A soberversary (sober anniversary) is a great way to bring your friends and family together to celebrate an important part of you or someone else’s recovery journey. It’s also the perfect opportunity to highlight the benefits of sobriety and break down stigmatism toward sober events and parties. But this can be a challenge if you live in a “beer city” filled with breweries, bars, wineries, and liquor stores.
This article explores how to celebrate a soberversary in a beer city since these alcohol-friendly environments can make it hard to socialize in public while surrounded by triggers and distractions.
What Is A Soberversary?
A soberversary is an anniversary celebrating your sobriety. Since these are individual accomplishments, you can celebrate them any time and way you’d like. Some people celebrate every 100 days, each year, on the day of their last drink or whenever they receive a new sobriety token. What you do during your soberversary is also your personal choice.
Some individuals want to spend the day by themselves, finding quiet time to think, reflect, and feel the depth of their accomplishments and the road ahead. Some people like bringing a few or multiple friends and family together to celebrate their soberversary with music, dancing, food, and non-alcoholic drinks. There are no set rules on how you need to celebrate sobriety milestones.
Benefits Of A Soberversaries & Recovery Milestones
It can be challenging to get past the mindset that there needs to be alcohol or some mood-influencing or mind-altering substance at an event in order to have fun. But the benefits of having an alcohol-free event or experience far outweigh social norms, standards, and expectations. The benefits of soberversaries include:
- Spreading awareness: Sober events can be heavily stigmatized, especially by those who don’t have experience with addiction or recovery. Friends, family, and strangers can cast judgment or act strangely around individuals who choose not to drink alcohol or take other substances, leaving people in addiction recovery out of their plans. By throwing more sober events, people in recovery can spread awareness about the benefits of their decision, using social interaction and good times to let others know they’re all about having fun too.
- Increased self-motivation: Celebrating your sobriety journey is a great way to keep yourself motivated with specific milestones you can track. The first year of sobriety might be the hardest, and your first soberversary can feel far away. But little by little, the years will get easier, you’ll discover new coping mechanisms, and excitingly, you’ll have more parties to look forward to.
- Improved mental health: Celebrating the soberversary reinforces the decision to stay sober and serves as a reminder of the progress made. These milestones mark the success of your decision to better yourself, reach out for help, and take charge of your true goals. After all, many individuals abuse substances in order to distract themselves from struggles and focus on immediate relief rather than long-term wellness.
- Increased support: Celebrating a soberversary often involves sharing the achievement with friends, family, or support groups, like alcoholics anonymous. This sense of community and connection can combat feelings of isolation and loneliness, supporting you on this journey. It also brings dignity and respect to those in recovery, helping others open up about their struggles and seek addiction treatment.
Read more: Does My Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab?
Staying Sober In Beer Cities
Beer cities are usually filled with breweries, microbreweries, pubs, bars, bar crawling, beer festivals, and other events focused on alcohol. States with legal marijuana might have marijuana events or multiple dispensaries, but since alcohol is federally legal, most cities will advertise alcohol to bring in tourists and visitors. The most notable beer cities in the US include:
- Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Portland, Oregon.
While these cities aren’t intentionally seeking to exclude or target individuals in recovery, it can be hard to go out or celebrate an anniversary without seeing alcohol everywhere. And non-alcoholic bars are less common than traditional bars, which can make it challenging to feel catered to or accepted.
How To Celebrate A Soberversary In A Beer City
Here are a few ways you can celebrate a soberversary in a beer city.
- Look Into NA events: Many bars will actually hold alcohol-free nights, sober karaoke parties, or mocktail happy hours. These might be hosted in traditional bars or pubs, so we recommend using good judgment if you return to somewhere you used to drink or know the regulars. In some cases, there are entire bars or restaurants that only service non-alcoholic beverages.
- Look into local AA or NA groups: Organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous with regional locations host sober events beyond nights downtown. For example, the Carolina Region of Narcotics Anonymous hosts river tubing events, dance nights, hiking trips with rafting, camping, and music, and workshops with speakers, vendors, and open discussions where you can get involved on a deeper level.
- Find online groups on Meetup or Facebook groups: Meetup.com has more than 80 groups dedicated to hosting sober events and parties. Many have over 500 members each in various cities, including Chicago, Washington D.C., Austin, New York, Denver, and others. Facebook groups are also a great way to find or plan soberversaries, directly promote them, and spread awareness.
- Go to places that don’t traditionally carry any or a lot of alcohol: Some examples of places that don’t tend to have any or minimal alcohol include parks, museums or art galleries, rock climbing gyms, escape rooms, amusement parks, water parks, and beaches.
- Throw a sober party: If you don’t want to go out or leave home, try hosting your soberversary at your home or a willing friend’s. The budget for a party can tend to go into alcohol, and a sober party is a perfect opportunity to direct funds toward amazing food. you can make it a potluck and ask friends to bring their favorite dish, host a few games, try making mocktails. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure everyone knows what the event is about, so they aren’t surprised by the lack of alcohol and don’t accidentally bring any.
Contact Oasis Recovery Center
Throwing a soberversary can take a lot of work, but it can take even more to get sober. If you or someone you know is struggling to get sober, contact Oasis Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Our addiction treatment staff knows exactly how it feels to live in a city filled with alcohol, bars, and triggers, and their compassion and empathy are what sets our center apart from the others. Every client is family and we’re dedicated to helping you find true wellness and recovery.