Your friend or loved one has battled with alcohol addiction in the past. Now though, they are really trying to stay with sobriety. You can help by encouraging a loved one any way you can.
Why not let them know you support their journey with a gift? Recovery gifts can be an easy way to communicate a complex thought. “I love you, thank you for what you are doing. Keep it up!”
Here is a quick guide to giving a gift to a sober friend.
Sobriety is the Best Gift
Before you can reap the benefits of sobriety, you have to actually BE sober. Do you have a loved one who is battling addiction?
You cannot control another person, and you shouldn’t even try. What you can do, is set boundaries in your own life and encourage them to get help. Let your loved one know, “I support you. How can I help you get into recovery?”
Sometimes life for the addict can be very isolating. They often feel alone and cut off from the support of loved ones. Even if they aren’t truly cut off, they can feel that way.
You simply reaching out, simply saying something, letting them know that you care; this can be the greatest gift. Just say “I love you.”
AA Recovery Gifts and Chips
Is your friend is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, or are you are an AA sponsor? It is appropriate for you to get some branded AA swag!
Within Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors often hand out AA gifts ‘chips’ or ‘coins’ to commemorate certain passages along a recovering addict’s journey. There is a system, such as blue for 24 hours of sobriety, red for a month etc.
“This chip represents AA’s commitment to you – not your commitment to us”
– popular AA saying
It’s a maxim that addicts in recovery sometimes fall back into addiction. It’s called a relapse and it happens. AA doesn’t “hold a grudge” or attempt to guilt trip its participants.
The AA Chip isn’t a contract. It is not a sign of any kind of ongoing relationship or “deal”. It isn’t an “atta boy”, and it doesn’t represent any kind of expectation on the part of the giver.
It is merely a sign that AA recovery is in progress. It’s a physical token the addict can hold onto, to remind them what they are doing, and why.
AA Acceptance Prayer
Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization. However, many addicts find peace through a higher power or by praying to their God. To avoid getting sidetracked down religious discussions, sometimes the term “HP” is used by AA members when discussing their beliefs.
A gift card with a prayer on it is perfectly acceptable to give to a recovering addict. Sometimes they might feel isolated and somehow disconnected from their higher power. By giving a written prayer as a gift, you let them know that YOU have a relationship with a higher power, and it’s ok if they do too.
The Gift of Your Time
Material gifts aren’t always the best thing you can give a recovering addict. Sometimes, your mere presence is all that person needs. You can give the gift of your time to a recovering addict.
There is a reason that when flying on a plane, you are told to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help another person. You have to be strong for yourself before you can help another. Tread carefully.
Many addicted people have complex and dysfunctional relationships with the very people who are trying to help them the most. “Codependency” is something you need to look into and make sure your help isn’t hurting.
With that said, give freely to your friend that most precious thing you have: your time. Set an example, and be forgiving.
One of the hardest things for an addict to deal with is the sense that they are “not themselves” anymore. They are struggling with finding a new personal identity. Everything in their world is changing.
Assuming you are not a part of their addiction, you can offer a gift by NOT changing. You can show your friend that life goes on and that they can be a part of normal life too!
Do normal things. Go grocery shopping with them, have a quick lunch. Make a phone call and say “I don’t have a reason to call. I just want to say ‘Hi’ and let you know I love and support you.”
When you are dealing with addiction, money can be a very difficult subject. The addict shouldn’t be “empowered” to continue their addiction, and often times the people in their lives are doing just that. You generally should avoid giving or lending money to an addict.
However, there are times when this isn’t true. If you honestly believe your friend is in recovery or trying to find recovery, it just might be some kind of financial obstacle that is holding them back. Without offering anything you can’t deliver, find out if there is some way that you can help them financially.
Many addicts find themselves in recurring cycles of addiction and poverty they simply can’t get out of on their own. The government does provide help for the poor through Medicaid, but you would be surprised how little it covers.
It’s nearly impossible for an addict to find quality in-patient care on Medicaid. This is a serious poverty trap for those affected by addiction. Many who want help, simply can’t afford it.
If you have the resources, helping an addict get into recovery may be one of the greatest things YOU do with YOUR life and money. Don’t expect anything in return, and definitely, don’t offer any kind of “quid pro quo” to an addicted person. If you do this, do it for your own reasons and for yourself.
If Giving is Your Goal
You were put on this Earth to have an effect. One of the most profound effects you can have is through helping a loved one get into and stay in recovery from alcohol addiction. Recovery gifts can be something very small but it can have a profound effect on the person you are giving them to.
If you are an addict and need help, or if you know someone who does, Recovery In Motion is an accredited rehab facility in Arizona. We can help. Contact us to begin the journey.