By Lisa P.

Well, who said the exhilaration was going to wear off? I still get a particular thrill out of being sober. I heard something about “rose colored glasses” and similar nonsense at AA meetings. When it didn’t wear off for me, people in my aftercare class did their standard — told me I was in denial. Sad, silly people. I believe some people spend too much time wallowing in their despair at giving up alcohol to take advantage of having a new outlook & lease on life.

I am driven forward by the changes I notice. This is what keeps me going, and promotes the continued “exhilaration.” Small things, but I notice. And I take the time to notice. Like my skin looks so much better. My hands don’t shake. I actually have friends and even better, can make plans with them and actually show up! Looking for these changes is like watching your hair grow — it is so slight and infinitesimal, that you could stare in the mirror all day and see nothing. But as time racks up, you can look back and see all of the encouraging changes to your life.

I crave the very “ordinariness” of life now. Not having the additional woes created by myself after a day-turns-into-night of drinking. Having things run “somewhat” smoothly, or at least more smoothly then they ever, ever did when I was drinking. I have learned that life is actually “easier” sober.

It’s the little stuff that still, to this day, impresses me. I buy cheap cut flowers from the street vendor every Friday (money saved from not drinking — wait until you see how this adds up if you want a little exhilaration!) and take them home. It makes me happy. And reminds me how much a treasure my sobriety is.