Falling through the pink cloud

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Falling through the pink cloud

Post by Droptherock67 »

Hello all - my first post here. To be honest I joined because I am not quite sure where else to turn, and was looking for a little advice from anyone with 2+ years sober. I am 2 years sober, and from working the 12 steps, life got aamazing - as promised :-)
Somehow though, I fell through that "pink cloud" in the last week, and can't seem to figure this one out. I am absolutely not trying to be the actor running the show and I know that it's up to Him and that He has a plan. I have had these feelings before, but AA and prayer have always seemed to just work things out on their own for me.
The feeling I am having is panic and nervousness for no reason - much like the untreated alcoholism feeling. I am in service (home-group, committment), I sponsor men, and I work steps 10,11, 12 to the best of my ability on a daily basis. Prayer and meditation every morning and night. I am doing everything that was taught to me.
I'm hoping that someone else has had these feelings at around 2 years sober - or even past 2 years. I know that life can show up, and it's not gonna be rainbows and unicorns every single day of life - but what is happening is sheer panic and terror, and it comes out of nowhere, for no reason. There is no obsession to drink over it as the obsession has been lifted - but when this feeling comes, I feel scared to death.
I did make the decision earlier today to find a new sponsor as I would like to go through the steps again. Seems like everyone I have been talking to about this is telling me "it's ok to not feel great everyday" or "are you praying". I know it's ok to not feel great everyday and I am praying though.
Hoping someone else has been here?

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by avaneesh912 »

Sometimes, just group commitment may not be sufficient. Going to the same meetings, hearing the same shares might be the reason. Some, try different groups. Best of all for me its the corrections meeting every Sunday that helps me keep the enthusiasm high. I noticed I skipped 31st meeting due to family vacation, I could see that the whole week was not inspiring. Look for recovery/treatment centers or jails/corrections facility and stretch a bit.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by D'oh »

The "Wave Pattern" of Ultra Highs and Crashing Lows, does get more even, It did for me anyways.

My evening Meditations, more than my morning, is when I take a break, and reflect at where I have come from. Helps me calm down and realize, "I am just along for the ride" "How can I be of best service of His Will"

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by Spirit Flower »

Just go deeper into your own emotions. It is time to deal with earlier/primal emotional patterns. It is not the end of the world. You didn't do anything wrong. You are healing and learning the is more to a human that even keel control 100% of the time. Yes, work the steps again. Go deeper, look at the rest of the forest.
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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by Brock »

Welcome here Droptherock, I like the handle, and have a book by the same name.

I can’t say that any pink cloud really existed for me to fall through, it’s true after step five I got a great sense of relief and the obsession lifted, and life was good. The ‘novelty’ of this new sober life did wane as the years went past, although I did the suggested things with prayer, meetings, and service, but I found ‘meditating’ made little sense and I couldn’t do it. The practice of prayer and meditation is something personal to each of us, and what I heard others saying they did, didn’t work well for me. So I went out seeking answers, keeping in mind that the book speaks in very many places about growth and development, which we never complete and lasts a lifetime, and searching for the ‘many helpful books,’ mentioned in ‘Into Action’ about spirituality.

These words you used stood out for me - “I am doing everything that was taught to me.” Not being critical in anyway, but I feel that we must search for answers, yes we get a hint here and there where to look, but it’s an individual adventure. For example, a few years ago someone here said they get the daily writings of Fr. Richard Rohr, I knew the name because he is a good friend of AA, and via Google singed up for the daily e-mail. I saved in a word document some early things from him which helped me understand, for example this from a friend of his -
The goal in Centering Prayer is not to stop thoughts altogether, but to develop a detached attitude toward them. Fighting your thoughts is useless; releasing them is blessed. —Cynthia Bourgeault.
So instead of the ‘normal’ prayers that I was taught, here are people talking about centering prayer, and saying it’s going to help me with these constant thoughts running through my mind. And then Fr. Rohr pointing to something by another spiritual master -
Thomas Keating teaches a beautifully simple exercise. Imagine yourself sitting on the bank of a river. The river is your stream of consciousness. Observe each of your thoughts coming along as if they’re saying, “Think me, think me.” Watch your feelings come by saying, “Feel me, feel me.” Acknowledge that you’re having the feeling or thought. Don’t hate it, judge it, critique it, or move against it. Simply name it: “resentment toward so and so,” “a thought about such and such.” Then place it on a boat and let it go down the river. When another thought arises—as no doubt it will—welcome it and let it go, returning to your inner watch place on the bank of the river.
A good member here avaneesh, who commented in a post above, spoke of Eckhart Tolle, I tried reading him via a free online link I found, didn’t like it. Then I was watching a TV program with the same Fr. Rohr, (he has a good bit on you tube), and he starts speaking about this fellow he knows who has the right idea, and it’s the same Tolle. So I got the books, and read while listening to the free audio of the author reading them, must have read each one three or four times, and a whole new world opened, and is continuing to open.

As said above about centering prayer making the mind stop those constant thoughts, or pretending you are by a river and letting them go, Tolle teaches about ego, the greatest enemy of peace and happiness, and basically how to stop thinking about anything except the present. And now the one who said meditating was not for him, can look at the small mountain outside my window, or a bird in the grass below, things that have been there for very many years that I didn’t hardly notice, and just sit there smiling, meditating with eyes wide open and finding a whole new dimension to life, (those who told me meditating had to be sitting with eyes closed were wrong, there are many ways to do this).

