I attended a lecture recently where the speaker described her recovery process from an accident. She said “healing is painful.”
How appropriate I thought for my recovery process from the disease of alcoholism. During my early days of sobriety I was on the proverbial pink- cloud. Everything was wonderful and every day was filled with joy and gratitude. I went to meetings every day, and out to coffee with AA friends. However, I was looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. Eventually, the pink-cloud wore off.
Slowly those days of gratitude and joy were replaced with days were I experienced shame, guilt, and fear. I felt shame and guilt for the things I had done while I was actively alcoholic, and I felt fearful that I might relapse and go back to drinking.
The application of the 4th and 5th steps helped me deal with my guilt and shame. The fear subsided when my sponsor told me that I was feeling a healthy fear. He said that the fear of going back would help me stay in rooms of AA.
I started to see the pain I was going through was actually helping me to get better. I wasn’t on a pink-cloud anymore, but I wasn’t feeling fear or guilt either. I started living life on life’s terms. I started to realize that what I was experiencing was growing pains.