A Gift of Recovery: Visual Senses Reborn

The first season I experienced sober was Spring. I remember sitting on the front steps with my husband trying to explain how overwhelmed I became while pruning the hydrangea in our garden. I sobbed as he gently rubbed my back. The vibrant shade of pink was beyond remarkable. Every pedal of pink sharply contrasted the green textures of the leafy green bedding. The more I trimmed, the more I felt I was losing control of the rumbling emotions in my gut. I had to stop. It was too much to handle.


For months following that day, it was as if I was experiencing the beauty of our planet for the first time. Each day that passed without picking up a drink, the more acute my senses became, subsequently effecting the intensity of my emotions. I struggled to exist in my own skin. I was giddy for one minute, then edgy and squeamish the next. I was emotionally captivated by my vivid visual senses that I had muted due to years of gross alcohol consumption.

Every season during my first sober year, became a sensory- frenzied roller coaster I was required to ride. The salty smell of the beach, Summer sunsets, the blue massiveness of the ocean- all profoundly rattled me. When Fall leaves arrived, I often found myself gazing for seemingly extended periods of time. I was aghast by Winter snow falls and how the crisp white tree branches fantastically contrasted the striking blue sky.


I had numbed myself from all the beauty of the world for 25 years. Experiencing such extreme sensory responses, I learned, was very normal. Had I not been told that , I may have thought I was going insane.


Having now experienced the 4 seasons 6 times, my extreme sensory responses have settled, but I am still able to appreciate the magical beauty of our world’s colors.

One of the many gifts of sobriety: visual senses reborn!