Recovery anniversaries—more often referred to as birthdays—are an important part of recovery, but why?
After all, doesn’t every addict and/or alcoholic only have today? Doesn’t it only matter what you do today that counts? No human power can relieve us of our alcoholism—that includes us!
All of those are true statements. However, they do not refute that recovery anniversaries are an important part of recovery.
While time is not a surefire way of identifying good recovery, it sure does not hurt. It happens, but it is pretty hard to work a poor program and stay clean and sober. Taking a cake at a meeting shows others new to the program that it can be done. It shows there is hope, even for the most desperate cases.
The things we do in our past to work a good program do not carry over into subsequent weeks, months, or years. This is true also. However, those accumulations of one-day-at-a-times are how we build a solid foundation of recovery, and it is how we build years worth of just-for-todays.
Further, we are not celebrating the person having the birthday; we are celebrating the recovery anniversary for the miracle that it is. If an addict or an alcoholic drank or used everyday, with no signs of stopping short of death or institutionalization, is it not a miracle that one day, the person stopped drinking or using when all seemed lost?
Anniversaries, birthdays, whatever we call them, they are blessings to those in that person’s life in the past, present, and future alike.
Every year such miracles take place results in further miracles. The continuity of such an anomaly is, at least in my personal opinion, something that should be celebrated.
So, too, are the unpredictable changes in the person, as well as the path down which life takes them. Who would have thought that the most down-and-out of us could be the harbingers of better lives for other addicts, alcoholics, and their loved ones?
For instance, those of you who know Rodney and have had the pleasure of hearing him share his personal story of recovery know that the person who he was and the person who he is are not the same.
Today, we are fortunate to have the loveable, caring individual who has helped so many people through their most inexplicable hardships. At least for me, the statistical reality that Rodney should not be that person—let alone alive—is a continuous miracle not just for his own struggles, but for the help he has given so many of us.
I know it sounds like I’m gushing, but really, I would not be where I am today without his help—I wouldn’t have a pulse for that matter. I know many of you would not either. That one miracle cascaded into so many others, and for so many years, continuing to do so…
Tell me that is not a reason for celebration!
As always, we’d love to hear your comments on recovery anniversaries below!