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This Is My Time To Shine, Clean and Sober

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Wednesday, 19 September 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News, Alcohol

life clean and sober

After years of being clean and sober I am finally experiencing the “proverbial pink cloud”. It was worth the wait, to say the least.

Until now, although I had heard quite a bit about this elusive “pink cloud” from my contemporaries in the rooms, I had no experience with it.

In fact, notwithstanding the fact that I refrained from drinking alcohol and using substances, I thought that I was doing something wrong because I felt miserable, hopeless, and worst of all, confused about life.

I think that period of time served a purpose. Despite the fact that I did not feel so good, I developed character and learned discipline. That miserable unhappiness prepared me for this rich, all-consuming happiness.

Because I was without joy, solution and gratitude so long, I learned to appreciate the abundance of each that I now have.

I have tremendous gratitude that I so feel good, and will never, ever take it for granted again.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that, all my life, everything came easy to me, for the most part, because I had a brilliant mind, even though, at the time I did not realize it, as it was all I knew.

So, to go with it out for so long taught me to appreciate it now that it has returned. Actually, it is rapidly and exponentially returning, each day.

I am not saying that everyone has to learn the hard way to develop appreciation and live on pink cloud. As we say in the rooms, it is just my experience.

All of it prepared me for where I am now, ready and finally prepared to do something to add to this world and not just take from it. I left my mother’s womb and entered the world entitled.

The sole distinction now and then, is the simple act of letting go. For me, routinely, letting go and letting God, has not been an easy task. I like control.

My only experience of letting go, particularly when I was a child, resulted in tremendous pain, incomprehensible lack of autonomy and overwhelming dependence; my emotions were ignored, my voice was muted, and my physical boundaries did not exist, and I lived in perpetual fear.

Today, that is not my experience. Letting go and letting God, is a conversation with God, Higher Power (“H.P.”), Universe, or whatever you wish to call him or her.

As I have developed a relationship with the God of my own understanding, I have been able to trust in myself and the faith that everything would [will] be just fine effortlessly appeared.

In turn, it has been easier to stand on my own two feet, and depend on myself. It is almost like living fearlessly.

I never understand that before, the notion that by turning it all over to God, one could somehow become more independent, not more dependent.

Somehow, by talking to God, often, throughout the day, I have become more connected to what is “real”, to what really matters to me, and to what my true purpose is, as opposed to what I once thought I should be to please or impress the world at large.

There is nothing more remarkable, truly, than realizing that you can certainly do anything that you want to do, even if you do not know how you will do it at the moment.

Suddenly, you have the faith that the answer, or the solution will come.

Challenges still arrive, but for the first time in my life, I have learned to stay cool, calm, angst-free really. I pray and talk to the higher power of my own understanding.

More often than not, when I talk to my God, I am thanking him for what he has given me, and although cliché, that includes the difficulties that I have experienced and the adversities that I have overcome.

The more gratitude that I express, on a daily basis, the less time I waste on anger, resentment and regret of the past.

The first time that I tried it, it made no sense. Actually, it made no sense the second time, or time after that, for that matter.

Yet, because I wanted to experience a new way of life, I kept doing it. Slowly but surely life looked better, and felt better. Today, it feels glorious.

Each morning I wake up feeling better than the day before. It is all because I treated life like I treated my program.

Even when not drinking and not using did not make sense and did not necessarily feel good, at the beginning, particularly when I was experiencing withdrawals and felt disoriented, I kept doing it, even when I did not understand it really, I kept doing it, probably because I am so stubborn and hate to quit. Nevertheless, I did not throw in the towel.

Little by little, I felt better, laughed more, and experienced more clarity; the ability to discern returned, and my shrewdness reemerged.

Living clean and sober not only became a way of life, it became a habit.

Meanwhile, the urge to use and drink dissipated, until it no longer existed.

I eventually applied that same approach to my relationship with God and my focus on gratitude, not to mention the solution and not the problem.

I prayed and prayed even when I did not want to, when I did not feel anything, even when it felt like a waste of time. Now I am reaping the rewards through all sorts of intangibles and tangibles alike: heightened intuition; strong instincts; ease of living; calm even in the mist of calamity; more abundance and prosperity while so many others seem to be struggling financially; more peace of mind, even though I have more responsibility than ever before; and more strength to accomplish the goals that I have set for myself.

It feels as if I have more time in the day and I can even see better, hear better, feel more, and I do less.

I accomplish more, because I follow my instincts and intuition that I can once again trust.

As a result, I am no longer running around like a rodent on a wheel. I am not wasting so much time on aspects that do not matter.

To say the least, living this way feels exhilarating. Although I have let go, I feel more in control than ever before.

I highly recommend getting clean and sober. Putting down the alcohol and the other substances was the Very BEST decision that I ever made, bar none.

This is the feeling that I was waiting for all my life. This is the feeling that I once drank alcohol and consumed substances to feel.

I feel like I am in a love affair with myself and life, one that is certain to last forever, so long as I remember to not drink or use drugs.

If you or someone that you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, please call or text us now. We can help you.

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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