Call our free, confidential 24-hour helpline


Trauma Rehab Centers

Maintaining Sobriety Through Painful Anniversaries

Maintaining sobriety can be difficult enough, without the hurdles of painful memories and anniversaries  to deal with.  Understanding how to overcome these painful memories and cope with triggering anniversaries without using can make a world of difference in maintaining one’s sobriety.

How Negative Anniversaries can Derail Sobriety

All people have experienced painful events in their lives and may be triggered or feel sad on the anniversaries of these events. For addicts, learning how to cope with painful anniversaries is crucial to maintaining their sobriety. Recovering addicts may be triggered to use during the following anniversaries:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Marital issues (divorce)
  • Date of previous relapse

The traumatic event of losing a loved one can make individuals turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope. Losing someone, for some, can initiate the interest in drugs, which can result in a full-blown addiction. Recovering addicts may be triggered to return to drug use on or near the anniversary of a loved one’s death. Marital issues, such as a divorce, can also be traumatizing for an entire family, including children.  Although, some individuals may feel a sense of relief after a divorce, others may feel so devastated that they alleviate their pain by using drugs. Experiencing a relapse, no matter how long one has been sober, can be excruciating for a recovering addict. The date an individual relapsed may play over and over in his memory causing him to feel ashamed, embarrassed, and think lowly of oneself.

How Can One Overcome These Painful Memories?

Although, we never forget what it was like to endure a traumatic event, we can heal and grow from the experience. Included in the following are some examples on how we can overcome and grow from these negative experiences:

  • Honor your loved ones
  • Seek help
  • Engage in new healthy activities

Honoring a loved one means moving on with your life and cherishing the time you have with others. We often take for granted the time we have with each other and often rush through the activities we engage in together just to get to the next thing we have to do. By taking your time, enjoying your company, and making healthy and responsible choices and decisions, we are able to honor our loved ones, both living and deceased. It can also be beneficial to seek help from others in order to overcome these painful hurdles. Additionally, finding new and healthy activities to engage in during painful anniversaries can help you replace negative memories with positive ones.

Drug Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our highly trained and professional counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your addiction questions and help you find the best treatment available. We are here to help in any way we can, so call us today!