I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

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I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby france11563 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:51 pm

Hi, does anyone relate to that? Funny, it's not something I expected to find out about myself through soberity!
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:31 am

Yeah totally. But, I need to remember, for me, I have to be grounded in the 12 steps. But for that, my mind will trick me into thinking I am not one and should be able to drink like normies. I have seen that happen many times in the fellowship. People of varieds amount of lengths of sobriety losing it because they can't sleep well in the night and then take those prescribed medications for sleep. It acts exactly like alcohol.The body wants more.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby Brock » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:13 am

Yes welcome to e-AA france, this is something I have heard often and experienced myself. There is a term in AA called a ‘pink cloud,’ it is meant to describe a certain euphoria newcomer’s sometimes feel after a few months of sobriety, often the older heads warn folks about it because when it goes away a great sense of loss or disappointment can be felt, from what I understand it can happen before we do the steps but not after. Don’t know at what stage in the steps you are so it may or may not apply.

Having said that it is not a term I like to use myself, I find many in AA sort of shout it out to look knowledgeable, like if we look happy and they are not it must be a pink cloud. But I must say that even after a good few years of sobriety, I still have times when I think ‘wow’ what did I do to be this happy, so once we keep doing what the program asks and getting closer to our higher power it’s a program that keeps on giving. A few days ago the daily reflection had this to say –“He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life...” yes indeed if we keep mining the gold mine of happiness will never run out, best of luck to you.
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby Niagara » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:03 am

yeup, absolutely relate to that.

Being joyful and happy doesn't compute very well with my 'I'm the scum of the earth, I'm not worth anything, hit that self destruct button' that I carried around for so many years.

I had to start looking at WHY I felt like I wasn't worth anything. That's taking some time. I have some of my answers, and when I saw the truth, I could let go of that a little bit. When I let go a little bit, I started to feel like I was worth a little more, so it held me back less, and slowly, in time, it's coming to 'you know, I'm not that scum I thought I was'.

I'm finding this program is a little like mental floss. Slowly gets rid of all the junk that's useless in hard to reach places.

Change, even positive change can be a bit uncomfortable for me. I'm a creature of habit...but these days I think well, if I'm handing my life and will over to the care of God, I'm where I should be, so I can stop trying to overthink and analyze it, and just accept it. After years of misery, I'm finding if I let it happen, I quite enjoy being happy these days. Who'da thunk it eh :lol: I can't be happy if I'm always expecting the rug to be yanked out from under me, as it was in the past. But the past was different, the past was 100% self will, run by yours truly. Now I understand if the rug gets yanked, it's for a reason, it's to be learned from.
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby chefchip » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:10 am

First, I'm not a believer in the pink cloud either. Where in the world do we come up with this stuff?!?!?! :lol:

Anyway, I'm an alcoholic. For me, part of being an alcoholic is a tendency to always view the world with suspicion, and fear, and cynicism. Happy people piss me off. People for whom the glass is always half full amuse me. Likewise, people who are always spouting off about "problems" being "opportunities."

So, when I realized that I was starting to find happiness and joy in my life again, I was suspicious. I was pretty sure that happiness and satisfaction was the first step back to the bottle. After all, I was supposed to fear my disease, to constantly be on guard against it, to fight it all the time, right?!?! :roll:

It turns out the answer is a resounding NO! Happiness and joy are birthrights of being human. As long as I keep them in perspective I need to feel them, especially the longer that I am free of my obsession to drink. Another trait of being an alcoholic is that I tend to overthink every god d*$#ed thing on the planet, to analyze it all to death. Sometimes, happiness is just happiness -- nothing more or less.

As always, those are just my thoughts from my experience. Don't worry. Be happy. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby PaigeB » Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:20 am

HAHHA! :lol: :D

I told my sponsor that if I ever felt joy I would probably drink! She said dryly, "You probably would!"

Oh I can totally relate. I think that the fear under it all is that if I get too happy, if I forget my pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization, that I will think I am fine and I will drink again. Funny thing is that has turned out to be the opposite. I feel closest to a drink when I am angry or when I am grieving. But I go to 3 or 4 meetings a week and I have recently seen folks with a decade or more of sobriety go back out. They continue to struggle. They are not happy people. I am not "fine" unless you mean F'd up, insecure, neurotic & emotional! :roll:

Either way, I am an alcoholic and fearing a drink in the future is a good thing. No matter what might drive me there. This thing is cunning & powerful. Keep doing what you are doing, then do more. Happiness is fleeting and even if I think it is over-rated, you might as well get it while you can! :mrgreen:
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby Tosh » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:01 am

chefchip wrote:First, I'm not a believer in the pink cloud either. Where in the world do we come up with this stuff?!?!?! :lol:


It exists. In early sobriety I once woke up on a MONDAY MORNING and went outside to smoke (by the bins) and everything just was and looked AMAZING. Really, and this was a Monday MORNING. I was feeling good, I wasn't getting chased by bailiffs, life just seemed wonderful, beautiful and full of possibilities. It was almost like being on drugs (which I wasn't).

Now I'm six years sober I wake up on a Monday morning and I'm like "Yuk, I've got to go to work!" :lol:

The pink cloud, or God's grace - whatever you want to call it - does exist. And it's during this period where it's an ideal time to find a sponsor and get stuck into the steps; train when things are good to prepare for when things turn bad. And they will; that's life.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby whipping post » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:10 am

I spent an inordinate amount of time wallowing in anger, self pity, anxiety, etc... during the last few years of my drinking. I actually think I used to enjoy being snuggled up and cozy with all the negativity. My intent is to do the opposite as much as I can until I die or relapse. I didn't do this to stay miserable. Thanks to this program I don't have to. Early in the program I used to wonder what peace and serenity were like. Now I have bits of it and it is kind of like a drug in that I want more. But I have to work at it every day. Honestly I don't like the word work. It makes it sound like a burden which it is absolutely not but I can't think of a better term.

