Chris Aguirre is a leader in the online recovery community with his amazing recovery site, http://KLENandSOBR.com. He is someone that I’ve known for a couple years now and I was lucky enough to meet him in October 2015 at the Unite to Face Addiction rally in Washington, D.C. He has helped many other recovery bloggers get the word out and he’s a big advocate for recovery! He also has one of my favorite podcasts, with the help of Matt and Jeff; http://sincerightnow.com/pdcst, I was lucky enough to be a part of this last April and loved being part of their witty and informative podcast. I love Chris’ artistic vision in all that he does and how open he is about his addiction.
What was your relationship with Alcohol/Drugs/Food before you got clean and sober? Like all alcoholics I had a completely dysfunctional relationship with alcohol. My drinking was essentially palliative self-medication in an effort to not have to think about myself. Which, of course, ultimately didn’t work, in the end I thought a lot about myself. None of it good.
What is your relationship with Alcohol/Drugs/Food today? I have a healthy respect for alcohol’s potential for damage to my life, health, relationships, etc. I don’t, however, fear alcohol or spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it or how to avoid it. As it relates to me, I simply don’t think about it much. It’s more in the context of my recovery efforts that I find myself becoming frustrated with its ubiquity and social acceptance to the point of being a danger to others.
How were your relationships with your family before you got clean & sober? Having had time to reflect on it, I think that in many ways the relationships may have been subjectively better. No one in my family really saw the whole of me where alcohol was concerned and they being “drinkers” seemed—for the most part—to like me just the way I was.
How are those relationships today? They’ve become a bit strained over the years in large part due to my sobriety. The line between healthy and unhealthy relationship with alcohol was drawn by me when I got sober and it hasn’t sat well with those trying to feel good about which side of the line they’re on.
Regarding your prior romantic relationships – how did your addiction affect those? I thinks it’s safe to say I never had a mature, adult romantic relationship while I was drinking. Alcohol—and other drugs—always played a destructive role. Or, at the very least, undermined the stability of the relationships. Any romantic connection was almost always prefaced with alcohol in some way.
What is your current relationship status today? I have a loving, mature relationship with my—normie—wife of 10 years.
How has this changed since being sober? It’s a relationship that began about 6 years into my sobriety/recovery. So, it hasn’t changed due to sobriety but I do feel my recovery has changed due to the relationship. It’s helped me work through issues of recovery that can’t be worked through in a vacuum. Things like self-worth and forgiveness and responsibility issues have benefitted greatly from a healthy sober relationship.
How did you feel your relationships with friends and co-workers are now that you clean and sober? I feel like the relationships I have now are real, healthy, reliable, solid friendships.
Do you have a relationship with a HP, God or Universe that guides you? I can’t say that I do. I fancy myself an apatheist—I’m simply not interested in the existence or non-existence of an HP.
If so, how does that help you in your recovery? Well, I’ve got almost 20 years of sobriety but I wouldn’t say I have 20 years of recovery. I’ll likely never know how a belief in an HP would change either of those.
Do you have relationships with pets and if so, how has that helped with your recovery? We have four dogs that I give no credit whatsoever for any part of my recovery. But I love them.
How is your relationship today with Society at Large? I’m a socially anxious introvert who doesn’t get lonely so…
What have you been able to contribute? For that past 3 years I’ve made a concerted effort to make up for lost time an put as much support and solidarity out in to the aether for those looking for it. If you’re interested, you can find the recovery magazine, Klēn & Sōbr, at http://KLENandSOBR.com and the addiction recovery podcast, Since Right Now, at http://SinceRightNow.com/pdcst
Chris’s bio is above – please go and check out his amazing site to learn more about him and his podcast.
I applaud his brave decision to recover. Even though his relationship is not “as great” I think it’s better because it’s sincere. He’s able to expose his weaknesses and I think any relationship that can last in transparency is a good one.
I love this quote, “I’ve got almost 20 years of sobriety but I wouldn’t say I have 20 years of recovery.” I’m sure the pain still haunts him – a pain that a lot of people will not understand.