Feeling Guilty about being Happy: The dust had settled, I was in treatment and I was starting to feel better physically. I am surrounded with like-minded people with my same issues. I am feeling connected. I am feeling okay in my skin for the first time in a long time. My smile starts to come back and I begin to laugh genuinely. When my husband calls and asks what I am up to I happen to be a Starbucks and someone cracked a funny joke. When my friend calls, I’m just walking into a movie with my group. When my dad comes to visit I introduce him to all my new friends and he doesn’t exactly know what to do with me calling them my friends. My joy is received in a weird way. Had I not let myself be miserable for long enough? Did I not shed enough tears? Do I still need to feel guilty? Is it too soon to show that I am happy? If I am happy does it look like I am not remorseful for what I have done? These are all thoughts that went through my head when I was fresh in treatment. It took me a week or so to get there but right when I started to get happy, I got weird vibes from my friends and family. Some real. Some concocted in my mind, I’m sure. Maybe they thought that I needed to suffer longer to get the gravity of the situation. What they didn’t know is that I had been suffering for longer than they could imagine. They will never be able to understand the level of guilt, shame and hate for myself that I lived with for years. Maybe some have experienced these emotions but the majority has no idea. I have been extremely happy and grateful lately. So much that I will burst into tears. My happiness feels like a cumulous cloud continuously growing in my body. The cloud gets so big in my body that it almost takes my breath away. I have been practicing staying in that space. It is very easy to worry about when the bottom is going to fall out or when something bad is going to happen. The buzz around me says enjoy the fruits of your labor and don’t worry about what might happen. This is true for when you are fresh in sobriety too. It is ok to be happy. It is ok to be happy right away. Think about it, after all the time I struggled trying to get people to understand how I was feeling and how my brain worked, I now have friends, staff and counselors that all know exactly how I feel. I didn’t even need to say the words and they got it. When I would speak, they would say, “me too.” This brought instant peace and happiness to my life. For one, I wasn’t insane or at least I wasn’t the only one that was insane. And two, I was able to have connection. Deep, meaningful, precious connection. I have connection with family and my husband of course however this connection is different. I hadn’t felt this since I played basketball with my traveling team, The Aces. Connection was a key for me in early sobriety and continues to be a key today. So what ever you are working through to become the best version of you, revel in the good. Be content in the good and the happiness. It is a beautiful condition to be in. If you are doing the next right thing you deserve to be happy now. I deserved to be happy in early sobriety and I deserve to stay happy if I continue to do the next right action. I don’t look back; I just do the next right thing.