PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida – Cookies. They’re everywhere during the holiday season. Gingerbread cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. Sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes and Santa hats, baked with love and decorated with icing and sprinkles.
Desert Rose Recovery is challenging people not to eat a single one.
The Sober Cookie™ Challenge grew from knowing that the holidays can be brutal for people in addiction or recovery – and for their families. How hard is it, physically and emotionally, to stay clean or sober when everyone else is drinking and partying? How desperately do families want to do something to show their love and support?
The Sober Cookie™ movement aims to give the rest of us the tiniest hint of how hard it is to struggle with substance abuse disorder. The purpose of the movement is to bring awareness to addiction, to promote empathy, and to show support for those in recovery.
“We’re not saying that cookies and drugs are the same thing,” says Jacob Webb, founder of Desert Rose Recovery. “We’d never downplay the seriousness of addiction. Addiction is life and death. It’s a disease of the brain, not a character defect or a lack of willpower. What we want with the Sober Cookie™ Challenge is for people to feel a little bit of what it must be like to stay clean or sober. We think this can be a way to show how much we care.”
Challenge participants will probably experience:
Powerful physical cravings
driven by the brain’s desire for that little dopamine rush it gets from something sweet.
Peer pressure from friends
who can’t understand the need for total abstinence. They’ll be upset or hurt that you can’t have “just one.”
That includes the physical (the smell and the taste) and the emotional (memories, connections, and traditions).
when it’s just too hard to resist. How does it feel after you’ve eaten the cookie? Do you give in and eat more? How does it feel the next day, when you resume the challenge? Are you more likely to relapse again?
Feeling left out, because suddenly you can’t fully participate in something everyone else gets to enjoy.
“The idea grew out of a conversation with a client, who just wanted to be understood,” says Desert Rose Creative Director Jodi MacNeal. “So many of us, me included, struggle with food addictions. It’s not the same, but it’s the closest we can come to physically and emotionally experiencing the powerful pull of a chemical substance – in this case, sugar. The Sober Cookie™ Challenge is going to be a sacrifice and it’s going to be hard. But I guarantee it’s not as hard as rehab and recovery.”
Post on social media. Remember to use #sobercookie.
Tag friends to join.
Post regular updates.
Remember, it’s not about the cookies. It’s about battling cravings, temptation, peer pressure and relapse.
The ultimate goal of the Sober Cookie™ Challenge? We’re sending a message to everyone impacted by addiction: You are not alone.
Desert Rose is a long-term, gender-specific rehab program created to help people overcome addiction and reclaim their lives. It offers drug and alcohol treatment in its 10,000-square-foot center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. For more information, call 561-459-8951 or visit www.DesertRose.com.