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Goodbye, 2017: Instead of Good Riddance, Give Gratitude


December 20, 2017

The holidays are here again, heralding the end of another year. Gathered ‘round the fireplace or a piping hot feast, everyone is spending time with loved ones and writing resolutions for a healthier, happier 2018. Whether you’re just starting your recovery journey or staying strong in sobriety, the new year promises a chance to begin anew. It’s thrilling to imagine a new year, full of bright possibilities and shiny new beginnings. But if you were being honest with yourself, you might realize that you’re too quick to say “good riddance” to the past year. Instead of appreciating the good things that happened in 2017, you’re simply looking forward to leaving it behind. Not everything about the past 365 days deserves to be dismissed, though.

As 2017 comes to a close and you begin to craft New Year’s resolutions, challenge yourself to remember the spirit of Thanksgiving (surely you remember the day before Black Friday). It can be all too easy to focus on trials and tribulations and be eager to start over. But even it was especially difficult, recall the bright moments that made a difference: Text messages of encouragement you received. Memories made with family and friends. Every second you were sober. While it had its challenges and heartbreaks, this past year was also full of good moments, too — probably more than you can count. And those memories and experiences, large and small, are worth remembering.

This holiday season, take a moment to reflect on all the good that happened in 2017, like:

  • Uplifting conversations with your sponsor
  • Meals you shared with family and friends
  • Great advice given (both to and from you)
  • Testimonies shared in support groups
  • Books you finished or concerts you attended
  • Money saved through being sober
  • Days spent volunteering
  • Time you made for self-care
  • Improved physical health  
  • Better mental wellness
  • Every day of sobriety  

Before you close the chapter of your life that was 2017, relish all the ways your life was blessed this year, and how you were able to bless others, too. Find gratitude within your heart for the new opportunities you had, the people who made this year worth living and all the little moments that mattered. And who knows, your heart just might grow a size or two.  

Whatever the season, you can always find a reason to be grateful. This new year, resolve to be the best version of yourself: someone who’s committed to living in sobriety, for all the right reasons. A healthier, happier you, living your best life in gratitude of every positive moment. With the support of your alumni community, you’ll have all the help you need as you follow through on your resolutions. Connect with your community and beyond, starting with the ARS alumni resources. Here you’ll find local recovery support, chat with your peers in a private Facebook group, share your sobriety testimony and discover more ways to make 2018 your best year yet.  


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