A Sweet Story: LifeRing ePals

LifeRing ePals is a program where anyone who feels like they’d benefit from one-on-one support is paired with a clean and sober LifeRing member via email.

Longtime LifeRinger Julie H. signed up to become an ePal and was eventually connected with a man from China seeking sobriety support. One might think it impossible to even communicate with someone when there’s a considerable language barrier much less create a supportive connection, but in spite of some challenges they’ve found a way.

Here’s an update Julie originally shared in a LifeRing e-mail group. We thought it was such an inspiration we’re sharing it with you here (with Julie’s permission, of course)…

“A quick update on my Chinese epal. For the newcomers who don’t know, he uses translation software to read and send emails between us. His sober time between relapses has been steadily growing and the length of each relapse is shrinking. 

His pattern before would be 3-5 days or maybe a week sober, followed by a 10 day relapse. He’s back with me today after a 2 day relapse which followed 27 sober days straight. 

It takes amazing determination I think and he’s definitely making steady progress. I’ve managed to find an App for English to Chinese which I sometimes use because he really appreciates that. He tells me Empowering Your Sober Self is now available in China which is awesome. 

By the way, I’m in no way advocating relapse but unfortunately it’s a fact of life. What’s important I think is to keep that pilot light on and to never ever give up. 

Julie H.”

If you’d like to get an ePal or become one, please send an e-mail to Craig at cswhalley@lifering.org and he’ll be glad to get you started.



  1. Dennis on October 20, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for posting this on the Blog, Bobbi.

    Good for you, Julie, and thanks for sharing. Effort and resolve in concert, nice work. Your guy lucked out to have you as an epal.

    Funny this, I can access the LR Blog on my computer at work, but not the list…go figure? Loophole! How can I plumb the depths of the bureaucratic snafu? I’ll ponder that…

    • Bobbi C. on October 21, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      You’re most welcome, Dennis!

      Re: Your work computer thingy. Have they blocked your e-mail/Yahoo! altogether?

      • Dennis on October 23, 2017 at 6:40 am


        Yep….can access yahoo, just not mail.