There is no doubt that the scope of how we do things as a Western society is changing (and has been changing) rapidly through the miracles of technology. Prior to 1935, alcoholics were sent to hospitals or sanitariums (if not to jail) to get treatment for their illness, which typically consisted of administering heavy narcotics, various chemical injections and, of course, the famed frontal lobotomy.
These days, luxury treatment options are far less troublesome, but still require a serious commitment toward sobriety.
After the book Alcoholics Anonymous hit the shelves, more people became aware of 12-step and started to accept it as a viable alternative for dealing with addiction that didn’t involve a medical team and a straight jacket. Since then, various other methods of quitting drinking and drugging have come to fruition, one of them being Internet recovery. There is no formal or organized structure behind it; Internet recovery simply consists of reaching out for support via the web. This could be in a forum, an online rehab program or through a blog. Here is the official After Party list of the 20 best recovery blogs out there (in no particular order):
Launched in 2012, sober blogger (and AfterParty contributor—no we’re not biased in this case) Allison Hudson began It’s a Lush Life after losing her brother to a drug overdose. She considers the site, and her own journey in sobriety, a living amends to him; a pouring out of love from someone who, like many of us, would probably feel otherwise helpless in the wake of addiction’s destructive path. It’s a Lush Life is an excellent resource for those who have lost a loved one to the disease of addiction, especially if they struggle (or have struggled) with substance abuse themselves. Hudson is an inspiring example of how taking action to help you can end up helping so many others.
The brainchild of Jason Schwartz, Clinical Director of Dawn Farm—a non-profit treatment program in Ann Arbor, Michigan—Addiction and Recovery News started out as a list of news links sent to his staff so they could stay on top of industry-related happenings. However, the tri-weekly (or so) email turned into an ongoing resource for those who want to be on the up and up of what is going on in the world of addiction and recovery. A great source for headlines and an even better source for inspiring efforts to help addicts in need.
She Recovers is a website dedicated to women in recovery. Visually, the site is clean and calming, a welcome oasis for many of us who are coming from chaos and confusion. Dawn Nickel, the woman behind the She Recovers, has built a substantial following (over 147,000 Facebook Likes and counting) based on her gentle and loving approach to female recovery. While many will agree that alcoholics and addicts are sensitive people by nature, being a woman—emotional and intuitive by nature—and being sober certainly calls for its own soft place to land. She Recovers is definitely that place. (SheRecovers also hosts retreats, sells Malas made by Nickel’s daughter Taryn, offers Recovery Coaching and more.)
If nothing else, British author and blogger Veronica Valli promotes fun and happiness in recovery through her self-titled website. Using the tagline “Sober Girl telling the world Recovery Rocks!” the combination of Valli’s upbeat persona on her blog and adorable smile (clearly viable on her home page) act as a tour guide from the darkness of addiction into the light of sobriety. But Valli isn’t interested in just being a one-woman cyber cheerleader for recovery, which is why she branches out in her interview series, Recovery Rocks, by asking other people what they like about being sober (read mine here).
Don’t let the simple aesthetics of this blog fool you, Guinevere Gets Sober is the complex voice of award-winning author Jennifer Matesa, who began posting about her struggles with pain medication on an opiate detox recovery forum in 2008. After relapsing on Vicodin in 2010, Matesa launched GGS in an effort to give back. And that she does. With an acclaimed book out about the importance of exercise in recovery, Matesa continues to teach writing at the University of Pittsburgh and update GGS with news, reviews and blog posts delivered the way most alcoholics and addicts like it: straight up.
Although slightly technical in appearance, Addiction Blog is actually a fantastic resource for those struggling with addiction, the people who care about them and the medical community who wishes to know more about the disease. While AfterPartyMagazine strives for a mixture of fun, funny and information, Addition Blog is focused on straight up facts about drugs, the disease and treatment delivered in a super clear and simple format. The site is packed with info and easy to navigate. Plus they have a slew of addiction professionals who blog for the staff. If you are not as in the know about addiction as you would like to be, Addiction Blog a must-subscribe. Not to mention the fact that you get a FREE download of their e-book on quitting smoking in recovery.
