When I first got sober, the pink cloud of peace and tranquility that many people talk about, was nowhere in sight. I wasn’t feeling jubilant, or triumphant, or free. I was stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. As the weeks went by, I of course started feeling proud that I was staying sober, but mostly all I was feeling was relief!
I was relieved every night I got into bed and didn’t drink.
I was relieved when I woke up in the morning, headache, guilt and shame free.
I was relieved to finally be keeping this promise to myself.
Maybe I wasn’t living under a jubilant cloud of pink but the relief I felt was gold.
This past year sober has been marked by change. I finally received full time status at work and have been working 50+ hours a week. I quit drinking. I quit smoking. I fell in love.
But I have been tested!
Co-parenting with an emotionally abusive ex has tested me in ways I’d never imagine. Being solely financially responsible for my children has exhausted me mentally. Getting over the guilt of taking time for myself has been a huge hurdle. Embracing sobriety has taken a lot out of me. I’m doing the best I can. But you know what I realized?
I DONT have to explain myself to everyone.
I don’t have to justify why things have been hard.
I don’t have to be positive all the damn time.
When I make mistakes I own them.
I set boundries and hold people accountable to them.
Where once I was stuck I am now growing, changing and evolving.
I CAN BE MY OWN CHEERLEADER.
There is that pink cloud floating by.
The farther I got from my last day one sober, the more I learned and practiced how to open myself up. I dropped fully into a state of vulnerability and I allowed myself to FEEL all the feelings. The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. I began to pay very very close attention to what these feelings felt like in my body and thus began to recognize them before they took control over my actions and reactions.
The more I slowed down, gave space to the pause and honored each feeling as it arose, the more able I was to see the good feelings were there, hiding beneath the surface, just as much as the not so good ones. Perhaps those good feelings were there all along but I was just too busy clinging to the ones that dragged me down …the ones I thought were bad and awful…the ones I thought I had to numb or hide from. When I shifted my focus I was able to lighten my load and catch that pink cloud.
Now, I would hear the birds singing to one another in the morning and I’d feel ALIVE.
I would watch as the tree branches swayed and listened to the raindrops steadily hitting the earth, and be taken away by just how magical it all is.
I would feel my child’s body relax into mine, the big sigh and the immense comfort brought by my arms after a long and much needed cry; could anything be more important than this?
I noticed the way my heart sang every time my friends would erupt in laughter from my silly and playful joking; feeling so connected to them and to myself.
The way my sheets felt on my body as I curled up into bed after a hard night at work… pure gratitude for another day that I was alive and PRESENT for.
Feeling ALIVE and fully present – this was my pink cloud.
These seemingly small passing moments mean the most to me these days. My days often still have hard moments. I’m still often very tired and emotionally exhausted. There are still struggles and problems to solve and I still do feel relief when I climb into bed knowing the day is over…. But these small passing moments are truly jubilant to me.
They signify that I am PRESENT. I am deeply rooted in this moment, here and now and the more anchored I am, the more able I am to be a witness to it all. The more able I am to truly feel the wonders of this life I have.
Jubilance is the silver lining in my pink cloud.
Before I got sober I couldn’t feel jubilant because I didn’t allow myself to feel. I was in a constant state of panic… running from my past, trying to avoid the future… I didn’t know what it felt like to be in my body. I’ve learned that being fully present and aware in my body does indeed bring hard feelings, but it also brings the most beautiful, soul nurturing and spirit awakening feelings as well. The kinds of feelings that love songs and poems, masterpieces and miracles are made of. The kind of jubilance you can only experience by being present enough to receive and embrace with open arms.
One of the greatest accomplishments in life that we can achieve is just being present. I am proud and grateful for the moments that affirm that I am alive and HERE. Whether these moments are heartbreaking or full of love; it doesn’t matter.
Alcohol is not the anchor.
Alcohol is not the answer.
In the past, I spent way too much time arguing with myself about whether or not to have a drink. I was stuck in an endless debate, and I was exhausted by it. Sick and tired of fighting against myself. So I said ENOUGH!
I WILL NOT DRINK.
And every time the cravings crept their way into my awareness, I stopped them dead in their tracks. I will not take part in this argument any longer.
I began to imagine, what would happen if I just didn’t drink right NOW? What would happen if I just don’t drink TODAY?
Most of the time, my answer to this question, was….well, nothing…ha! Nothing would happen. The day would just carry on. But nothing happening was a whole lot better than what would happen if I did chose to drink. And in that nothingness, was actually everything! Because I was no longer wasting my time or energy arguing with myself about whether or not I’d have a drink, I felt free, powerful and in control! I was finally opening my mind to what sobriety would make possible!!
“If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them. But if you argue for your possibilities, you get to create them!”
Kelly Lee Phipps
Your cravings will make every attempt to convince you that you *should* have a drink right now, but you don’t have to take part in that argument.
I will not drink, no matter what.
Repeat it over and over until the craving passes; it will pass! And when the next one arrives.. NOPE! I WILL NOT DRINK.
Now imagine, what will happen if you don’t drink? Maybe nothing and maybe everything… but either way, there are endless possibilities YOU get to create when you say no to the drink!
WE are capable of being present, of being here and now and honoring even the smallest details in our lives…the ones that have often gone unnoticed but if recognized, will bring forth the most jubilant feeling… a feeling we all deserve and are capable of experiencing. The feeling that people call their sober pink cloud.
Will you open yourself up?!
Will you allow yourself to feel all of your feelings?!
Will you search for and recognize the small moments of true happiness and contentment?
Will you chose to free yourself from alcohol and anchor yourself in this moment right here?!
Join me alcohol-free today?
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