The Share

Past And Present

We asked these clean and sober individuals to share what their life is like now in recovery, in contrast to the life they had before sobriety.

New Desire

“My life today is hopeful and full of possibilities. Not that there weren’t possibilities before, but there was a disconnect from my own personal truth where I would camouflage it with chemicals and substances, so I wouldn’t have to feel my feelings. I’m not in victim consciousness today. There is a freedom. There is a new desire. I’m open to unbound awareness. I used substances because I thought I had a good time. When it became a problem, it was difficult to see. Having some time away from it and not being in that relationship, I put on a new pair of glasses. I don’t beat myself up for it. I’m better today for it. I’m grateful for the air I breathe, for the motion of my body, having a roof over my head and a job where I get to express myself and do work is gratifying to me. I have friendships with people who care about me. Today I’m open to possibilities.”

—Jazzmun Nichcala Crayton, sober since November 13, 2007

Stronger Foundation

“I’m just over 14 months sober this time. Everything is different. I had 12 years clean and sober and I relapsed in 2014 after 12 years. I lost everything. They say everything you put in front of your sobriety will be the first thing you lose and for me, it was my career. I put money, property and prestige above my sobriety. I moved to Miami and I got disconnected. I coasted for a year. Then the idea to have a drink hit me. I tried it, didn’t tell anyone and before I knew it, alcohol led to cocaine and cocaine led to crystal meth. Within like six months, I lost everything. I ended up homeless in Florida and in L.A. I literally ended up in Skid Row in downtown. In 2017, I went back to the Van Ness Recovery House where I had gotten sober before. I was there for six months and I worked on myself like I never have before. I really do credit everything to the Van Ness House and the foundation they gave me. I also have an amazing sponsor who is spiritual-based and God-based. My foundation is stronger now. I’m slowly building my life. I’m grateful to be alive, and for my relationships with my family and friends. To be a functioning member of society again is just the best feeling ever.”

—Rob Turner, sober since February 13, 2017.

Getting Better

“My life is very different. It’s simple, but it’s very busy. I have the life that I have created by watching other people in recovery and taking notes. What works for them? What didn’t work? Something good came out of those fourteen years that I was doing meth and that is the new me. I don’t remember the old me. I have glimpses—especially towards the end, when it was dark and lonely and sad and that’s not the life I have now. I have a lot to be grateful today. I just got proposed to. I’m able to take care of my dogs. I’m able to be a good fiancé. I pay my mortgage on time. At the same time, I surround myself with people who hold me accountable. I love my sponsor. I’m able to be a brother and be a part of my family. Life keeps getting better and better. I’m very curious to know what God has in store for me.”

—Mike Cativo, sober since May 10, 2009.