Guinevere Gets Sober

Recovery news, reviews and stories, by Jennifer Matesa.

Addiction and Recovery Stories Out The Wazoo

So a couple weeks ago I got a comment from someone who called this site “egotistical” (though to be fair, the person also said they’d gotten help from reading here while in early sobriety). Which made me think about the site’s recent content. I suppose it could be seen as more self-referential than it used to be when I started writing two years ago. Back then I was reviewing books and interpreting medical studies and conducting interviews with interesting people.

In fact I have a bunch of interesting people that I want to interview for this site. Including, for example, Dr. Abraham Twerski, founder of internationally recognized Gateway Rehab and author of a gabillion bestselling books. He has recovery stories out the wazoo. Catching up with this rabbi and addictions-specialist later today. … I have more books to review than I know what to do with. But most of the reviews, interviews, and feature stories now go into other publications that have a wider readership than this blog (plus, they pay).

For example my interview with Marianne Warnes, the mother of Carrie John, a University of Maryland Ph.D. addictions researcher whose boyfriend and lab partner helped her shoot some drugs he’d bought from an online pharmacy—and who subsequently died of anaphylactic shock, because the drugs weren’t actually drugs but a contaminant. New York Times writer David Carr (author of a memoir of addiction/recovery, The Night of the Gun) liked that story:


Also my review of Kaylie Jones’s helpful and eloquent book about her recovery from alcoholism, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, which appeared last week in Renew Magazine. My Q&A with Kaylie is online, but to read the review you have to buy the print edition (which rocks, by the way. Please subscribe. Next issue: Bill Clegg).

I get lots of mail from readers these days, too. An interventionist recently wrote me asking what I thought about this idea:

I am passionate about my intervention work, and I stumbled upon the following recently re: “eIntervention.”

He provided a bunch of links to studies about getting sober online that I haven’t yet looked at, but this is an interesting phenomenon—the fact that more and more people are getting sober, or at least beginning their journeys toward sobriety, via the Internet. I did the same, which is how I became Guinevere.

More stories: I’m in the process of putting faces to the avatars/usernames I’ve known for four years. I met up with one woman last month in New York; in a few days I’m meeting up with another guy who’s moving from the Rocky Mountains back to the East Coast. This summer I hope to connect with one or two more of these amazing, open, dedicated, sober people with whom I’ve been “eRecovering” for four years. It’s interesting to feel so close to people you’ve never met. Until this year I’d never met any of them, but I’d trust each one of these folks with the keys to my house.

Plus I have non-addiction stories coming out my ears. I have ideas for paintings (as well as commissions) lined up like a row of beans to be picked. I just gotta get in there and pick them. I also have to get used to planting seeds in the next bed over while the current bed is bearing.

As always, trying to take life and its opportunities and challenges one day at a time. Until last week I’d spent five weeks losing blood. Seriously anemic. Hard to do much without enough hemoglobin, you know? Tough to get oxygen. But yesterday I went running for the first time in maybe three weeks. Can I tell you how good that felt?—I could feel my lungs expanding, I could feel my muscles stretching and powering me over the hills, I felt the medicine. Drugs always worked for me (until, as they say, they didn’t anymore). And exercise works for me, too. I sometimes wonder when or if it might stop working.

If you have thoughts about beginning your journey to sobriety online, or if you have an interesting addiction/recovery story of your own, please comment below or email me at guinevere (at) guineveregetssober (dot) com.


  1. This blog is the opposite of egotistical in my opinion. More of the same please.

  2. G, as a journalist i’ve noticed that if an article of mine attracts a dozen responses, eleven of them positive, i focus on the one that slammed me. At this moment i’m at the office and after reading an email i got from hazelden about relapse, about the importance of doing little things to prevent it, i tried calling my sponsor and got his voicemail, then came to your site where i feel connected to you and to your other readers in our communal effort to keep from killing ourselves. Thanks for being here. Kevin nyc

  3. Thank you so very much for your blog and specifically for leading me to the writings of Rabbi Abraham Twerski M.D. I have several of his books now on the way. Maybe its not a bad thing to consider what critics say — and considering does not mean accepting at face value. You have shared your journey and more about what you’ve discovered along the way. For some, that could be egotism. For others it would be humbling. All I know is you’ve shared things that have helped me. I’ll quit writing before I get on that “I LOVE YA MAN” kick… (but really, I do). I think you’ve been honest and brave and sincere and most of all inspiring.

  4. Abe Twerski is an amazing guy. Spoke with him the other day; he just turned 80, has a long white beard, dressed in a medium-gray pinstripe suit with a rabbi’s long coat, a black velvet yarmulke, and a Snoopy tie. (He did four books with Charles Schulz.) Stay tuned for notes on my talk with him.

  5. K, glad you checked in. miss seeing you around. /G

  6. G., I’m glad that the anemia has been diagnosed and you no longer have to go without hemoglobin. That would be a difficult thing to do as you noted. As far as what people write about your being egotistical, I don’t see it. I am glad that you are here. You are a good writer.

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