I was chatting to Mrs D the other day and she was telling me about the Pink Cloud phase of recovery that many people experience - a period after quitting of feeling euphoric, an opening of the eyes, a time when you see all the opportunities and just feel generally super duper.
Snap! I'm definitely on the Pink Cloud at the moment. It explains why I'm so bloody cheerful and upbeat. I'm in such a good space I'm even starting to annoy myself! Some jerk half cut me off at a round-a-bout yesterday. Usually if someone cuts me off I lose the plot. This time, I just shrugged it off. What the hell is wrong with me!?
I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed to have a label for my good outlook. I thought I was in an orbit all of my own making, but it turns out I'm not so unusual. And my heart sunk just a little when Mrs D told me it wouldn't last and that some hard thing will happen to rip me back down to cloudier weather. Yeah, I know, deep down, what I'm feeling at the moment is totally unsustainable. And it is nice to think that, while hard times may come, I can always remember back to this time - to the time when I was truly calm and settled and happy in myself. A time when the usual petty frustration with my limitations and weaknesses had melted away for the first time in my adult life.
So, what am I doing with all this positive energy? I'm writing this blog. I'm trying to take opportunities to do extra little things for other people (it's a minor example but the other day I saw it was my French-speaking Swiss mate's birthday so I googled how to say Happy Birthday to him in French instead of my usually short birthday message).
I'm getting back into my running after being sick for a few weeks.
I'm reconnecting with friends I haven't talked to for a while and making plans to catch up. About a year ago I made loose plans to go and give climbing a go with my friend but because I couldn't be bothered following it up (oh, and I don't love heights) it never happened. So I'm using the Pink Cloud energy to make sure that happens in the next couple of weeks. Little things.
When I talk with friends or new people I look them in the eyes and REALLY listen and REALLY try to engage properly (I've always been crap at small talk).
I'm pursuing some writing opportunities and pitching stories to publications that I previously lacked the confidence to pitch to. I'm saying yes to things that make me nervous.
What I'm wondering is if all the good things that have started to happen to me is due to not drinking, or it's more about the change in mind-shift that I've made in order to quit. I think in the past when I've had time away from the bottle I was always champing at the bit to drink again. This time I don't feel that same yearning.
If anyone asked me at the moment if I'll drink again at the end of the year, I would say 'definitely not'. But it's not just about not drinking, it's about what you do to enhance your life without it.
I'm going to ride this beautiful Pink Cloud for all it's worth.
Long live the Pink Cloud!
If you could only take one song with you to the cloud this one's not too bad:
Eddie Vedder covers the Beatles' Blackbird