I posted this in my online support group (The BFB) this morning after being overcome with hope and joy on the way to work. No jokes or funny business in this post. Just wanted to share it here in case you needed to read words like these today. Much love, my little butterbutts. XO

With 120 days just a few days away, I wanted to check in here. This morning on the way to work I just burst into tears. Not because anything was wrong, but because everything was right. I felt alive, present, grateful, amazed by my surroundings, appreciative of the people I have in my life, and blown away by how good life is becoming despite its obvious flaws and speed bumps. THIS is life. THIS is joy. And I don’t ever want to lose this feeling again.

DO NOT call it a pink cloud and tell me it won’t last and to gird my loins. This is something deeper than a momentary euphoric sense of serenity (I’ve had those, too). This is a shift in understanding. This is knowing that even on my worst days, I have so much to embrace and be grateful for and that I can choose to acknowledge that gratitude, tell others about it, and let it grow until it completely snuffs out whatever negativity my alcoholic brain is trying to grow.

Stopping in moments of grief, pain, and anxiety and SPEAKING YOUR GRATITUDE to others, to yourself, or to your higher power (if you do that sort of thing), is a real and tangible strategy at overcoming the shitty times. Instead of marinating in what is wrong, I take deep breaths and FORCEFULLY make myself sit still and stew in what is RIGHT. For as long as it takes to feel better. It’s not just conceptual and idealistic. It’s real and it works for me. I’m hoping it might work for you if you try.

Grateful for my gratitude group and for all of you guys, too. If you don’t have this feeling yet, please trust me and know that you CAN. You will. This sense of authenticity and joy was not fathomable to me 4 months ago. It was beyond my realm of comprehension. And somehow it’s here. The miracle has happened.


  1. LOVE. Your words are wonderful! I think it’s important to remember that we have to be intentional and deliberate about our thinking, especially when we are wobbly. 💛💙💜💚 thanks, Jon! P.S. Where did you find the Gratitude Group? Did you start it?

    1. Hi Heather! I joined this online community called The Booze Free Brigade which is open to anyone who’d like to join. Then I was approached by a person who was trying to form a smaller group specifically for gratitude sharing and I accepted the invite. The best thing to do is to try to talk to and get to know a few people in an online group and then form your own gratitude group with those you feel you connect with. To start it out, you could just collect a few emails from people and then you all could just email one another and add new people as you go.

  2. A beautifully written post-as usual, John. I don’t think I speak for myself when I say that your words give me hope. Thank you.

  3. I love it! And good for you, shouting back at those pink-cloud-bashers. Feeling like you do is a fine thing, not something to ring in with fear. What you say is beautiful. xo

    1. The pink cloud naysayers mean well, I think. They are telling me to not become overly confident when I feel good. But I think they mistake a fundamental shift in thinking with the less permanent and fleeting moments of joy. No matter. We know what we feel and that’s what really matters, right? XO

  4. I spent to long waiting for it all to go wrong before I realised wahaa it’s great and every now and again I just take stock. I don’t ever want it taken for granted like the TV. 5 years ago when everyone told me how well I was looking I couldn’t appreciate what they were on about. I looked in the mirror and saw no difference. I came up with this daft idea to look different, I shaved of moustache & I could see a difference not to mention feel a difference. I’ve never grown it back. Stupid little thing really but it works for me

  5. You just GO my man! I have felt this way for a long time now and NO ONE can take it away…didn’t even listen to the nay-sayers or let anyone burst my happy bubble, or pink cloud dissers. It’s a definite shift in gratitude for life if we want it! I’m so happy for all of us! 🙂

  6. I feel like these are the best moments in sobriety. I was driving home probably 2 or 3 months into sobriety and had a similar experience. I just started to cry, and looked up at the sky and said thank you. Finding the strength and courage to make these steps isn’t easy, but man, is it powerful to realize that you’re finally doing it. So happy for you and I love reading posts like this. 🙂

    1. I just cried reading about you crying. Ha. So amazing, indeed. I often say THANK YOU and I’m not a religious person. THANK YOU universe. THANK YOU whatever it is. THANK YOU it isn’t what it used to be.

  7. Wonderful wonderful wonderful! I won’t say it’s a pink cloud.. I agree.. it’s a deeper shift in understanding and it becomes the new foundations of our lives. So fucking great being sober isn’t it….??! xx

    1. It’s amazing, Mrs. D. And when people say, “Just be ready. Sobriety has its bad days,” I think to myself, No. LIFE has its bad days. Let’s not blame a shitty day on sobriety! Sobriety is nothing but GOOD. Life itself, sober or otherwise, is what throws us those curveballs!

  8. I’ll try that, thanks for sharing, I’m so new to this and seem to dwell on the shit versus the good… and you’re right we are all grateful for something / someone.

  9. I used to feel that way. I barely remember it. But I know what you are saying is true. God you are so authentic, I can tell you are not BSing. I spent last night getting through that effing 7th day reading your blog for hours. Mostly laughing cuz damn dude….you is funny! And in the midst of laughing I suddenly started crying… yea shit just goes like that right now, so I took a swig of my LaCroix with lime (figured that one out all on my own, how about that!) and shoved a piece of chocolate in my mouth and carried on.

    Today, just feeling bla… I made to day 8… first time…. and….I feel bla and teary eyed. Cold and grey out here in timbucktoo nowhere Minnesota. This would be the time, eh? To do that gratitude thing….I want to be authentic though….and don’t think I can be. Fake it till you make it?

    God I hope I get to where you are someday……

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