And I had some moments like Tosh described early in sobriety. But they were very fleeting and erratic. Colors seemed so vivid and I seemed unstoppable. Still not sure what all that was about but I used to pay to get those feelings when I was in college :lol:
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby D'oh » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:29 am

We used to call that "The Pink Cloud Effect" and people would be afraid of loosing the feeling.

But not to worry, it is a gift to you, and to keep it all you have to do is give it away. Our primary purpose.

Enjoy! as Stimpy says "Happy, happy, joy, joy"
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby chefchip » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:57 am

Tosh wrote:
chefchip wrote:First, I'm not a believer in the pink cloud either. Where in the world do we come up with this stuff?!?!?! :lol:


It exists. In early sobriety I once woke up on a MONDAY MORNING and went outside to smoke (by the bins) and everything just was and looked AMAZING. Really, and this was a Monday MORNING. I was feeling good, I wasn't getting chased by bailiffs, life just seemed wonderful, beautiful and full of possibilities. It was almost like being on drugs (which I wasn't).

Now I'm six years sober I wake up on a Monday morning and I'm like "Yuk, I've got to go to work!" :lol:

The pink cloud, or God's grace - whatever you want to call it - does exist. And it's during this period where it's an ideal time to find a sponsor and get stuck into the steps; train when things are good to prepare for when things turn bad. And they will; that's life.


Hmm. That's a definition I could actually work with. My problem is when people use "pink cloud" as something that is bad. In and of itself, it is not a bad thing. It is life showing us that life isn't all bad. Rarely -- at least in the meetings I attend -- do I hear it described as you just described it, Tosh. Most often, I hear it spoken of as this thing that AAs must avoid at all costs. Pink Cloud Bad!

So, thanks for a different perspective. That's why I keep coming back here! More and more, I realize that I just react negatively to what I call "Bumper Sticker Recovery." That's my problem, not the Bumper Sticker's problem. :lol: It might be time for a little Tenth Step, Chip.
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby Noels » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:36 am

Wow, amazing thread. I just had to revive it :D Pink clouds rule!!!! :D

Mwah xxx Noels
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby Lali » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:25 pm

I didn't weigh in when this post was active. I totally get the OP's subject line, "I'm Afraid of My Newfound Joy and Happiness". I grew up in an alcoholic home. When something good would happen I wouldn't exhibit (nor feel) the joy that "normal" people did. There was so much chaos going on in our family that when something good happened, I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I knew it would be shortlived. I remember being asked on a daily basis why I never smiled. I waitressed when I was 16 and customers where always saying "Smile!". All that did was anger me. This carried over into adulthood. I remember when my fiancé and I bought our first house. He was beaming and grabbed me and hugged me. I remember feeling empty. I pulled away from him.

AA has changed this for me. I have things to look forward to. I enjoy getting up in the morning to get ready for my morning meeting. I enjoy seeing my AA family as often as I can. I am fairly successful in carrying this feeling throughout the day. I say fairly because life happens and things aren't always rosy. I go home to diaper changes for my mother and making sure she gets her 3 meals a day, tend to her bedsore and trips to the potty. Due to dementia, I feel like I have lost my mother. But I HAVE to turn it into a positive, the positive being that thanks to this program, I have the opportunity to be helpful to my mother. That is BIG for me. I was no good to anyone as a drunk. I was, in fact, a liability.

But my point is, I no longer fear the feelings of joy. I look forward to them. The Big Book tells us we ought to be happy, joyous and free for a reason. It tells us that if we do what is suggested in our program of recovery, we have a darned good shot at being happy, joyous and free.
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby Noels » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:12 pm

Wow Lali thank you so much for the share. This just shows me once again - we don't know what the person we speak to on the other side of the keyboard goes through on a daily basis so we should always try to respond with love as Duke says often.
I am so sorry hon. We looked after and took care of my mom and dad for their last few years and golly it was hard seeing my 'hero's ' deteriorate from the strong loving beings with super powers from my childhood to close to infant state. Having said that I'll do it all over again in an instant given the chance. I still find myself occasionally thinking how mom would have loved this garden and how perfect this house would have been for all of us together. Enjoy the time you have with mom as once she is gone there are no second chances.
Thank you for your love for mom and for us. We are always with you.
Have a fantastic day and give mom and yourself a special hug from us.
Mwah xxx Noels
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:20 am

I grew up in an alcoholic home. When something good would happen I wouldn't exhibit (nor feel) the joy that "normal" people did. There was so much chaos going on in our family that when something good happened, I was always waiting for the other derogatory to drop.
I totally get this. Me too! Excellent explanation.
But I am still "recovering."
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Re: I'm afraid of my newly found joy & happiness!

Postby positrac » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:53 am

Spirit Flower wrote:
I grew up in an alcoholic home. When something good would happen I wouldn't exhibit (nor feel) the joy that "normal" people did. There was so much chaos going on in our family that when something good happened, I was always waiting for the other derogatory to drop.
I totally get this. Me too! Excellent explanation.
But I am still "recovering."



Similarities of us all come in all forms. My wife asks me about my non-emotional self when I should be jumping out of my skin for a good event or positive outcome and I just say something brilliant like: It is ok! yes a recipe for an argument and it is just my way as I was not overly happy as a kid because of the home environment.

"but I am still recovering" this is hope and I can smile.
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