By Kelsey S.,

Scottsdale Recovery Center Alumni


When I first got sober, I was under the assumption my life was over. My perspective on sobriety was a warped point of view. I envisioned my existence as being bland and the only ‘exciting’ element in my days would consist of the meetings I would grudgingly attend while being surrounded by decrepit men and women, drinking their stale coffee. I had completely stereotyped this new way of life.


Finding Other Young People on the Same Path

What a relief to learn my judgement was seriously misconstrued. I had not known that sobriety was full of young adults just like me who were brimming over with joy, sought out adventures, and still were enjoying the lives they were leading without needing substances.

As I walked into this meeting hall, I was shocked to see a room full of young adults my age. Immediately, my mind began spinning and creating new theories there was a possibility I could be happy in sobriety. The fact that I would be able to have a group of friends that dealt with the same disease changed my negative outlook on sobriety and gave me a sense of hope — if only I could muster up the courage to introduce myself to these unfamiliar faces.

Of course, this was uncomfortable: getting to know people and creating new bonds with people from scratch. As I continuously worked through these agonizing moments, I was met with welcoming responses from everyone I engaged with. I started socializing with these people outside and began building authentic relationships. I finally had my first belly laugh again and this is the moment I realized I was beginning to feel happy again.

After creating these new friendships, I started getting more involved in the recovery community. This young community taught me how to have some excitement in sobriety. We began planning trips for anyone in recovery to attend. One of my experiences was floating down the river which included 50+ people all of whom were my age ranging from 18 to 40 years old.

Everyone bought their own inflatable mattress, tied a rope to connect us all and floated down this enormous lazy river together. The atmosphere was full of camaraderie — music, laughter, a sense of peace flowing between us all.

Not only do we plan different events such as the float, but we also hold conventions all over the world. I have attended many conventions and have gotten the chance to experience meeting young adults from all over the world who share this same substance abuse problem. I still do all the same things I once did, except now I am sober doing them which gives these memories so much more value and meaning to my life. I could have never imagined all the adventures I now have pursued first coming into recovery.

Close friends of mine who have been sober for multiple years from the age of 20 and older have passed along their knowledge and helped me apply it to my life. Today I can show up for my job, I am able to be a friend to others, and I am able to be present and appreciate time with my family. All these things may not seem like a lot to the average person, but for a person that is afflicted with the disease of alcoholism and addiction, this is a full-blown miracle. Today I can honestly say without the help of these amazing young people I have met along my journey and by surrounding myself with similar people within my age group, I would not have this beautiful fulfilling life that I genuinely enjoy today. This life has become a godsend that I do not ever wish to give up.