This blog is a good peephole into the way addiction affects the people who care about us. Created and maintained by the loving parents of a now clean addict, Ron and Darlene, aka Dad and Mom, continue to post regularly on the site and update their followers on struggles, joys and day-to-day activities as they pertain to being the parents of an addict son. If you have a child struggling with addiction (or even in recovery), it is imperative that you understand you are not alone and that there are resources out there to support you. This is one of them. While not a replacement for more structured programs like Alanon, blogs like this will surely bring you some comfort. And addicts and alcoholics out there can gain understanding on how “only hurting ourselves” is actually hurting others.
If you are newly sober and feel like the antithesis of cool, I invite you into the world of Chris Aguirre, a sober blogger and visual artist whose site looks like the love child of DC Comics and Andy Warhol. While there are plenty of educational resources, news sites, personal journals and sober mother blogs out there, it’s not easy to find the musings of a sober man and father (a pretty cute one at that) on the web, especially once that is so invested in his sobriety, his family and his brand. As alcoholics and addicts, our world can feel riddled with uncertainty so there is something very alluring about Mr. Since Right Now’s confidence in all his choices. For a deeper journey into the head of Chris, you can check out his podcast and our Reader Spotlight interview with him.
This is a cool blog wrapped in a super cute package. Maybe it’s my adoration for the British POV but Lou, who is virtually anonymous in the majority of her posts, is just an upbeat sober lady who loves being sober and likes keeping it simple. She offers a lot on her site: news stories, personal blog posts, how-to guides, workshops, interviews and other great resources for the sober community. Since I (and ever other sober person dating a normal drinker) am always looking for fun, non-alcoholic alternatives to enjoy with my bourbon-swigging boyfriend, I especially love her section on mocktails—complete with photos and recipes!
10) Last Call
Since 2010, Nancy Carr has been blogging about her day-to-day life in sobriety, which has included turning points like getting married and losing her mother. I enjoy Nancy’s accessible writing style; like a friend telling you about her day. Going to meetings is how alcoholics and addicts get a tangible understanding that they are not alone but we don’t often get to see how our peers struggle and prevail on a daily basis. Last Call is a look into the human existence of a recovering alcoholic and provides a feeling of being “normal” in sobriety. She also recently released Last Call: A Memoir, which is available on Amazon. Follow Nancy as she does her best to “Carpe the hell out of diem.” (Learn more about all that in Nancy’s Reader Spotlight.)
11) Malibu Mom
While it’s true that I am slightly biased about the tall, sultry, Aussie redhead that is Malibu Mom—greatly due to our countless touch points as AfterParty writers, comedians and sexual feminists—I am being totally objective when I say that Susanna Brisk brings a fresh and unique voice to sober motherhood and sober sexuality. If there is anything about Malibu Mom that is shocking or unsavory to you, please understand that she is simply being honest with herself and the world in a way that very few people in her position can. While she might not speak for you, her frank and unapologetic POV can act as an exterior dialogue to show others that they can have a no holds barred edge that begs for expression as they continue to show up for their straight-world responsibilities. In short, if you are a maternal sober bad ass and are looking for a leader, here she is.
Could be coined the American version of Mrs. D (see #19), Soberbia chronicles the sober journey of Amy, a wife and mother living in suburban South Carolina. Much like Mrs. D., Amy is a friend and resource for those struggling with alcoholism. She offers great insight and honest reflection about her struggles and revelations.
13) Sober Senorita
You could attend 100 young people’s meetings and not find half of the connection and relatability that you would by reading this blog. What I love about Sober Senorita (aka Kelly) is that her voice and perspective are young but not irreverent or glib. Her writing is full of clarity and insight from a former party girl who has clearly not let the absence of alcohol stop her from having a good time. As soon as she stopped “living life to the fullest,” Kelly started living a life beyond her wildest dreams (because, let’s face it, no one’s wild dreams involve being sober). Super fun!! (And yes, we did a Reader Spotlight on her too.)
