Recently, I celebrated my first “birthday” as a sober, middle-aged woman. A few weeks prior to this event, friends were commenting about how much my appearance has changed. Observing that I look softer, less rough, cheerful, vibrant, and restored. I assure you, I do not see these changes in myself, until I see photos.

It’s so amazingly true. Looking at pictures today from my sobriety birthday barbeque, I see the clarity and gentleness my observers speak of. I have noticed these changes not just in myself, but also with my fellow sober friends.

The lucidity in the eyes is what touches me to my core. It is as if a miracle sits right behind our pupils. A secret to this society of sobriety. It reminds me of an old TV drama in which there was a clandestine culture of aliens creating a habitat of their own on Earth. These foreigners could recognize each other when “normal” citizens could not. This may sound fantastical and extreme, but there really is something about the eyes of sobriety.

Smiles. It’s there too. The Cheshire cat has nothing on a person in recovery. It’s amazing to me just how many photos reside on my Facebook page of me at drunken events. Proof of how much I actually did imbibe, and how sorely required my recovery is. Photos of HUGE smiles over my bazillionth glass of wine. Sexy poses with morning mimosas. And, fake grins of contentment.

The façade has been shattered. What you see is what you get. On most days, that is new found health, cheerfulness, and contentment.

Today, sobriety is a beautiful place to be.

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