The Ninety Day Promise: Coming to My Senses

An advisor in a recovery group I work with recently mentioned that in many cases (not all cases, everything is individual) recovering addicts report a little added “bonus” that seems to kick in at around ninety days clean. At that point, apparently, people find that their mind seems sharper. They see colors more brightly, they see the world around them more clearly, and feel more engaged. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm in no way trained to understand this phenomenon, but here's how I conceptualize it:

Addiction takes up a lot of space, and it re-wires the “reward” pathways in your brain. People get addicted because their addiction offers huge (at first) rewards for using. So our brains rewire themselves more and more. I have definitely seen, in my own life, that any time I'm not using the world feels gray. It's like using sucks up all the color and life in the world. All the brain reward pathways lead to addiction.

So breaking free lets other things be rewarding again. I have started to feel that, and it's a good feeling. My guess is that three months is around the time that an addicted brain reconciles itself to the fact that the addiction isn't there anymore, so it should start looking for other ways to be happy.

Like I said, I'm really looking forward to it.

-A