So much changes inside and around us when we get sober.
Early on, we experience the relief of no hangovers. We also find our energy level increasing. This helps us be more productive through out the day. Our minds are becoming clearer, no longer foggy from fatigue. We are free of the shame that comes from wondering what might have occurred the night before.
Some of us may also experience heightened senses. All that we looked at, listened to, or felt became an entirely new experience. For some of us, it was too much to handle and we re-lapsed. For others, we allowed ourselves to acknowledge what was happening, sit with it, and welcome the emotional impact of it all flow through us.
I had an extraordinarily huge sensory re-birth experience in early sobriety.
The first season I experienced sober was Spring. I remember sitting on the front steps with my husband trying to explain how overwhelmed I became while pruning the hydrangea in our garden. I sobbed as he gently rubbed my back.
The vibrant shade of pink was beyond remarkable. Every pedal of pink and purple sharply contrasted the green textures of the leafy green bedding. The more I trimmed, the more I felt I was losing control of the rumbling emotions in my gut. I had to stop. It was too much to handle.
For months following that day, it was as if I was experiencing the beauty of our planet for the first time. Each day that passed without picking up a drink, the more acute my senses became, subsequently effecting the intensity of my feelings. I struggled to exist in my own skin. I was giddy for one minute, then edgy and squeamish the next. I was emotionally captivated by my vivid visual senses that I had muted due to years of massive alcohol consumption.
Every season during my first sober year, became a sensory- frenzied roller coaster I was determined to ride out. The salty smell of the beach, Summer sunsets, the blue massiveness of the ocean- all profoundly rattled me to the core.
When Fall leaves arrived, I often found myself gazing for seemingly extended periods of time. I was aghast by Winter snow falls and how the crisp white tree branches fantastically contrasted the striking blue sky.
I had numbed myself from all the beauty of the world for 25 years. Experiencing such extreme sensory responses, I learned, was very normal. Had I not been told that , I may have thought I was going insane.
The toxic nature of alcohol pumping through our veins was dulling our senses ever increasingly. When we stopped, our senses were reborn.
Having now experienced the 4 seasons 7 times, my extreme sensory responses have settled; they have leveled out.
Today, I am grateful to experience the world’s magical beauty of our colors, sounds and sensations. One of the many gifts of sobriety.