My first experience with sobriety occurred 30 years ago. It was much different in the sense there was a most definite bottom. I was forced to face myself- no choice. The shame was immense. I didn’t want to stop but I had too. Court ordered.
I remember going through the “pink cloud” experience but shortly there after I felt so good and things were going so well it was hard to accept. The roots of this odd response were in the ghosts of my childhood. I was “waiting for the other shoe to drop”.
Eventually I settled into my new-found way of being in the world and was happier than I’d ever been. I remember taking out-of-town guests to a museum and mid way through, I realized I was having a wonderful time without any alcohol. I was in the moment, not preoccupied with getting out of there to get a drink. That was a first. I lasted 9 years.
Round 2 of sobriety came 6 years ago during a divorce. No cloud that time. I still didn’t want to stop but felt I had to. Had to keep my sanity through the pain of it all. Mostly white knuckles with a few moments of highs that were masking underlying anxiety and fear. I lasted 1 year. It’s amazing I lasted that long.
Round 3 and 38 days in and I haven’t experienced that cloud high; I’m solid and at peace (although I do have my moments). What I am getting is what it’s like to live once again without that burden on my back.
I need to delve deeper into what is different this time but it’s late and I’m tired. I’ll revisit these thoughts this weekend.