The Share

Sober LIFE

We asked a few local clean and sober individuals, in their first year of sobriety, what they hope to get out of living a life free from addiction.

Rebuild My Relationship

“Right now I have 76 days sober and I want to work on my sobriety. I call my sponsor daily. I only hang out with people who are working in their recovery. I stay busy. Sobriety is amazing. Every single something positive comes out of my sobriety, whether it’s getting a bus pass or going to a meeting. And I remind myself daily where addiction took me. That’s a big one for me. I think about how much it took from me and how much I lost and what I’ll lose again if I go back. I want a peaceful life. I was insane when I was using. I want to rebuild my relationship with my family. I have a sister. She’s five and a half and want to be a good example for my little sister. That’s what I want.”

—Manuel Alvarado, sober July 3, 2018.

Spiritual Connections

“I hope to get a sense of purpose, a connection to my family and to something bigger than myself. Right now I’m 150 days sober. I’ve been in the program for 15 years. There is also a lot of shame and guilt attached to my relapse. I really hurt my family, because they have the same hopes and dreams that I have for me and when I relapse, that all goes away for all of us. I’ve been at the Van Ness Recovery House for almost five months now and I’m getting anxious for a sober living, but I’m also so grateful. When I was living in a park and I had nowhere to go and I was so paranoid, alone and afraid… the Van Ness Recovery House took me in. I also started a new job, which is a lot to learn, but I’m full of gratitude for all of it. I think in this recovery, more than any other, I’ve really been working on building bonds with people and making spiritual connections. I’m working on many amends with my family by staying sober and working a really rigorous program, so that I don’t relapse again.”

—Brian Eyth, sober since April 23, 2018.

To Be Happy

“I have 65 days sober. Basically I wasn’t happy. I was trying to find happiness through alcohol, but the happiness wasn’t there, so what I’m trying to do is find the me that has been missed because of my drinking. Sobriety is awesome. I have my partner back. He was sleeping in the guest room. He’s back in our bed. I remember things now in the morning. I no longer have hangovers. I’m in better mood. You can tell that I’m smiling more now. I hope to get peace and serenity and I want to be helpful to my fellow brothers and sisters and be more useful. I think being sober, I will be able to do more things and do them better. I just want to be happy. Two days ago, I jumped out of a plane. It was awesome.”

—Jose-Luis Rigaud, sober since July 15, 2018.