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Sober 1.5+ Years


Ralph started The Anonymous Eskimo Recovery Podcast, which is devoted to bring hope to those struggling with the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction. Through guests sharing their inspiration, strength, and hope. he wants to break the stigma that is associated with recovery.

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Sober 6+ Years


Heidi Christensen is a Cultural Peer Support Specialist III for the Cook Inlet Tribal Council.


I have been sober since June 22, 2015. 


I live in Eagle River, AK with my husband and 2 children. I am Alutiiq and Athabascan. I am from Old Harbor, Alaska a village on Kodiak Island. I also spent 4 years in Nenana, AK attending boarding school. Growing up drinking was seldom but when there was drinking drama and chaos followed. I took my first drink at 13. Throughout my teen years I was rebelling after my father died. I took every chance I got to party. I drank from the age of 13-29. I called my addiction my love story, it truly was. It brought chaos, heartache, regret and comfort when I needed it. I chased that feeling for sixteen years.


What inspired me to find recovery? I was inspired by so many things. I wanted a happy home for my children and to be a good mother. I wanted to be a better wife. I wanted to not be a statistic. I was determined to help other addicts like me. When I was using it always felt like something was missing. While I was in intensive outpatient treatment I found myself being fascinated with wanting to attend school and working in the Substance use field. There was so much information that needed to be shared about drugs and alcohol, I was hooked.


What inspires me to stay sober? I continue to stay sober for my Family. I am also inspired by my participants that I work with in Residential and Outpatient Treatment. I get to share my lived experience with other addicts and show them that recovery is possible. Leading by example is important to me today. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing my participant do a 180* in their life.


The biggest surprise that I wasn’t expecting in my recovery is that I am able to challenge myself and learn to overcome life’s obstacles sober. I don’t doubt myself anymore, I am smart and I am worthy! With the help of my higher power, my life has never been better! All the glory belongs to Jesus! I have completed the Regional Alcohol Drug Abuse Counselor Training twice.  I have obtained multiple certificates. Today I am also a student at UAA and I will be graduating the Fall 2022 with my Associates in Human Services.


Today, I work at Cook Inlet Tribal Council-Recovery Services as a Cultural Peer Support Specialist. I get to share my knowledge and lived experience with others. I am ready and willing to help the next person that wants their recovery as bad as I wanted it.


My advice to those who are contemplating recovery is, if you want to get sober, reach out to others, and ask for help!


In recovery, “I can genuinely be myself.”


Sober 1.5+ Years

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Brian just started his job as a Peer Support Specialist at Alaska Behavioral Health and is an advocate for sobriety as Mr. Gay World Alaska 2021.
I think the best description of my life before sobriety would be a mannequin. I was a shell of a person with no boundaries or an  idea of what they are. My mental health was in desperate need of care. Now that I am sober I am much more active in my life. Establishing boundaries and learning how hold them.  I have begun to play an active role in my life and I am loving every moment.  ​

The biggest choice for me to get sober was due to the poor choices I was continually making.  My mental health was in dismal shape and the only choice I could think of was ending it all. Through the help of the my support system, treatment team and the Alaska therapeutic courts I was able to successfully address not only substance use issues but also my mental health.  ​

The biggest change in my life since getting sober would be my outlook on life. As I mentioned earlier I have begun to play an active role in my life not just floating through doing what I thought others would enjoy. But I have begun to take my happiness and my future into my own hands.  ​

In the beginning of my sobriety I struggled with FOMO.  I quickly learned that I wasn’t actually missing out on anything. As I learned more about myself and the triggers that made me want drink I began to learn it was ok to lean out on friends for support and talk about those things.  This was a very empowering lesson for me.  ​

For the curious I would say this is a journey and process. It’s ok if your scared or nervous but you will be successful if you commit. It’s ok to fall down and it’s ok to ask for help up. For each of us our recovery journey is unique yours is too.  Support and help are there if you need it. 




Jesse is a a resilient Alaskan native woman who is passionate about her life of sobriety and domestic violence awareness. Her Instagram is where she strives to bring attention to the DV issue in Alaska, you can check it out @soundingtheredalarm2020

Jesse never signed up for this session, but instead approached LeeAnna, the photographer, on the street during the project after seeing the "Sober Life Sessions" sign and asked about what she was doing. Immediately, she was excited. She told LeeAnna her story about her journey with sobriety and all the incredible changes it is has her to in her life. She asked to be photographed then and there for the project and, of course, LeeAnna obliged. 

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