The infamous pink cloud. I was warned about this thing more often than last year’s polar vortex. It’s in reference to the euphoria one feels once the hammer of alcoholism stops striking the skull. The physical pain subsides, then other aspects of life start getting better, or at least stop getting worse. It’s a whole new world. And even though it’s wonderful, and even though there’s gratitude for the program and the fellowship, eventually the brain can’t quite remember how vividly it hurt. What was so hard about staying sober, again?
Step One: we admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
My alcoholism comes in three flavors: cunning, baffling, and powerful. One for my brain, one for my heart, and one for my soul. With three, it’s easy to get caught up in the juggling, once an emotion’s gone rogue. From my toolbox comes categorization. I need to follow the cord back to its source to find out what exactly I’m plugged into. It’s doesn’t help to fix the blender when it’s the toaster that’s broke.
All this detective work, by the way, never existed before I started attending meetings and reading the book and getting a sponsor. In the past, I would recognize that I was off the beam, and that was it. That was as far as I could take it. Rarely could I truly identify the whys behind my thoughts and actions. If I was lucky, I’d be able to blame the correct cause. Most often, however, I’d just displace my unrest on those around me.
I guess what my main fear regarding the pink cloud phenomenon is as follows: is it okay to enjoy? Because it comes back. It’s not just a manifestation of early sobriety that dissipates once some sound sobriety has been applied. Like everything, it ebbs and flows. And is the pink cloud too high to be floating in? It’s always spoken of negatively, and in the past tense. “But I was still on my pink cloud, so what did I know, right?”
So I need to be shooting for a neutral cloud, correct? One not filled with rain nor wind; one that doesn’t mutate into some sort of grotesque that freaks me out. A fluffy cumulonimbus, perhaps.
But that’s when today’s lesson hit me: does my sky always need clouds?