Notice that the cloud has edges? Yes. Early sobriety is wonderful for a lot of folks. We live in and on the Pink Cloud. This euphoric state follows us every where we go. We walk around feeling proud (as we should because getting sober is quite the endeavor for some of us), serene, unencumbered, and powerful. Until the inevitable plummet.
We fall off the cloud and hit reality. Some might even say the cloud just dissolves. Either way – reality has been surrounding us the entire time, but due to our enthusiasm of being newly sober – we overlook it. We’re just overjoyed not to be drunk or hungover again. And this is exactly about the time that we start reminiscing about picking up another drink. Otherwise known as a relapse. Whether or not we drink again boils down to the amount of self-control we’re willing to employ, but the hard choices of life are now front and center. Whereas before, not drinking seemed like a no-brainer, now – drinking just one – maybe two at the most – seems logical, reasonable, and even appropriate.
And I believe this experience, the pink cloud and the plummet, is one of the biggest experiences we have that differentiates sobriety from recovery. While we’re sober, we’re not drinking. But that’s all. When we move into recovery, we’ve become a non-drinker. There’s an enormous difference between the two.