Did you know that September 14 is National Sober Day? While you may assume that sobriety is just for alcoholics, National Sober Day is for anyone in recovery from any type of addiction. Whether you gave up sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, self-mutilation, or eating disorder behaviors, this day is for you.
It’s important that we use today to celebrate all of the small successes that we achieve on the road to recovery.
Sobriety is anything but easy, so we need to recognize the hard work we’ve put in along the way. However, it’s also important that we take time today to recognize that sobriety looks different for everyone. Recovery and sobriety success is highly individualized because the decision to give up an addiction is a difficult personal choice.
For the past ten-plus years, I’ve been in and out of treatment centers trying to reach a “normal” weight and get my eating disorder behaviors under control. I’ve spent a total of four years in treatment centers, trying to reach recovery.
For many people, treatment can be such a welcome gift. Staff understand the struggle of recovery and offer compassionate care, empathy, and a safe environment. Fellow recovering patients also support each other on this hard journey. This year, though, I’m fortunate enough to find myself not in a treatment center, but instead at home, maintaining my sobriety on my own.
So will I celebrate Sober Day this year?
Since I love autumn activities, I’ll go apple-picking with my parents. Although I can’t eat the apples or drink the cider because of my digestive tract issues, I can still enjoy the weather and the smell of homemade apple cider! In fact, my dad has an old wooden cider press that we use at parties (when there’s not a pandemic, of course).
No matter where you are in your journey with sobriety, I urge you to celebrate National Sober Day by participating in activities that make your heart smile and your urges dissipate. Personally, I’m thankful that I can do an activity I enjoy with my loved ones without binging, purging, restricting, or exercising to cope. I am going to press apple cider like the champion recover-er that I am. Sobriety is anything but easy, but it’s worth every moment — so get out there and enjoy it today and every day.