I want my pink clouds back

I’ve been feeling a bit fed up for the past week or so now. I don’t really know why. I realise that good days and bad days are part of life, but part of me still thinks hey, I made the effort to get sober, don’t I deserve rainbows and glitter balls EVERY day? Wasn’t that part of the deal?

There hasn’t been anything in particular that’s been making me feel down. I’ve been working a lot and not sleeping enough. I’ve been on a few unsuccessful first dates. One was with someone I really liked but he wasn’t so taken with me. Sober rejection sucks.

The novelty of not drinking seems to have worn off. It’s been replaced by a niggling feeling that being sober is just, well, a bit annoying. I don’t feel like I’m about to start drinking again, in fact I haven’t really thought about that at all. I accept the fact that I cannot drink normally and so by far the best option is to not drink at all. I get that. But I’m still a bit pissed off about it.

Say what you like, but alcohol is a social lubricant. When it’s used in the right way it seems to help the world go round a little smoother. It bonds people together. It’s a shared interest/hobby that lots of people enjoy but I can’t. And sometimes I just want to do what everyone else does.  

Of course I don’t miss the epic hangovers, the slurry, sweaty, sleep disturbed nights. That was the reality of my drinking and it wasn’t glamorous. I think what I’m actually grieving for is the normal, take-it-or-leave-it relationship with alcohol that other people have but I never had.

Is this Wolfie, taunting me? I’m unsure. Is it Wolfie who voices thoughts like, ‘well I bet you never thought you were signing up to all this recovery work when you stopped drinking… All this thinking about not drinking, the blogging, the meetings … it’s a bit like hard work isn’t it?’

Talking of meetings, I haven’t been to one for at least a fortnight. I just can’t seem to make time to go to them. When life gets busy they’re the first thing I stop doing. I’m good at maintaining other things, like going to the gym, because I know exercise keeps me sane. I still read blogs, even if it’s just a few on my way to work. But AA just falls by the wayside.

This afternoon I definitely could have gone to a meeting and in fact I was planning to go. When I came to leave it suddenly started to pour with rain. Now even I know that’s a lame excuse. In the end I decided I would stay at home on the condition that I work on a job application that needs submitting this week. Do you know what I did instead? I went on Facebook. And then I wrote this post.

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18 thoughts on “I want my pink clouds back

  1. Rose July 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm Reply

    Hi Kate. I’m Rose. I’m sorry you’re having a bad day and feeling fed up. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and I really admire what you’re doing and what you’ve achieved. Your words have helped me a lot as I’m starting out on this sober journey. Thank you.

    • soberjournalist July 29, 2013 at 10:34 am Reply

      Ah thanks Rose, it’s nice to hear from you. Good luck with your sober journey – it does get easier! A bad sober day is still nowhere near as bad as the terrible days and down periods I had whilst still drinking. I must remember that…

  2. runningfromthebooze July 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm Reply

    Sounds like wolfie to me. I’ve caught myself thinking along those lines at times and been amazed at how strong these fleeting wolfie whispers feel and how beat up I’ve felt after running with all of the thoughts they invoke. I have learned to recognize them for what they are to me, rationalizations. Early on, after deciding to stop drinking, the rationalizations could be deafening. I still get them, I’m just not as surprised or shaken by them. I accept that it’s going to happen and talk myself down, read blogs, journal, etc. Once I acknowledge what’s happening the strength diminishes. It’s like Dorothy throwing water on the Wicked Witch, it melts and the vanishes.

    • soberjournalist July 29, 2013 at 10:37 am Reply

      Sometimes that voice can be deafening can’t it? I like the wicked witch analogy!

