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Guest
October 7th, 2006, 11:26 PM
I will start today. Its only 11:08pm Saturday night here in Ohio--but I figuire its already Sunday somewhere in the world.

Mike-your "pink cloud" got me thinking about something I heard not too long ago. It was suggested that as we get more comfortable with sobriety we stop doing the things that we did in the beginning of our journey. If we keep doing those things we can stay on the pink cloud--and if we see it slipping away we should evaluate what areas we had started to slack on that may be causing the pink cloud to disappear. Considering the length of time and amount I was drinking--everyday that I don't drink should be a pink cloud day. So there in lies my question.....what is important to keep doing to keep that pink cloud feeling. Are there things we need to add that can make the pink cloud bigger. Everyone that gives up alcohol has a pink cloud regardless of the route they are taking.

As many of you know, I am on the AA route. This last week I had slacked off on the number of meetings I attended. I didn't feel like I was going to drink--but just not myself--was my pink cloud disappearing already? Then I went to the Thursday meeting and stayed late talking with other newbies. From the time driving home through up to now--I have just felt better--like ahh the pink cloud is back. As well, I have to add some things in--like eating better, drinking more water, exercising ect--because they will all help me keep that pink cloud feeling around.

Just a quick note on the cell phone bill. Today it hit me (and I got a chuckle)--I thought--ok I knew that I am an alcoholic--but those bills just really really really prove that--wow! I really am an alcoholic! I wasn't questioning whether I was or not--just a real smack upside the head if my little brain ever wants to question it again. If I ever need hard core physical evidence to remind myself--now I have those to pull out.

Ok--its PINK CLOUD day. Tell us about yours and what things can help you and us keep it--because it truly is better than any drink could have made us ever feel.

Kim

I know its the 8th--but it won't let me change it!

bounce
October 8th, 2006, 06:26 AM
just loging in , not got much to say apart from hello
phil

mikeupnorth
October 8th, 2006, 12:25 PM
Good morning! And Kim, thanks for getting us started this morning. Hey, wanna be mayor of Abstown? At least until Brigid gets back? I'll cast a vote for ya!! :thumbs:

You bring up an interesting angle on the pink cloud. It's one I hadn't considered before. Considering how much time I have spent in AA, it's also interesting that I didn't come across that idea in the rooms (or at a coffee shop after a meeting) sometime before now. I assumed the pink cloud should be enjoyed as long as possible, because after that, life got real. Meaning: went back to having its ups and downs; sobriety is still important but loses its novelty; having gotten past the obsession to drink and the daily struggle, the real work of recovery (rebuilding a life) begins.

So let me think about that for a second. I guess when I first stop drinking, and can get past the cravings, I am just so [expletive] relieved that I feel light as a feather. Free as a bird. Happy as a clam. You get the idea. Thus, the pink cloud. But that is simply the weight of alcohol being removed from my shoulders. I don't have to wake up in the morning feeling like I was run over by a steam roller. I don't have to wonder what I did or said the night before. I don't have to wonder where I got those bruises. And frankly, during this phase, I feel a bit manic. I am positive, working hard, laughing a lot, doing a lot, and sleeping well.

But here's the rub. Simply not drinking isn't enough. That's why they call it recovery, and it's a lifelong process. I have spent all of my adult life relying on alcohol as a way to dull pain, suppress fear and inhibitions, allow me to talk to people, have sexual intimacy, celebrate, and relax. I really DO NOT KNOW how to do those things, or at least I am not comfortable doing them, without alcohol. So after a while, when the euphoria of being free from the monster's grip wears off, I start facing situations that I used to handle with my crutch, which is gone. And I find myself disoriented and unstable without it.

I heard in AA that we stop developing emotionally when we start drinking alcoholically. I think that to a certain extent this is true. And if so, then I stopped developing somewhere between the age of 21 and 27. Many alcoholics stop at much younger ages -- but I'm almost 39 now and a lot of my coping skills are rusty at best.

I do think the pink cloud can come and go -- we all have periods when we get happy again for periods and just glow for no apparent reason. I also think we can take that initial euphoria of simply not drinking and carry some of it with us throughout our recovery -- by not forgetting where we came from, and being grateful for each day sober. And rather than seeing the recovery process as a grueling, uphill battle, or some kind of unfair deal of the cards, we can see it as a blessing. We have the chance to rebuild our lives, brick by brick, the way we want them to be. Most "normal" people never take the time to do this simply because they don't have the urgent need to do so. We do. And because we do, we have the chance to really make something of ourselves.

So I guess what I've come back around to is this: the euphoria may come and go. But the lasting pink cloud is knowing that I am working on a lifelong project -- building a new life, day by day, that is better than the past.