Sober No Matter What – From The Share by Paulo Murillo

We checked in with these clean and sober individuals with different lengths of recovery time to see how they continue to maintain their sobriety as the pandemic continues to shut down in-person recovery meetings and fellowship.


Some people might think that it’s made things more difficult. Not for me, surprisingly. I often think about how I would be reacting to this if I were still an active alcoholic. I’d most definitely be drinking all day, every day, dismissing any semblance of daily structure. The days would blend into a grey, joyless, hopeless void with no end in sight. Thank God I have a program of recovery. Luckily, I have been blessed to still have my steady job. Zoom AA meetings have been a godsend. I even gained two sponsees since this pandemic began. I’m also blessed to have an amazing boyfriend, who is also sober, by my side for most of it. We have watched a lot of TV and we’ve been taking walks and doing home workouts. As crappy as COVID-land can be, it’s forced me to get creative with maintaining my sanity and to test my ability to be the best Kyle I can be. And I have a feeling that, once all this is over, I’ll emerge from this a better person because I won’t be so quick to take the relationships, I’ve gained in recovery for granted. And that, in a weird way, is a miracle.

—Kyle Holtgren, sober since August 3, 2015.

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Smaller Things

“It’s been a challenge. I miss being around people. I’m not a homebody so it’s been difficult navigating around that. I tried to go to a restaurant today and it was too crowded for me. It really has been the small things that are getting me through this. The new normal for me is gratitude. More than ever gratitude for the smaller things in life have become important to me. I find myself saying ‘thank you’ out loud more than ever. It could be for anything, kindness from a stranger or a butterfly traveling by when I need it the most.”

—Joe McDonald, sober since December 12, 1997.

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What gets in the way of serenity? For most people, the answer is life-those everyday distractions, obligations, and frustrations that cause chaos and clutter.




“I’m a sober showgirl. Before, I needed to drink to feel beautiful and secure. Now I enjoy being present. I love looking in the mirror and loving the person I see. I see the girl I always wanted to see without any drugs. I love feeling my feelings and being present for all of it. I enjoy seeing my family being happy that they have their girl back. Before, I wasn’t present for them. I was a mess. Now I’m no longer fighting with them. Sobriety has changed my life in so many ways. I love walking down the street, knowing that I’m a transgender woman and accepting myself for who I am without any alcohol. I love my life sober and I love who I am now.”   —Azul Love Looez, sober since February 28, 2017 

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