  3. carrythemessage July 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm Reply

    I understand what you’re saying about hitting the gym but avoiding the meetings. Life gets in the way, and there are times I don’t get to a meeting for a while. But I have to make time for it – the same way the gym keeps you sane, meetings keep me sane. When I don’t hit the meetings / have face to face with other alcoholics, I start to feel the way you do – down, but not really sure why. Isolated. a bit off. And then I sometimes *force* myself to a meeting and then boom! I feel better. I can’t describe it. It’s like going to gym – I might skip a while and then feel sluggish, but when I force myself to go (when I used to go…lol) I am full of energy. It’s part of trying to keep the pink cloud with me 🙂


    • soberjournalist July 29, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply

      I know what you mean – when I actually go to a meeting I feel so much better and it seems like such a good use of my time. So I am going to try and get to more meetings this week.

  4. Lilly July 29, 2013 at 2:35 am Reply

    It sounds like Wolfie nibbling at your heels if you ask me and also like you’re just having a little down patch. It’ll come right. Maybe you’re passing the baton because I had been really feeling this way and then unexpectedly the sun came out and the pink clouds rolled in.

    So, cut yourself some slack and try to focus on the positives of sobriety rather than the mourning for something that was only ever an illusion for us. (Though god knows I know those exact feelings and how stong an illusion it can be.) It might be time to step UP the meetings/sobriety stuff if you can. Also, have you see that Lucy of Soberista’s new book ‘The Sober Revolution’ is out now (link to UK Amazon at soberistas.com)? I downloaded it to my Kindle last night and it’s a great positive take on giving up the booze. Could help give you a bit of a lift?

    • soberjournalist July 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm Reply

      I think I am letting other things colour my view of sobriety. One minute I think ‘it’s great!’ and the next it feels like an albatross round my neck. Great idea about Lucy’s book, I love her posts, they’re very upbeat.

  5. Mrs D July 29, 2013 at 3:38 am Reply

    This is the roller-coaster babycakes, stay strapped in and just let time pass.. there’s no way to diminish the shitty emotions you are feeling and expressing.. you’ll figure out ways to deal with disappointing dates and rain and bad sleep.. those little details we figure out slowly but surely.. but pull back to the big picture.. this is the rollercoaster ride you have chosen and sometimes you just have to strap yourself in and hold on.. I PROMISE you that those feelings you have about missing out by not drinking alcohol, they do get less and less.. they really do. They don’t go completely (they haven’t for me yet at 2 years sober although they are very rare now I do get them I’ll be honest) but they do fade a lot. Treat yourself to the very small special things that make you feel good. Go gently and know that you are worthy of the kindest treatment possible.. Treat yourself. xxxx

    • soberjournalist July 30, 2013 at 9:42 am Reply

      It is a rollercoaster indeed. Thank you for your kind words and amazing advice. I’m still hanging in there… Xx

  6. byebyebeer July 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm Reply

    I feel for you with the sober dating. Somewhere out there are nice guys who don’t care that you don’t drink, and they will be lucky to find you.

    As others said, these roller coaster days are normal, and then they pass. And life is still shitty as often as it ever is, only we see it differently because it doesn’t feel as new or scary or permanent or whatever. The only way through seems to be in feeling it, so I guess it just means we’re doing it right when we feel shitty. Oh that makes no sense, but I feel for you because I’ve definitely been there. My pink cloud even came back for a long time..and then it left. Maybe it will come back again for both of us. Maybe one day we won’t need it anymore.

  7. carrieonsober July 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm Reply

    Hi Kate,
    Been here and it’s not very nice….woe is me and all that!
    Sometimes life is hard, dull, tedious, unrewarding and even if we could drink normally (ha, ha) one, max two glasses of wine wouldn’t really give us the life or all of the answers that we crave. For us boozing would just give us something else to shift the focus from real life to, hangovers, shame, resolutions etc.
    You are growing and changing and doing so much that is positive and new. I can’t imagine having to search for a partner, sober first dates etc. Maybe that is too much on top of everything else you are trying to cope with too.
    Just because you have a high bottom and are cruising along pretty well (amazingly actually) in the not drinking/craving area, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be being really taking it easy in other areas that you can. If anything feels like it’s too much then you have to be careful and put yourself and sobriety first. You are doing so well and have come so far, I hope that you find your pink clouds again and feel better.
    Big hugs Carrie xxx

