My Heart Is In My Recovery
In recognition of Valentine’s Day, we asked a few local sober folks with various lengths of continuous recovery time what they love most about being clean and sober.
BY PAULO MURILLO
“What I love most about sobriety is just me being alive. Being present. And I love being myself and feeling my feelings. I love being comfortable in my own skin. Being a Mexican transgender woman and walking down the street with dignity and feeling happy feels great. I love waking up, looking in the mirror, and liking that person who is sober. I don’t have to manage anything with alcohol or drugs today, or lie to myself about being comfortable when I’m not.
Before I got I sober, my life was unmanageable. I was ruled by sex, manipulation and lies. There was emptiness. I didn’t accept myself. I hated people and I hated myself. I hated life. I wanted to die. Sobriety is real. It’s more fun. The feelings are real. This is a totally different life where I can find the real me. The acceptance of ourselves for who we are, as we are, is better than any hobby. I recommend it to anyone. It works for me.”
—Azul Love Looez, sober since February 28, 2017.
HELP EACH OTHER
“The thing I love the most about sobriety is I get to be me and the best version of myself. The number one challenge I’ve faced in the past is dealing with myself as the problem and having to face that. Recovery has also connected me with people who I never would have connected with outside of the program. I’m finding something in common with people from all walks of life. We can all help each other.
In addiction, I wanted to force things to work even though they were not the best thing for me. Instead of working my way to something, like let’s say a relationship, where you would meet someone, and eventually establishing something. I took a shortcut to a very short-lived connection that eventually left me feeling empty.
Thankfully I became real desperate and realized that I was never going to accomplish all the things that I was intended to accomplish if I didn’t get sober. I noticed that being sober is working for millions of people and it also gets to work for me.”
—Alfonzo Chavez, sober since December 6, 2016.
“What I love about being sober is I feel like I’m part of the world again. I don’t feel as isolated. I’m more connected with the people around me, including my family. I feel like I have a stronger relationship with my parents, which is great. I maintain friendships with my friends. I don’t blow them off to do drugs. People are starting to trust me again. I show up for work. I’m reliable. I feel like a healthy contributing member to society, which I didn’t for so long. I like that my worst days are never nearly as bad as some of my best days when I was using. I don’t have to wake up hungover. Even if I don’t wake up in the best mood, I can still show up to work and function. Physically being able to participate is the best.”
—Sean Brewster, sober since July 4, 2016.
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