From the SHARE by Paulo Murrillo
ADAPTING WITH THE TIMES
“In the beginning I was freaking out about how we were going to get to meetings because they closed meetings of recovery. At first was I reluctant to do the ZOOM meetings, but one of my friends said, ‘girl, just try it.” I remember there was a meeting called Adapt or Die and a lot of people shared about adapting with the times. That changed my perspective. I stayed positive and I kept busy and tried to stay connected as much as I could. In 2022, I had to be careful with my time. It’s very easy for us alcoholics to deviate and wallow in self-pity. I also love to chase men and get into that sort of trouble, so I was careful. My year had its ups and downs. I got to travel to Mexico this year. I showed up for my birth mother and I took care of her. Then my other mother who raised me passed away when I was in Puerto Vallarta. I got to show up for her daughter who is my niece. I practice Buddhism and other forms of spirituality, so I believe it was her time. I made peace with her passing. God put me there so I can be of service and help with the church and make other arrangements. I stayed sober in 2022 because I love my sobriety and I stayed optimistic, and I continued to go to meetings and surround myself with people I love and people who love me and accept me for the sober woman I am today.” —Claudia Estrada, sober since May 5, 2008.
EXTREMELY CHALLENGING YEAR
“2022 was a challenging year for me. I moved in with a guy who said he was going to get back into recovery and he ended up continuously using for six months. I moved out and moved in with another sober roommate, and he relapsed two weeks later. I moved out and moved in with another sober roommate and she has been sober for eight years and that has been really helpful. I stayed sober this year by keeping my people close to me and checking in every day. It hasn’t been an easy year. People, places and things have been a challenge, a real challenge for me. I feel like people a lot of people are using all around me. Just driving down the street, I see people using. I know it’s easily accessible to me. Being around so many relapses makes think this isn’t possible and the hardest part was being around so much death due to relapses. I get past it by sticking around with the winners who have sober time and are doing what they need to do to stay sober.
A highlight this year was turning two years sober. My parents came down. My mother gave me a cake and it was extremely emotional. I got to hold my dad’s hand and I got to share and thank him for always being by my side and always accepting me for who I am and giving me his full support. He knows 100 percent of my truth and doesn’t change the love that he has for me, so I’m really lucky I had that moment to thank my dad. Even though it has been an extremely challenging year, there are people who have showed up for me in 2022 and they did it for fun and for free and for free. That to me is priceless.” —Curtis Blue, sober since July 8, 2020.