The Recovery Revolution
THE SITE FORMERLY KNOWN AS KLEN+SOBR
When I had my “moments of clarity” in the spring of 1997 and concocted my plan to get sober (See my recovery story for how I got clean that spring) I was fortunate enough to have a family willing to support me in my plan. So, while it might be incorrect to say I did it on my own, in terms of using any sort of professional, organizational or institutional assistance—I did. It's not for everyone but thankfully it worked for me. The challenge with this I hadn't foreseen is that I’ve spent the bulk of my recovery without any real support system.
Throughout my fifth year of sobriety I had been overcome with a malaise I couldn’t shake and couldn’t quite define.
THE CALM, COMFORTING FEELING OF CONTENTMENT that had followed the initial highs and lows of early recovery had gone. I had the sensation that I had beaten this thing, the more immediate benefits had become commonplace—I was beginning to take my sobriety for granted. I was possessed by the idea that I deserved more for my efforts and success. I’m certain I had asked (myself): “What do I get next? What now?”
I WAS CLEARLY UNDER THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION that I needed to be challenged and/or rewarded for my sobriety to maintain it. My lone friend in recovery at the time (Jeff, now Since Right Now Podcast co-host,) and an AA regular, introduced me to the notions of “second-stage sobriety" and the "pink cloud." I had finally fallen off my cloud; I was struggling with how to embrace and maintain my sobriety for the long-term.
AT THE TIME, MY SOLUTION WAS TO GET A TATTOO. So, for the past twelve years I’ve had a triangle in a circle on my left arm (surrounded-by-twelve-spikes-and-on-fire-because-of-course.) It was a way for me to assure myself I wasn’t going back and just as importantly to reject the stigma of my alcoholism and embrace my sobriety without shame. What it’s turned into over the years is a sort of beacon for the occasional 20 or 30-something person to casually mention that they like my tattoo at which point I briefly explain that it represents “sobriety” and they invariably say “I know. Me too.” I’m always surprised. I’m always flustered. I congratulate them, tell them to keep it up, it’s the best decision they’ve ever made and… I’ve always been left feeling a little guilty. A little empty. Not being a part of AA—or any recovery support group—I’ve never put myself in the position to share my experience, to offer support, to help others. I've danced around the idea of becoming an interventionist, I've told myself that the odd bit of advice or insight I offered to friends and family was “doing my part.” I’ve been wrong.
In 2010 my daughter was born; the most astounding and meaningful event I can imagine life has to offer.
ALMOST FROM THE MOMENT I FOUND OUT MY WIFE WAS PREGNANT I think I began rehearsing how I might best educate my daughter when the time comes regarding the very real dangers that may lurk within her genes; how to help her understand them and not fall prey to them. Since my daughter's birth I've also been involved with the very real struggles of friends and family trying to get or remain clean and/or sober and I've come away from the experiences more than a bit shaken and dispirited by watching more than one person I care about succumb to relapse.
SO, OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, I've been working toward and around this idea: To collect and share stories* that aren't about scaring someone straight but are about supporting those that already are with understanding and the respect they're due.
BECAUSE sometimes it's enough to know that someone else understands what you're going through. Because while I'm not anonymous I respect those who are. Because accepting the stereotypes and stigma is not for anyone. We (at this point, I) are not here to proselytize or challenge we're here to support those who need it but moreso those who want it.
I’m not suggesting this is enough and I’m not suggesting this is all—but it's a start.
Turns out everyone with a recovery site and their mother with a recovery site was—and is—collecting "recovery stories." So, (this site) evolved quickly to incorporate just about anything relating to addiction recovery in all it's permutations. The tent pole, as many of you now know is the Since Right Now Podcast.
That's more than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined...this includes drunk driving, alcohol induced violence and all the diseases and disorders associated with alcohol. — KTTV, L.A.