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As I’ve progressed in my recovery,

I have found it nerve-wracking to celebrate my milestones.

3The idea of celebration has changed for me over the years.

I used to celebrate occasions with substances.

That’s what they’re there for right?

Why else would there be alcohol available at every party or function I’ve ever been to?

The way I celebrate has changed, and that’s not something I worry about as much now.

The amazingly supportive staff at Resurgence Behavioral Health taught me that I can celebrate without slipping up my recovery.

I can be cautious, but I can also enjoy myself and feel the joy of life at the same time.

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The earlier you are in your process, the more cautious you should and will be.

That’s the point where you really have to be careful.

There’s a lot of fragilities that comes with being newly sober.

You should feel extremely proud about every little bit of your progress, but you should keep in mind that it is a process.

You haven’t beaten addiction.

You will always be an addict.

But you can spend your life being sober and in recovery.

The quicker you realize that the better off you will be.

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I used to feel pressure with each milestone I achieved. I didn’t want to acknowledge or make a big deal out of my one-year anniversary, because I didn’t want to fool myself into believing that I had beaten this. I personally don’t think you ever beat it; you just keep one step ahead of it. I didn’t really feel comfortable celebrating my milestones until I was a couple years in. Even then, I was still cautious. Even now that I am over five years sober, I still take the regular opportunity to check my ego and be humble. Being humble was one of the more important lessons I learned in the program at Resurgence Behavioral Health.

Celebrate every day you are here

If you are in recovery, the fact that you are alive is worth celebrating. We often focus celebration on holidays and special occasions, but far too often we forget to celebrate life itself. You should celebrate every day that you are still here working through your process! I’m not saying you should throw a huge party every day for yourself but take the time to reflect on how far you’ve come. In the program at Resurgence, we celebrated milestones in our sobriety. It meant a lot even if it was a little. Take the time to think about why you are still here. What made you get to this point. It can really put you in the best possible place to take on the day.

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If you are a spiritual or religious person, this can really benefit you in your process. Being spiritual can mean a lot of different things. You can have a spiritual experience just taking a walk in the woods and appreciating the natural world around you. Personally, water is huge for me. I feel like I have an intense spiritual experience every time I see and feel water. Having access to a pool at Resurgence during my program was a huge help to my spiritual life. Spirituality can be found in many places. You can also have a spiritual experience during times of reflection. When I reflect on my life, I am reminded of the things that I have and the people who have helped me get to where I’m at. It gives me faith in humanity. There are so many wonderful people who played such a big in helping save my life. A lot of them are ones that I met through Resurgence. I feel sometimes like there’s no way I can thank these people enough, then I remember just me being here and sticking to the process is thanks enough.

You can still treat yourself!

When I was in the thick of my addiction, there’s one thought that always crept into my mind. “How do people have fun without being high or drunk?” A lot of folks I’ve met at Resurgence told me they’ve had that same thought at one point or another. Once I got far enough away from my days of using, I can’t believe I ever thought such a thing. We tend to conveniently forget about all the horrible times we have had through our substance abuse. Fights that get started over the dumbest things. Getting backstabbed by friends. Romantic relationships that can’t stand the strain of constant inebriation. There are usually more cons than pros.It took me being sober for many months before realizing all the fun you can have without substances. Drinking started out as fun when I was younger, and then spiraled into simply being something to numb me. It was then I realized that the root of my substance abuse. I was using substances to mask the pain I was grappling with inside.
Once I confronted this pain through Resurgence’s amazing program, the meaning of fun changed.

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I love to travel now.

I used to hate the idea of it when I was using it.

Where was I going to find drugs if I was that far away from my dealer?

Not having to worry about that now is such an amazing feeling. In the past couple of years,

I’ve traveled all over the world.

I am especially proud that I did this sober and am able to remember some of these remarkable experiences.

The world is full of wonderful places and things.

Experiencing these things while sober is just another reminder that you are alive.

And once again, that’s a reason to celebrate.

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Alexa Iocco

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