    • soberjournalist July 30, 2013 at 9:52 am Reply

      Thanks Carrie. I’m having a right old pity party for one at the moment. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that booze shifts your focus onto other things. I know the answer to life’s ups and downs is never at the bottom of a glass, but booze certainly squishes bad feelings for a while. I’m still not in the habit of dealing with shit without booze by my side. I’m going to cut back on the dating for a bit. One thing at a time and all that… Xx

  8. Rebecca A. Watson July 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm Reply

    Hi Kate, Thanks for sharing your feelings. I feel you on this. Shouldn’t I be rewarded with a “perfect” life (whatever that is) now that I’ve made this choice of sobriety?

    When stuff gets me down I try to ask, “Will this matter one year from now? Will I even remember this five years from now?” Usually the answer is no. And I think Carrie is right. Take special care of yourself. Yes, perhaps a lot of the gnarly physical healing is done, but mental health is as important. Hugs to you!!

  9. austinolive August 5, 2013 at 12:02 am Reply

    Hey y’all. I’m new to the whole blogging thing, but I’m enjoying it thus far. (My lovely & gracious wife – who usually knows best what is good for me – suggested it. I really enjoy reading all y’all’s reflections.

    I too have struggled to be a regular meeting maker, especially in my early sobriety. My depression and my introverted alter-ego used to overwhelm my good intentions a lot. This was especially true after I finally separated from my wretched marriage and was by myself, unemployed, and in a new town.

    But my 2 cents would be that the best thing that I did was to make friends in AA. First there were a couple of guys at this small Saturday evening meeting at a church near where I lived that I connected with. I would often stay out till midnight or later with one or both of them (after the 7pm meeting) and chat about life and recovery. Then I met this wonderful old eccentric gentleman whom I eventually asked to sponsor me. Then I let me sponsor start dragging me to other meetings he liked and took my out for coffee and pie afterwards with some of the folks.

    What I discovered was that, wholly unintentionally, I was building a new set of friends and a new social network. As a good friend of mine (in recovery) says, the point of “the Fellowship” is fellowship. Friendship & relationships are what have kept me sober and coming back.

    Not to mention that one of the people my sponsor introduced to me is now the pretty little lady with my ring on her finger. 🙂

    Keep keeping on.


    • soberjournalist August 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm Reply

      Thanks for your comment and what a lovely story! I know what you’re saying about AA. I’ve met some lovely people there – I will go back.

  10. essenn3 October 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm Reply

    haha that part where you said “I made the effort to get sober, don’t I deserve rainbows and glitter balls EVERY day? Wasn’t that part of the deal?” made me laugh out loud. Not even two days ago I was hysterical on my friends couch wondering why the hell I even decided to be sober because everything was going WRONG! I managed to get butter on my macbook instead of a bun and ended up with a possessed computer (it cleared up in a week thank god) then I got news that I am now going for surgery, then I got hit in my car by some dumb face backing up into me! I actually figured I would get sober to see if it made any difference to my luck, but it didn’t. I am still sober regardless. I think the demons that I am banishing are a little pissed and are doing everything they can to make me cave. But I didn’t tattoo the kanji symbol for strength on the back of my neck for nothing.
    Today is only day 16 for me… seems a lot longer at this point, but there is no turning back now!
    Thanks for starting this blog! I am finding it really really, really great to have a way to connect in some sort of way. 😀 Congrats on your success also.

    • soberjournalist October 16, 2013 at 11:29 pm Reply

      I don’t think getting sober makes a difference to your luck exactly, but you deal with things so differently. Sure, certain things are still annoying, but rather than drinking you just deal with them. And once things are dealt with, THEN life becomes easier! Drinking is just like sticking your head in the sand.
      Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate at the moment so congratulations on staying sober! It will get easier. Just the fact that you are sober right now will make it easier for you to deal with everything. Hope you are giving yourself lots of sober treats. Kx

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