Celebrating two years sober as a gay man living in Ireland

Dublin South FM radio show host Marlon Jimenez-Compton shares how being two years sober has improved his life and job opportunities.

The image shows Marlon Jimenez-Compton holding up a sign which reads
Image: @marlife16 via Instagram

Having arrived in Ireland twenty years ago as an asylum seeker from Venezuela, Marlon Jimenez-Compton shares how being two years sober has changed his life for the better.

“Marlon, if you really love life the way you say you do, you must stop drinking alcohol.”

I will carry the above powerful statement with me for the rest of my life. It was something I said to myself as the result of deep reflection leading up to my decision to become sober. 

This happened on November 2nd, 2021. So, yes, today, I am incredibly proud to be celebrating two years of sobriety. 

Last year, GCN published a piece I wrote to celebrate the first-year milestone, where I explained why I embarked on this phenomenal journey. This time, I would like to outline some of the benefits I have been enjoying and the many doors that have opened to me as a result.

In January of this year, I became a facilitator for SMART Recovery Ireland. I am facilitating an online meeting for members of the LGBTQ+ community. The meetings take place every Friday at 7pm. SMART provides a diverse and inclusive safe space where everybody is welcomed.

SMART stands for Self-Management And Recovery Training. The sessions are a mutual support meeting where, through open and confidential discussion, we help each other and ourselves with recovery from any type of addictive behaviour. 

Our approach uses self-empowering skills to help participants build and maintain motivation, cope with urges, manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and live a balanced life.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Marlon Jimenez-Compton (@marlife16)

In my pursuit of spreading the powerful and positive message of sober living, I have been invited to participate in a TV programme called Second Chance Bootcamp. I’m thrilled to say that I accepted this invitation, and the show will air on Virgin Media in spring 2024.

Second Chance Bootcamp, a production created by Mind the Gap Films and hosted by the fabulous Rebecca Tallon de Havilland, will offer support, help and guidance to those who are in need of “a second chance in life”. My participation is, indeed, a testament to my sobriety.

Four months after becoming sober, I became a member of the Refugee Advisory Board for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in Ireland. Sober living has given me the clarity and energy to concentrate on what had to be done in the formation of such an important role.

I am just back from Brussels, where I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in the creation of a campaign video to encourage and mobilise voters for the European Parliament elections in 2024. The event was hosted by ECRE (European Council on Refugees & Exiles). To use my voice at such a high level in politics and advocacy is something I greatly value.

It is worth mentioning I feel I am giving something back to this country, which has been extremely kind to me from the moment I arrived in Ireland twenty years ago as an asylum seeker from Venezuela.

As you can see, sobriety is paying off. It’s been fruitful and very rewarding: psychologically, emotionally, physically and, even for me, spiritually, too.

If someone were to ask me, “What’s next?” my answer would be: I will continue using my voice and platforms to try to erase the stigma and shame attached to addiction in any shape or form. 

I will shine a light on the incredible power and wonders of sober living. Recovery is something that needs to be talked about and celebrated more and more.

If you’re interested in following my sober journey and journey in life in general, you can tune into The Marlon Show on Dublin South FM every Thursday at 11am, where I use my story to empower others to live their best lives.

I am sober, I am happy and incredibly proud of myself. Cheers to life and sober living.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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