A great topic and a huge one that obviously has had books written about it. Anyhow, I'll put in my two pennies worth (now that I look at it, $200 worth?) about something called "excited misery".
Basically, it means that the recovering alcoholic/addict, usually in the early stages, say the all-important first year, needs some kind of "emergency" now and then going on in their life to make it feel "exciting" or "worth-while". The person is so used to the bombardment of "bad" happenings in their life up until the moment, that any "good" tidings leaves them feeling rather awkward, or that something must be amidst. They are left feeling kind of threatened or perplexed by the sudden changes.
While developing their dependence on their substance(s) of choice, and then on to full-blown addiction, the alcoholic/addict had suffered intolerably, and dealt with it by abusing their substance of choice more and more. But wait! Now that they have some sobriety... they feel... good! What is this? How could I feel good?
The alcoholic/addict in early recovery generally isn't used to these new feelings and emotions of serenity. They're usually much more used to the feelings and emotions of melancholy and/or anxiety. That's the mind-set (what bad things, and/or emergencies, can I look forward to happening today?) they had become accustomed to during the later stages of their addictive using, and perhaps even way before.
Let's take for example finding a $20 bill, or even a quarter for that matter, on the ground. For most of us, that usually generates some excitement in the moment. Now, take that excitement to a larger extent and expand it as the chunk of life naturally experienced some of the time by a "normie", for instance. The normie is used to living with the "good". Yes, the normie has his/her ups and downs too. But, the alcoholic/addict in early recovery sometimes isn't used to this kind of good-excited feeling. He or she is comfortable instead with the kind of excitement that says in effect: "If there isn't something bad happening in my life now and then, then something must be wrong!" This is a kind of excited misery.
I believe that's one reason that some who attend AA will recommend 90 meetings in 90 days. It takes at least that long for the recovering alcoholic/addict's physical and mental processes to heal somewhat--- for the fog to lift, so to speak. And that's also, I believe, part of "The Promises" and "A Vision for You" as he or she continues the journey of change to a better life.
Let me make a quick note that it's essential that the recovering alcoholic/addict get a doctor's evaluation for any mental illnesses, besides the compulsive disorder to use. AA in no way says this is "wrong". As it is said : "More will be revealed". And medical research and practice has done some remarkable work developing and producing prescriptions to help relieve some of the suffering.
Now, where was I? Oh! Then there's the alcoholic/addict who is rather indifferent and perhaps just throws their hands up and exclaims, "That's life! Don't try to see too much in to it. It doesn't really matter in the end, does it? You're feelings and emotions aren't really that important anyway--- especially to people living in the other hemisphere of the earth. When it's day here, it's night there, and when it's night here, it's..." and on and on.
Just thinking out, and about, these ideas could be a trigger for a relapse because the alcoholic/addict might not be used to living in the present moment. And that's where stinkin' thinkin' becomes dangerous. Whoops!
Anyhow, I'll end with this: Sometimes to be happy now we have to give up all hope for a better past. No more excited misery... Please!