14) Thirsty Still
At the risk of sounding judgmental, what I really love about Thirsty Still is that it’s an honest account of a grown woman who is actively trying to control her drinking. For a couple of years now, the 47-year old blogger has documented her attempts to quit drinking for a period of time in hopes of being able to drink again in moderation. When she winds up continuing in excess even after her period of abstinence, she tries again. This blog is extremely relatable for anyone who has tried to stop or moderate alcohol consumption on their own. She uses all the tricks: changing patterns, making deals with herself and others and setting small goals, yet after two years, she is still struggling. And representing many out there in the process.
15) I Fly at Night
The title alone says it all. So many of us appeared to be like other people during the day. We held down jobs, parented children, maintained relationships; for the most part, many of us kept it together in the public eye. But as the sun set, so did we; slowing morphing into our nighttime selves with each ritualistic drink. I Fly at Night is the documented journey of Laura McKowen, as her desire for honesty with herself and others evolves. This principle (and platform) seems to be the key to her sobriety and personal freedom.
There are three reasons you will love Holly Glenn Whitaker. The first is, she has three names and it’s been my experience that people with three names are just slightly hipper than the rest of us. Second reason is, if you are young either in age or spirit, Holly not only presents a cool, modern looking site that checks all the boxes of good branding but she also brings a confident irreverence to commonly accepted ideas about alcoholism. If you are passionate about thinking outside the box, Hip Sobriety is your new home. Here you will find a strong-willed, independent woman who is keeping it together since 2012 through yoga, travel, entrepreneurism and ditching her meds for something a bit more her style: happiness. (Bonus: she and I Fly at Night’s McKowen have a podcast for your listening pleasure.) (Added bonus: our Reader Spotlight on her.)
Slamming two shots of tequila before asking that girl or guy for his number was how we always summoned courage to do scary things in life; we called it liquid courage. Today we practice something similar yet a lot less expensive or sloppy: sober courage. This site is dedicated to the willingness and bravery it takes to release ourselves from the grips of alcohol and drugs and walk through life sober— but, as this site makes clear, not alone. Join Magz (featured in our Reader Spotlight here) and her army of blogs (Friday Night Pep-Talks, Sober Moms Posts, Tools For Recovery) to feel inspired, connected and totally worth it.
There is no “I” in sober, which is the essence The Sobriety Collective. When you “Join the movement” (i.e. enter the site) you get an immediate felling of being a part of something greater than yourself. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s a concept and practice that works; plugging your solitary self into a larger network of consciousness about sobriety is the way to keep what you have (or maybe get a piece, if you’re new). Much like Hip Sobriety, Laura brings a cool and modern aesthetic to her site that is very appealing. It is very clear that Laura is enjoying her life as a goofy, slightly edgy and sober gal who has found the key to happiness and freedom through her own brand of sobriety. This is an excellent resource for people who have tried 12-step and didn’t feel like it was their thing. (Here’s our reader spotlight on her.)
19) [block]49[/block]Mrs. D Is Going Without
Mrs. D, aka Lotta Dann, is the self-proclaimed boozy housewife behind this online journal of early sobriety—something you can find out far more details about in our Reader Spotlight interview with her here. Mrs. D’s following has held strong for the last four years and even allowed her to generate a book by the same name. While the site itself is a little DIY looking, what makes this blog unique is that started out as a way to help her stay sober on her own, without any outside help. What happened was an outpouring of love and support by the online sober community, making her realize she wasn’t at all on her own. She has recently started a new blog about finding inner peace in sobriety called Mrs. D is Going Within.
Although Catholic Alkie herself hasn’t posted since June, I had to include her on this list because she is seriously hilarious. Having grown up in Boston, America’s birthplace of Catholicism and alcoholism, I find it refreshing to hear from a practicing Catholic who doesn’t feel that drinking until she pisses her pants is part of her religion. Although she is a proud Southerner, the sharp wit of the Northeast Catholics (usually Irish) I have known isn’t lost on Regina, as her posts are a somewhat perfect balance of sincerity and humor. Case in point, her tagline boasts, “4 out of 5 of her personalities recommend this blog.” Catch my drift? This site is an excellent resource for recovering alcoholics who are also practicing Catholics or perhaps Jews like me who aren’t bothered by her constant quoting of the Bible or the fact that she happens to be pro-life.
[Check out our complete list of sober blogs on our resources page.]