The Share by Paulo Murillo | 07.2016


With summertime in full swing, we asked a few local sober folks with various lengths of recovery time what it’s like attending summer events completely clean and sober.


TheShare0716_TokeyoPetersonINSPIRING TIMES

“I’m an advocate for having a lot of fun in sobriety because we don’t get sober to be sad and depressed, or be bored. What’s the point of being sober if you can’t have any fun? And I feel like summer is the perfect time to go to all of these parties, we can go to pool parties, or circuit parties or even sex clubs. Summertime is one of the most happy and inspiring times to be sober. I surround myself with a lot of sober people that like to have fun as much as I do. I don’t really feel triggered by this time of year. I look forward to it actually.”

—Tokeyo Peterson, sober since April, 2016.

TheShare0716_MatthewCogswellLIBERALLY APPLY

“I’m sober, but I’m actually a ginger as well, so we don’t do too well in the sun. We don’t do well at pool parties. We can blind people by the light of our skin. I don’t actually partake in a lot of the things that might be a trigger for certain people. So much of my social life is wrapped up with other people who are sober so they don’t really drive me to want to use or drink. I’m just not around it. I just avoid it. There are plenty of sober fun things to do in the summertime that I don’t need to fall back to previous behaviors or social crowds that put me in danger. I do go to smaller pool parties if there are sober birthday parties and I liberally apply sunblock. I like to walk around and go bike-riding and enjoy the world around me and go on hikes and soak up the nature. I’m very active. Summer, fall, winter all blended together when I wasn’t sober. It’s tough knowing what season it is when you’re stuck in a sex club with a meth pipe in your mouth.”

—Matthew Cogswell, sober since September 2012

TheShare0716_JonathanBiernerHOT IT IS

“I have eleven years of sobriety so it’s pretty much my ritual not to drink or use. I don’t consider it. About two summers ago, I was confronted with the words ‘Sunday Funday.’ It was a new thing that I had never been a part of, because maybe I was too lit, but since I heard those words, I kind of dreaded Sundays. I had to learn to create my own Sunday Funday. I had to find things that I liked doing sober. They’re not the typical things that people would say they like to do. I like to go to swap meets and buy things for a quarter of a price that you would normally pay for them. That gives me a natural high. For me, that is fun… I also love going to Palm Springs. That’s fun for me. I don’t care how hot it is.”

—Jonathan Bierner, sober since March, 2005.