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I’m going to have to be honest here: I’m very invested in Paul Fuhr’s recovery—and it’s not just because I am a selfless person.

I’ve gotten to know Paul, you see, because he wrote me a fan email several years ago about this very podcast. How lovely was it? Well I’m a hardened soul and it made me cry. Because I couldn’t do it justice, I have gotten Paul’s permission to paste it below.

But here’s the really fabulous part: after that email, Paul wrote a story on spec for the site I was then editing. And it was brilliant. Cut to: Paul becoming AfterParty’s most prolific writer. Every story he turned in examined a different aspect of recovery in a way that was wholly original, clever, and passionate. (Side note: because Paul is incredibly modest, he never told me until we recorded this very episode that he had a Masters in English and had worked as an editor. I had been patting myself on the back for years over having “discovered” him.)

Our conversation did not disappoint. Please listen and learn how a brilliant guy with a wife, three kids, a career managing dozens of people found and then handles sobriety.

Find Paul Fuhr on Twitter here. Listen to his podcast here. See his archive of AfterParty stories here. Read his glorious first email to me below.

Hi Anna,

I’m sure you get hundreds of these emails on a regular basis, but I don’t care. I’m sending this anyway. I’m not the type of person who’s going to take the time to write, say, Adam Carolla and tell him how he can make a commute go faster. I will, however, take the time to write someone who has profoundly changed my life. You’re one of those people. 
 
I spent all of my twenties and nearly all of my thirties as an alcoholic. I went into treatment last October and promptly relapsed two weeks later. I’m ten months into sobriety now, so I’m new to this. I have a sponsor and regularly go to meetings, but I have to say that your podcast has probably done more to help me than anything or anyone else. It’s been my friend in some really dark, anxious times but it’s also been there during the normal, boring moments of my life. And more often than not, that’s when I’ve needed it most.
 
I’ve logged more hours with your podcasts than in actual meetings, which is saying something. When I discovered After Party, I promptly went all the way back to the beginning. I’ve saved some episodes and revisit them frequently. To be honest, while your interviews are compelling, if not occasionally revelatory, your introductions are what I identify with the most. Your ability to be honest, funny, insightful and deeply moving in the span of sixty seconds is special. You’re at home with not being at home with yourself, and I love that.
 
You should be genuinely proud of what you’ve accomplished. I think the second-most important thing I did next to actually getting sober was subscribing to After Party. I mean it. 100%. Whether I’m grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, or packing my kids’ lunches, I draw strength from you and your words. I sincerely can’t thank you enough. There are countless recovery resources out there but I haven’t found one that’s nearly as inspiring, honest, and life-affirming as yours. You’ve definitely made a huge difference in my life and I don’t really think there’s more I can say about it. 
 
Thank you so much.
 
Sincerely,
Paul from Ohio