Here’s a question for people who have been in recovery for many years:
Do you buy yourself a gift for your recovery anniversary? I’ve learned that recovering people celebrate anniversaries in different ways. I love to give and receive gifts so I started early to celebrate the milestones.
I know one fellow in Baltimore, Maryland who puts a dollar in his top drawer each time he attends an AA meeting and on his anniversary he counts his money and buys a new golfclub or luxury gadget. Another woman I knew in Overeaters Anonymous bought herself a piece of good jewelry for each anniversary she celebrated that ended in a 5 or a zero.
Another recovery friend loves boots so her anniversary gift has become a splurge pair
Another kind of anniversary gift I hear about is of folks giving themselves the gift of a twelve-step retreat, or a spa weekend or a visit to a place like Kripalu Yoga Center or Omega Institute.
Twenty-five years ago I bought a beautiful scarf for my fifth anniversary and that became my annual gift. I have some gorgeous scarves. Sometimes I choose a scarf that fits the theme of my year—One year when I had done a lot of work focused on healing my relation with my mother I chose a scarf with a Mother’s Day theme. The year that much of my growth came from losses I bought a scarf with autumn leaves falling from blackened trees. The scarf from year ten is pink with silver keys—my reminder that I have the “keys to thekingdom”. But my favorite, I think, is a rose colored silk square with an image of a ship in a bottle. That is my reminder of how I was once trapped and how I sailed free.
Many of us also give gifts on our anniversaries—especially a “birthday” gift to a local Intergroup or a charity we care about. After all these years, and coming Out of the Woods, we know that service is gratitude in action. And sometimes, gratitude is gratitude in action too.