What to Say to Someone On Their Sobriety Anniversary

Express yourself in a respectful way that is encouraging and uplifting to the person in recovery.

Do you have a friend or loved one that is celebrating their sobriety anniversary? Getting them a card, sending them a quick text, or taking them out to dinner are all great ways to congratulate them on their sobriety. However, sometimes it can be challenging to know what to say to express what you’re feeling.

Whether you’re worried about your message coming across the wrong way or you don’t want to be cheesy, we can help you express yourself in a respectful way that is encouraging and uplifting to the person in recovery.

Related post: 3 Sobriety Calculators to Help You Track and Celebrate Your Days Sober

Is it okay to congratulate someone on their recovery?

Absolutely! Reaching a sobriety milestone, no matter how big, is an important and worthwhile accomplishment. As a friend or loved one of someone in recovery, your congratulations will likely be well-accepted, especially if you put careful thought and consideration into how you express it.

How to congratulate someone on their sobriety

Aside from just verbalizing your support for a sober loved one, there are other ways you can acknowledge their sobriety anniversary and show your support. 

  • Get them a card. A simple card with a congratulatory message inside is an appropriate way to show someone that you’re proud of their accomplishment. Reaching any sobriety milestone, whether it’s one week or ten years, is a big deal. They will likely appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  • Write them a letter. If you have a very close relationship with a sober loved one, a heartfelt letter might be a great way to express your support for their ongoing sobriety. Affirming their progress this way might mean a lot to them, especially if you have a complicated history plagued by addiction.
  • Send them a quick text. If you’re not especially close with the person, a short text message is a great way to show your support without going overboard. Simply saying something like, “Keep up the awesome work!” can go a long way to make them feel acknowledged and supported.
  • Take them out to dinner or coffee. Spending time with a sober friend or loved one is another good way to show them you care and that you’re proud of them. Taking them to their favorite restaurant or even just making time in your schedule to meet them for coffee is an excellent way to mark the occasion.
  • Buy them a small gift. Some people may appreciate AA chips to mark their achievements in sobriety. Having something to show for each milestone is helpful to encourage someone to keep up the excellent work. Not sure what to get? Check out this blog for some great sobriety gift ideas.
  • Do something your friend or loved one likes to do. Mark the occasion by spending the day doing your loved one’s most favorite activity. Whether it’s rock climbing, a trip to the lake, or having a scary movie marathon, breaking out of your routine to do something they love will show them that you genuinely care.

Although none of these things are necessary, your friend or loved one may appreciate the extra thoughtfulness you put into recognizing their sobriety anniversary.

What to say to someone on their sobriety anniversary

Not all of us are great with words, and that’s okay! Sometimes, we need a little help figuring out what to say. Whether you say them aloud or write them down in a card, here are some great ways to communicate your support to a friend who is celebrating a sobriety milestone:

  • “I’m so proud of you.”
  • “You’re doing incredible work. Don’t give up!”
  • “I’m here if you ever need anything.”
  • “I am so happy you’re doing well.”
  • “You are truly inspiring to others who are struggling with addiction.”
  • “You’ve grown to become such a confident and strong person.”
  • “I’m so happy to celebrate this moment with you on your journey!”

What NOT to say to someone on their sobriety anniversary

Sometimes, your good intentions might not come across the right way, leaving your friend or loved one feeling hurt. To avoid saying anything insensitive or hurtful, it’s typically best to avoid directing the conversation to yourself with statements like, “I know someone else who’s in recovery.” or “I understand what you’re going through.”

Instead, try to focus on the positive things in their life, such as their progress in recovery. Happily express your pride and excitement, offer to help, and verbally affirm their progress. 

Doing these things will help them build self-confidence and remind them of your ongoing support. Reinforcing their positive behavior (sobriety) can go a long way, especially on hard days when they are struggling.

Support for family members of loved ones in recovery

Although it’s crucial for family members to support their loved ones in recovery by acknowledging milestones, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. At Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, we recognize that addiction is a disease that affects the whole family, and recovery is a shared effort among the entire family unit. We prioritize family support to help families heal from the destruction of addiction and move forward in life. We do this by:

  • Keeping lines of communication open: Our staff maintains frequent communication and transparency during a loved one’s sober living or IOP program.
  • Addressing harmful behaviors: Issues like enabling or codependency may increase the risk of relapse. We work with families to address these behaviors and help family members modify their thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors to develop healthier relationships and establish more supportive routines.
  • Encouraging healthy communication: We help families learn how to communicate effectively, lovingly, and respectfully by serving as a mediator between the person in recovery and their loved ones.

Related post: Do’s and Don’ts of Visiting a Loved One in Sober Living

Learn more about Eudaimonia’s sober homes and recovery support services

It’s not always easy to figure out what to say on a loved one’s sobriety anniversary, but carefully considering how to express your good wishes respectfully and lovingly can have a significant impact on someone.

If you or a loved one is ready to begin your recovery journey, Eudaimonia is here to help, like we have helped so many others. We offer safe and structured sober living homes in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs. With various home and room types, including pet-friendly apartments, we’ve created spaces where men, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals can feel loved and supported in their recovery.

Eudaimonia Recovery Homes also provides recovery support services for individuals in all stages of recovery. Whether you’ve been sober for one month or ten years, we can help you establish a firm footing in your sobriety and provide positive guidance as you navigate the unique challenges of recovery.

Please call (888) 424-4029 to learn more or speak with an admissions team member today.

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