When I was newly sober, I noticed that I smelled really strange. I took shower after shower trying to rid myself of this smell. It wasn’t a bad smell or a good smell. It was just a smell. I found out that it was my body leaching out all the chemicals which I had put into it. This situation lasted about three weeks and then finally it was gone. This was a very strange phenomenon.
The next very strange I noticed had to do with my vision. I was driving down the boulevard and looked up and out of my window. I asked myself when did the sky turn blue? I then began looking around and noticed all these colors on things. I couldn’t hardly believe this as I was overwhelmed with color. I basked in the joy of the color for a few moments. A revelation came to mind while at the end of my drinking and using career I had been seeing things in black and white and sepia tones. This made me feel very sad for what I had done to myself in my addiction.
While in active addiction I blamed the world and everyone and everything in it for my troubles. I never took any kind of responsibility for my behavior or what I was doing to myself or others. It was all about me and how you and the world had done me wrong. Never did it occur to me that I had any part in what was happening to my life.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that “selfishness and self-centeredness, that we think is the root of our problem.” This certainly rang true for me. I was overcome with disbelief as to all the troubles I had been of my own making and doing! I must certainly have some sort of mental issues if this was the way I was thinking and acting. Thank God for the 12 Steps as they explained all these things to me.
The 12 Steps helped me to see that I had truly been acting and thinking in insane ways. For our purposes here we will define insanity as “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” Every time I picked up a glass, I was chasing that mysterious wonderful high I felt when I took my first drink. But alas this high was not to be found because I had built quite a tolerance to mass quantities of alcohol and drugs. This is usually true for all of us.
So, no wonder that I smelled strange, or the sky appeared to be in black and white. And the worse part for me was realizing I had done this to myself. They, them were no longer at fault. Thank God for Step 2. This step states that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. What a relief this was. The bottom line here was that I finally had some hope of recovery from this dreaded disease. The recovery lay in the taking and application of the 12 Steps. And for that I am ever grateful.