The Share

Gifts Of Sobriety

We asked these clean and sober folks with various lengths of recovery time what they consider the greatest gifts of sobriety in the past year.


“This past year was the year of intellectual expansion for me. I learned to lean more into the nuances instead of the noise. I didn’t allow myself to become as reactive and decided to become more proactive. I recognized that I’m either part of the problem or part of the solution and it really transforms—not only my life, but the way that I view other people. Coming out of 2017 with [my confrontation with] Caitlyn Jenner, I started to feel like I was living in active addiction without the drugs. The gift for me was that I got to reset my sobriety without ever having to pick up. That was a concept I was never familiar with. I want to focus more on spiritual recovery instead of physical recovery. I’ll have seven years in March. Maybe for the first five years of my sobriety it was about physically abstaining from the use of drugs and alcohol, and that 2018 was more about mentally abstaining from behaviors are asymptomatic of addiction.”

—Ashlee Marie Preston, sober since March 11, 2012. 


“2018 was a challenging year which makes me even more grateful to be in recovery and in the solution. My spiritual program has afforded me the tools to handle the ups and downs of life, with grace, humility and hope. I am better able to identify, assess and right-size challenging situations and take the next indicated step. Much like a lot of things, you get out of recovery what you put into it. I try to always be in action regardless of my circumstances and stay in the middle of the boat. One of my favorite quotes that I live by is, ‘You cannot think yourself into right action, you can only act yourself into right thinking.’

I am lucky to have a huge support system and a community that has been there for me whenever I needed them. Recovery has also made me be more present for other people and be of service whenever and wherever I am needed.”

—Vic Gerami, sober since February 24, 2008.


“The gifts of sobriety for me in 2018 has been about setting goals and accomplishing them. I paid off my $10,000 restitution for my past court cases. I completed my hours of continuance education for my drug and alcohol counseling certificate. I paid off my house bill at the Van Ness Recovery House at the beginning of 2018. I also successfully completed my probation in November of 2018. I got into a lot of trouble before I got sober. I was in and out of jail. I feel very fortunate and grateful that I get to participate in my sobriety today. I recently celebrated three years sober and I hope I continue to stay clean and sober one day at a time in 2019.”

—Raymon Lopez, sober since December 23, 2015.