Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Perfect Timing

It's very easy to want to drink when things are going wrong; during stressful times, one may say "I need a drink", during times of sadness it's easy to want to self medicate ourselves to death.

What I have experienced in the last two weeks is very different. Life is not out of control. Things are fairly manageable on all fronts. I'm not in self destruct mode. And a funny thing has happened. I keep questioning the fact that things are so normal that I could likely manage any kind of moderation when it comes to alcohol.

And, as soon as I think this, I slap myself in the head and think, "It would take two weeks to go back to the way things were before the almost seven years you have been sober". And that reality is one of the only things, albeit a strong dose of reality, that keeps me sober during these occurrences.

We work very hard in the beginning of sobriety. We've changed so dramatically that it's very easy to see the elements that did not work and that now work in our lives. It's likely, in early sobriety, that we've drastically changed behavior. I mean, getting sober is drastic in itself. It's when that "pink cloud" begins to dissipate that we become the most vulnerable to tumbling back into old habits.

And, in my six and a half years of sobriety, that "pink cloud" appears and disappears all the time. It's normal. It's part of the process. We get to a point where we are in a good place in life, in our recovery. We think, "Why not?". I can tell you in my experience that you need to dredge up ALL of the reasons why you got sober in the first place and cut out the romantic notions of alcohol.

The other day on the train, I really was thinking that I could likely handle it again. And then I decided to make a list of all of things that didn't work in my life because I was drinking. All of them would still apply if I were to drink tomorrow. I truly believe, when hearing someone tell me once about the two week rule, that it wouldn't take long to travel back down a path I am not destine to be on. I am not normal when it comes to alcohol. I am recovering for a reason. I am sober because my emotional health and overall well being depends on it.

So, after I slapped myself upon the head for thinking such thoughts, I realized that it's a good thing that I feel like life is normalized a bit. And I also realize that it would be detrimental, at any point, to give up all of the work and commitments I have made to myself. It's just not worth it at any point in recovery to go back to a place that caused so much angst.

Today, I appreciate my sobriety. I just hope that pink cloud sticks around for a brief moment, it's refreshing to understand how important and sustaining being sober can be.


Cathy... said...

Great post. Thank you!

~Tyra~ said...

Thanks for this post, my pink cloud has dissipated a bit and I needed to hear that this is normal.

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Alan Butterworth