As usual I have been kind of long winded, but my main point is we must seek for ourselves, there are many spiritual teachers, old school prayer stopped working for me, and then I found that those prayers I was taught were just repeating words, which even a Catholic priest like Fr. Rohr says is the wrong way.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by beginningagain7 »

"Falling through the pink cloud" really got my attention. Mainly because clouds are mostly white or dark, because bad weather is coming.

What I thought is that mainly you put to many expectations on how your life might be. That those cravings will go completely away, that you will not have those emotions that you expressed. Life is just life and the is basically the truth. Things happened emotions grab us. What the program gives us is how to deal with what life has thrown at us.

Back in 2001 when I had about a little over 2 years of sobriety, I was hit by a situation, that really got to me. My 16-year-old son died from cancer. Even though I knew that someday it would happen it did present me into a emotional state of mind. I had to make a decision. Do I numb myself with the grief and heartache with taking a drink. Or do I follow the A.A. program and accept what happened? So you could say that the clouds that day were dark. If it wasn't for A.A. and the members in my f2f meeting, plus my sponsor I would hate to think of what I might have done. By staying and working the program those dark clouds became white again. And now I have 20 years of sobriety.

I still have those dark clouds coming into my life that is part of life. But through this program I have learned to live life on life's terms and not my own. Every day I put my life in my H.P. hands. Praying that my H.P. will lead me though the valley of death and to a life of continuous sobriety.

One reason that Step 10 is important is that we do not have those pink cloud you were talking about. We continue to take a personal inventory to determine if we have put our expectations to high on the list that we would like to see how our lives go. And that is why it is important to take one day at a time, because if we don't then some of the expectations that we have will not come about. And if they don't well that's life. And if they do then it happened because we took life one day at a time and did the things that would let it come about.

The thing that has helped me the most in my years of sobriety is this:

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation---some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's World by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Acceptance Was The Answer, p. 417, with permission from AAWS

Have a good day,
John T.

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by PaigeB »

I did make the decision earlier today to find a new sponsor as I would like to go through the steps again.
Me too! Well, I did it several months ago. I just finished a month of working on Step 4. Tonight when the world slows down, I will go over it again with a new eye for thoroughness & detail. My second 5th Step is scheduled for Sunday.

I had a spiritual experience as the result of working the Steps in my first 2 years. My ideas about an HP changed so much that I needed a new spiritual experience. I had over 7 years at that point. I am really really grateful that I took the Steps again, with a different sponsor. I have grown much and look forward to even more growth in the coming years.

Contrary to "feeling good" I felt like a newcomer on many occasions! Ugh. Hang in there ~ you & I both know it gets better!
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by tblue818 »

"Whenever I'm disturbed, no matter what the cause, the problem is within me."

"Awareness is the answer; the willingness to see, the key."

At around 4 yrs sober, I had what I came to call a "sober bottom". I had no idea that it was possible, in recovery, to know misery that was as great as/greater than the bottom of alcoholism. It lasted three months, and by that time, the only solution the 'brat within' could come up with was a bullet to the brain. I had absolutely no desire to drink, nor did the 'brat within' suggest it. I was still working AA, but began adding new things...all to no avail.

Back-story: When I was over a year sober and feeling 'stable', I began to become acutely aware of those who relapsed and were coming back. It was really unsettling that no one could remember what happened other than some vague, "I quit going to meetings" - and some even said they were still going to meetings when they picked up. I thought, "What is the point of going through all this, only to pick up 5 to 20 years down the road? If no one can tell us what *really* happened, what's to prevent it from happening to me?"

The fear of relapse made me work harder to not miss anything important. Yet, there I was in such as state as to be contemplating suicide - and I had no idea what was wrong. I was 'dry as a bone' and nothing was quenching the thirst. For me, I now knew what relapse was made of. What turned out to be the solution for me would be another story and may not be your situation. But the growth that came out of that hell was so worth it.

I didn't have 'panic attacks' as you describe. However, last evening, my 94 y.o. mother asked me if I had any novels she could read from my book shelves. I didn't, but she had a cupboard on the sun porch she'd obviously forgotten about that had old books she may not have read. I've gone to that cupboard several times in the past for this same purpose - but never noticed a book called, "Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps" (Melody Beatie). Hmmm...God-shot? (Once upon a time, my mother had attended Al-anon for my alcoholic father, so it likely came from that period.)

p. 17 - "Unmanageability can creep into our recoveries, no matter how log we've been recovering." She mentions panic attacks as a symptom. Think I'll keep reading for a spell. :O)

Trust that HP is presenting a growth opportunity - not throwing you under the bus. Watch for synchronicity. :)

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by Mike O »

I know that life can show up, and it's not gonna be rainbows and unicorns every single day of life - but what is happening is sheer panic and terror, and it comes out of nowhere, for no reason. There is no obsession to drink over it as the obsession has been lifted
Hi there,
I think, for me, the above is the essence of your post.

Life will not be all good, 12 steps or no 12 steps, but no matter what happens you will never have to drink over it as the 12 steps are obviously working in your life.
Whatever is causing this distress will pass and, because you will continue to practice the 12 step principles through it, you will not have drunk.
This is what's important here.

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Re: Falling through the pink cloud

Post by tomsteve »

what youre experiencing is the reason my sponsor told me to have a pink parachute handy.pink clouds are nice to ride, but dont last forever.
trudging sucks, but sometimes necessary.

it might be wise to carry a little pocket notepad and pen. when the panic and terror hit, write down exactly what youre feeling and why- some 4th step type work.

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