Art director by day, writer by always. Ryan is a thirty-something artist + traveler + fill-in-the-blank-aholic living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has been sober since December 25, 2011 and is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He began the blog TwelveOneFive to share stories of his personal journey and experiences with addiction, recovery, spirituality, sexuality and self-acceptance. If you are interested to read more by Ryan, you can view his work at, or email him directly at

    BEING, THEN BEING A HUMAN BEING – By Ryan Michael Sirois

        It is my one-year wedding anniversary. Somehow I managed to not only piece myself together and stay sober, but I managed to be an equal to another human being. Another person who accepted my faults, my flaws, and stood with me on this journey. It’s amazing, amazing how Chris stuck with me during my mess. During the lies. Through rehab and relapse. Why are the people we love the most the ones we are harshest to? Why are the ones who love us the ones we push away? He watched a child fall on his face over and over again, watched me stumble and cry in defeat until finally, finally those little shards of light seeped through the cracks. And I began to emerge. The today me. The person who writes these words. Not just writes them, but lives them. The person who shares from experience instead of… Continue reading

    Finding Control – Ryan Michael Sirois

      The screen is blank. A bottle of Pellegrino on the small bronze table ahead. My feet are propped on a blue and white patterned pouf ottoman. I was in the kitchen a few minutes ago before sitting down. Had every intention to write about control, a topic in my AA meeting this morning. But a message slid across the computer monitor with a Facebook alert. It was a photo posted of me and a few friends from sleepaway camp in Maine. Maybe thirteen-years-old. Fourteen. Something like that. Nine of us. June, maybe July. Somewhere in Maine. We were senior campers, which made us feel that much cooler and authoritative over the other kids. The photo was taken one night on a trip in town together. I’ve got a bottle of Pepsi and what looks to be Sour Cream and Onion Pringles in my hands. A mint green, long sleeve… Continue reading

    To The Tide – By Ryan Michael Sirois

    A single mirrored drop of water sails through thick coastal air. A single drop expelled from heavy gray clouds, joins a school of like-minded peers free falling. A single drop swan dives, splatters against my windshield. Pushed aside by the wiper, like a finger washing tears from his cheek. The vent blows cool air in my face, eyes dried to an icy veneer. Another drop. Followed by another. M83’s “Wait” filters through the stereo. Grabs hold of my heart with a gentle fist, squeezes. A blanket of energy unfolds through my veins like the unfurling of a flag, followed by a wave of goose bumps. This song. This song, I say to Chris. This song, I say to Kelly in the backseat. This song, I say to myself, is every beautiful moment wrapped into words. Into sound. As the rain begins to pour, the windshield becomes a puddle of tears.… Continue reading

    GHOST – By Ryan Michael Sirois

        I’ve got this cat – his name is Bastian. A fifteen-year-old, stoic, Merlin-type with a childlike need for affection. A snowball of soft, pure-white fluff with spots of light gray like continents. His eyes are celestite marbles that vibrate when looking at you. Bounce side to side like one of those alarm clocks in a cartoon. Not a digital one, the old-school kind that’s round with two bells on either side. In the cartoon, the character is always asleep when the alarm goes off. He jumps up in bed all comic-like. Followed by a tight frame of his hand hitting the clock, those two bells vibrating rapidly back and forth in a continuous brass colored blur. Take that visual. The one of the alarm clock. Then put it in Bastian’s crystalline eyes. Surround those eyes with freshly fallen snow. Inject this snow with a cross between Gandalf and… Continue reading

    Echo Songs – By Ryan Michael Sirois

      She was a girl in a car. Driving. A grey Camry. Maybe silver. Maybe it wasn’t a Camry at all. Those details aren’t really important. She had a grey car. And she picked me up just as my work shift ended, a few minutes passed six. She’s parked around the corner, a grey something car along the sidewalk. I opened the door and slid into the passenger seat. She was on the phone. A girl in a car on a phone. I kept quiet to let her finish speaking to whomever she was speaking to. A conversation that rose and fell like the chest of a sleeping child. Quietly, faintly at times, followed by restless gasps for air. Up and down. Up. Then back down. She looked at me for the first time since I slipped in the car. An apologetic grin across her face. If ever there was… Continue reading