From the August 2012 magazine.

August 2012: Honeymoon

His love affair with early sobriety sent his wife screaming from the house

Anybody who grabs the program and makes it past the end of the physical hassles—the shock when your liver finally realizes it's got a new shot at life and starts functioning normally again, when your digestive system starts to see food again, real food, and not that strange chemical that kept putting it out of whack—anybody who makes it that far enters what many repaired drunks ("recovered" sounds so medical) call the AA honeymoon. It's that wonderful period, lasting from 90 days on up, when life is so damn fine, when everything works so … so right, somehow, that it's hard to believe you're just returning to normal and not becoming some kind of superman.

The honeymoon strikes people differently, depending on individual traits, depth of addiction, withdrawal problems, and the like. Some become ebullient, bubbling with smiles and joy; others walk around in a seemingly permanent state of euphoria or shock; still others can't believe the feeling and seem stunned. (A good friend who caught the stick the program offers told me, "Do you know, really know, what it's like to suddenly be able to tie your shoes with both eyes open?")

-- G.P.

Elbert, Colorado

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