Not Sober Anymore (Digital)


This is a digital copy, sent as a pdf. For the print version click here.

I was sober and in AA for 11 years. I'm not sober anymore. This collection of essays looks at addiction, drug use, and recovery from an unorthodox lens.

"AA taught me the unflinching gaze and the primacy of honesty. And I need to tell this story: not a story of relapse or failure, but a story of transformation and change. The stories of people who leave AA are not told. I would hear whispers, notice people weren’t at meetings anymore, or see on social media that someone who had been sober no longer was. Usually this story was framed as relapse, and people in the program would express concern and worry for the person who had ‘gone out.’ Sometimes these people would return and tell the tale of their relapse and find their way back to sobriety.

But other times I would infer a different story. Sometimes I was following someone on social media, and I could tell they weren’t sober anymore, but it did not look like a chaotic relapse. They seemed happy and okay. And they didn’t come back to the rooms, and they didn’t talk about why they left, or how they understood their process, at least not publicly. Unfortunately, many in the program would subtly but explicitly judge these people, casting their experience as a relapse even if the person themselves didn’t understand it that way. They were counted among those who had ‘gone out’ and it was never considered possible that they had actually gone somewhere else entirely."