Step One: The Pink Cloud (Twelve Steps)


Last time I got sober I went through the Pink Cloud Syndrome, which lasted for ten months and ended in broken windows and a trip to the psych ward followed by a devastating relapse. At the time I was unaware of the pink cloud. I didn’t find out about the pink cloud until 1 1/2 years later when I entered rehab.

I thought AA was the end-all-be-all for curing my mental depravity. I followed all the suggestions (or so I thought), got an awesome sponsor, went to a meeting everyday, and compiled a notebook full of inspiring quotes I heard from fellow members.

I worked the steps following the Big Book approach with my sponsor. She read the Big Book to me and I highlighted parts that I identified with. She gave me suggestions such as getting down on my knees and praying, something I still don’t do til this day, and calling fellow AA members, which I also didn’t do. One of the biggest suggestions I refused to follow was to see a psychiatrist and get on some medication.

I fooled myself into believing I was following the program and taking suggestions, but looking back I didn’t follow it at all, nor did I comprehend the basics of the steps. People kept saying, “If steps one through three are easy, you’re doing it wrong.” I breezed through the steps like I was some type of guru. Until I made it to my resentment list.

My sponsor wanted it done within one week. After three weeks I was still making up excuses as to why it wasn’t finished. As the list got longer and longer, I became irritated. I didn’t want to bother with it anymore until I finally erupted into a fit of anger directed at my dad. I stormed off, spit in his face, got wasted, came back, broke his windows, and was hauled off to the psych ward in chains.

Fast-forward through homelessness, living with a dope fiend roommate, going back to my dad’s house worse-off than before, and entering rehab. I now realize all those little things I got wrong the first time, and I am ready to fully admit my powerlessness and hand my will over to a higher power.

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