The Share


We asked a few local clean and sober folks, with various lengths of continuous sobriety, what inspires them to stay the course of recovery today.



“What keeps me sober today is finally having self-worth and being able to self-sustain, which I never had before I got sober. I had a big problem with being gay. I always felt like it was a punishment from God. I was filled with resentments. My drinking and using had everything to do with my being gay. I just wanted to check out. When I was under the influence, I didn’t care.

What’s it like today? I have always had a great group of friends and people that I admire and love and one day I realized that all these great people love me, so I must not be so bad. I was finally able to look at myself through their eyes. I started giving myself a break. I stopped beating myself up. I started to love myself and I started to believe that God really loved me. Today I believe I can have the life I want.”

—Mateo Delgado, sober since September 24, 2017.


“My mom died while I was in active addiction. She never got to see me get the help that she had been praying for decades that I would get. I showed up at the hospital to ask her forgiveness and she had died two hours before I got there. That was my last run. What keeps me sober today are the relationships that I mended along the way, like my sister who had washed her hands of me after my mom died, but she extended an olive branch in the form of the phone number to the Van Ness Recovery House. My relationship with my sister has grown leaps and bounds. She is now my very best friend.

I was also able to rebuild a relationship with my father who recently died. That was the toughest thing I had to go through in my sobriety, but I was able to be there for him in a way that I was not able to with my mother. Part of what keeps me sober today is a renewed sense of self. Today I surround myself with people who inspire me.”

—Sal Samano, sober since October 14, 2011.


“Being sober gives me another chance to live a life that I could never imagine for myself when I was getting loaded. When I was getting loaded, all I was doing was getting loaded. Now I have experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. They haven’t been all great, trust me. There have been lessons along the way. There has been pain, but I found that out of those painful experiences, a lot of growth comes. For me, acceptance has been my big lesson this last year. I was sober before and I relapsed. Getting sober again right-sized my life in a way I could not imagine, because I lost everything. It happened quickly, but it cleared the past. I had to work toward acceptance. It was truly a spiritual awakening in a way that I didn’t quite reach in my first sobriety. That relapse is a huge motivator today. I do not want to do that again–ever. I’m very clear about what can happen. Sobriety this time is more real. Getting sober has been a blessing.

—Tripp Mills, sober since July 30, 2013.