The Share

Sober New Year

We asked these clean and sober folks with various lengths of recovery time what their year was like and how they stayed sober throughout 2019


“I celebrated 12 years of recovery in 2019. Crystal meth was in my life for 11 years, so I’ve been meth-free longer than my using years, which did not seem possible in early recovery. This past year has been about getting into action. 2019 was also about letting those who wronged me off the hook and in turn allowing myself to be happy. Maybe I didn’t work the perfect program of recovery, but not drinking and drugging is something I did perfectly this past year. I big part of my sobriety is my willingness to be of service to others. I also never forget the chain of events that led to that first step where I admitted I was powerless over drugs and alcohol. Simply put, I stayed clean and sober in 2019. It was a great year. Let’s do it again in 2020.” 

—Paulo Murillo, sober since January 10, 2007.


“This past year had its fair share of highs and lows. Life was definitely in session. I had my first panic attack in sobriety, developed health anxiety, lost my dog of 16.5 years, and the apartment building I moved into caught fire. Needless to say, I was going through a lot. With that being said, a lot of positive things also happened. I moved in with Robert, we got engaged, I was promoted at work, and I overcame my anxiety and depression. My point is—regardless of everything good and bad, drinking was never an option. I was able to get through anything life threw at me because of sobriety. I did what we do here. I reached out to my friends, shared at meetings, and checked in with my sponsor. If you’re struggling, please know that you are not alone and you can get through any experience sober. I’m ready for 2020. Bring it!”

—Christopher Martinez, sober since January 5, 2014.


“I went from going into the Van Ness Recovery House drunk and doped up on psych meds that weren’t even prescribed to me, to the sober life I have today. I remember reading The Promises at The House and thinking what a miracle it would be to make just a few of those Promises come true. Today I can say that more than a few Promises are real for me. For starters, I have a good relationship with my family because I now know how to show up. Some good things happened to me in 2019. The way I stayed sober through that is I always remember to give back. Service will always be a vital part of my recovery. I look forward to my life in the New Year for a change.”

—Judd Minter, sober since November 3, 2005.


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