Getting Past the Pink Cloud
Getting sober feels great. When you’re free from the influence of alcohol, you may feel better than you have in years. So what could be the down side of your newfound sobriety? People who work with those in recovery know that you need to be aware of the risk of the “pink cloud.”
The pink cloud is a state of mind where everything seems great—even when the rest of life’s circumstances look pretty bleak. Here’s why you pink clouding and alcohol recovery is actually a bad combination. If you have questions about getting sober or what to expect in recovery, call our helpline at 800-839-1686.
What is the Pink Cloud?
Getting in recovery feels so much better than being addicted that you may feel like you’re walking on air, or specifically on a pink cloud. Everything in life seems wonderful and you feel a sense of euphoria, almost like being high.
Pink clouding in alcohol recovery is a stage where you’re looking at life through rose-colored glasses. Your sponsors or people who have been in recovery for a long time warn about this stage for several reasons.
From One Extreme to the Other
Finding a healthy emotional balance is one of the biggest challenges for substance abusers. Many wonder why it seems like drama follows them around, especially because drama is not what they want in their lives. That drama is because emotional instability–whether due to upbringing, genetics or life circumstances—is a hallmark of addiction.
Viewing circumstances in an extremely negative way is not uncommon among substance abusers, particularly if mental health issues are also present. The pink cloud still views the world in black and white extremes. Confidence is a good thing, but overconfidence can be dangerous to your recovery.
Why is the Pink Cloud Considered a Bad Thing?
Recovery involves a lot of hard work. You need to break through your own denial, which is one of the most difficult yet most important stages of recovery. You can’t really address your own denial if you feel like everything is great.
The most crucial aspect of recovery from alcohol abuse is learning to deal with your emotions and coping with difficult experiences in your past. Working on yourself is the way you learn to change your behavior.
Pink clouding and alcohol recovery is described in negative terms because feeling like everything is great puts you at risk when that bubble pops. If you feel euphoric and problem-free, eventually something will make you aware of your problems again. Because people are at greatest risk of relapse in the first year of recovery, your sobriety could be in jeopardy if you don’t spend those early months working on yourself.
How to Enjoy Recovery and Make It Last
Most people do feel better when they begin recovery. This is a good thing because you are working on getting mentally and physically healthy. Rather than exist in a pink cloud of denial, use the fact that you feel better as motivation to keep making the right choices.
According to the American Psychological Association, counseling can help you to work through the issues that contribute to alcohol abuse. Some of the activities that can help you work on your recovery and improve your chances of staying sober include the following:
- Participating in support groups such as AA
- Working with a qualified, professional counselor
- Writing in a journal
- Self-care activities, including following a good diet, sleeping well and getting regular exercise
How to Prevent Relapse
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, relapse is a significant risk for those who have dealt with alcohol addiction. Regular alcohol use changes the brain’s risk and reward functions, which causes a more extreme response to alcohol consumption.
The brain causes extreme cravings for alcohol after a period of abstinence. The only way to defeat the urge to drink is to continue staying alcohol-free. Medication may help you deal with anxiety and prevent a future relapse.
You’ll feel better when you break free from alcohol. Call our supportive team at 800-839-1686 today.