sure to let them know. This sounds simple enough, but it is not always the case. Letting people close to you know that you are proud of them for celebrating a milestone in recovery can really help the recovering person in more ways than you may imagine.

There are many ways to show you care for the person who is celebrating a sober anniversary. Finding the right way for that person is up to you, but here are some suggestions for what to say on a sober anniversary and also various ways to show you care.


Why Sober Anniversaries Are Important

An anniversary in recovery can be a pretty big event for the person who is celebrating. Many people in recovery may refer to their sober anniversary as being more important than their own birthday. Typically, this can be the case if the person who is celebrating is very proud of the accomplishment and may also be due to the fact that they could feel more gratitude in their life than when they previously recognized their own birthdays in the past. For example, the person who is celebrating a sober anniversary may only have memories of being very intoxicated on their birthdays prior to getting sober, so it is only natural that their anniversary may represent celebrating life sober.


Attending or Planning Your Own Sober Event

Some simple ways to say that you are proud of someone on their sober anniversary is to make sure that you are present for whatever way they are celebrating. If this means that they are speaking at a local 12-step meeting or other support group, then choosing to attend whether you are in recovery or not is an appropriate way of showing appreciation for the person. Another way to show that you are proud would be to plan a small party or dinner for the celebration. One obvious suggestion is to be mindful of where the event was going to be scheduled, preferably not a bar or other venue where alcohol may be the focus.


How To Show You Care

Another simple way to say that you care for the person celebrating an anniversary in recovery is to give them a card or just let them know in person that you are proud. If attending a speaking engagement where the sober person is sharing their experience, it is also usually appropriate to bring flowers, a cake or even balloons for the person. If you feel moved enough to speak yourself, you can probably even do that.

The biggest part about showing that you care is to make sure you get your point across to the person on their anniversary date. Showing up, speaking up and being a part of a person’s anniversary celebration is a huge way of saying to someone that you care about their recovery and the sober person they have become.