Sober Chronicles with Marc Lee Shannon

Sober Chronicles | You Just Never Know

Writing by Marc Lee Shannon

Six years ago, If I were to wager that I would be sober, healthy, and solvent, writing this column about sobriety, I would have probably bet against that possibility. I had lost all hope, required medical attention, and had tried everything to turn my life around. 

Fast forward to now and, well, I guess you just never know.

Everything has changed. Today I am alive and surviving as a performing music artist and instructor, writer, columnist and podcaster (more on that later.) The changes and promises of a better world have come about. Everything is more OK in my world because of my sobriety, even during a freaking pandemic.

I am especially thrilled to have the opportunity to do this monthly column. I so dig the comments that readers send to me; they make me feel I am helping folks understand this journey or maybe answers their questions about living sober. All of that is meaningful and important to me in ways that I can not express. My life has come through in these pages, and I have told stories and shared secrets that have lived in the back of the closet, on that hard-to-reach corner of a private shelf in my heart.

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It has been healing for me, and I think sharing these tales of my struggle with addiction to substances and alcohol helped me be a better person now than when I started this project 15+ months ago. But it’s not always easy. This month, after three false starts, I realized that I have run out of pretty things to hold up to you all like a grown-up show and tell moment, with my solemn wisdom or stunning revelations born from the pain of my oh-so-important life. I got nothing. Zero. That voice in my head is saying I’m sucking as a writer, guitar guru, former-minor-rock-star-turned-folksy-worldly-wise-guy, idea-sharing Yoda.  

With the deadline looming, I am starting all over one more time. 

When I look around the landscape of my life, it is full of earnest crazy personalities, good and kind friends, genuinely inspiring recovery stories, and the tales of those who have tried time and again, failed, and somehow resurrected and made it back from the darkness that the demons haunt. It’s all here for me, and it’s all right in front of my face hiding in full view. I just need to look up and write about it. 

I will embark now on a series of columns about these outstanding soldiers of strength, examples of the endurance, and testimonials of courage that wander across my trail and are my beacons in the sober community. I will also stretch for a greater reach into the mental health community that is such an essential component to folks like me, who had to deal with other underlying issues. There is much to talk about here. Recovery from substance abuse often lays bare emotional and other problems that must be addressed for full and sustained healing and transition into healthier living. 

So, help me. If you are reading this now and know of a superhuman in the trenches thriving and or doing the work of helping others in recovery, please let me know by way of my email address Come on; let’s shine the light on the badasses. 

I would like to share one last thing that I have been working on: A new podcast called Recovery Talks – The Podcast. It is curated by Rock and Recovery at 91.3 the Summit. I am sure that I do not know what I am doing, but I will learn as I go. What else is new? I hope to have a safe and stigma-free space to share stories on how people are thriving and striving in modern recovery. Here is a link to the first episodes:

Things may seem unbearable and difficult during these extraordinary times in which we are living. But together, we are always better. No matter how impossible it may seem, things always somehow sort themselves and work out when we join to help others together. When it appears that there is no way to solve a problem, a solution shows up with flashing lights and sirens just in time. 

As I watch people serve each other in the recovery community, I have faith that replaces my old cynical doubts, and fears. That is something I would not have wagered would ever be a part of my story.  

I guess you just never know.

Steady on.