Early recovery can be an incredible and exhilarating time. You have finally made the decision to reach out for help, and you received some kind of treatment—maybe you committed to 90 days in an inpatient rehab center, maybe you finally found your way into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Your withdrawal symptoms have subsided, the brain fog has begun to dissipate, and you are actually starting to settle into your skin once again. Those who experience the joy of recovery early on very often find themselves atop a “pink cloud.” This phrase refers to the feelings of euphoria that can go hand-in-hand with a newfound life of sobriety. The natural high that people in early recovery sometimes feel can be similar to the high produced by drugs or alcohol. It can be intense—and it is often fleeting.
When your pink cloud evaporates around you, you might start to feel discouraged, depressed, or ready to throw in the towel completely. It is important to understand that the ebb of flow of emotions is not only normal and expected, but it is an entirely unavoidable part of life. Emotional highs and lows will happen, but the longer you stay sober, the more even-keeled your emotions will become. To learn more about the “pink cloud” or to learn more about 12 Step meetings in your area, contact 12 Step Illinois today.
Does Everyone Experience a Pink Cloud?
Addiction recovery is an extremely personal process, and every individual’s experience with sobriety will be different. Some people stop drinking and maintain commitment to their personal recovery program with no problem, ultimately staying sober for years to come. Other people attempt to get sober and experience one relapse after another, finally gaining momentum in their recovery after multiple failed attempts to stay clean. Some people experience a pink cloud that lasts for months, and other people have an extremely difficult time during early sobriety. There is no way to predict who will experience a pink cloud and who will struggle through their first year. The good news is, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your personal recovery journey is as fulfilling as possible. To learn more, reach out to 12 Step Illinois today.
Signs You Are On a Pink Cloud
Say you wake up one morning feeling particularly grateful and optimistic. Does this mean you are on a pink cloud? Not necessarily; it could simply mean that you are having a good day. How can you tell whether or not you are experiencing a pink cloud? There are several telltale signs to look for. These include:
- You feel extreme joy, happiness, and euphoria for no apparent reason.
- You wake up looking forward to the day that lies ahead.
- You feel extremely optimistic about your recovery and your ability to stay sober.
- You feel as if nothing can possibly go wrong.
- You find it difficult to focus on anything outside of your recovery program.
Experiencing the euphoria that goes hand-in-hand with a pink cloud might seem like something everyone wants, but there are some downsides. It is important to maintain a sense of realism surrounding your sobriety. Recovery is not an easy journey, and there will inevitably be ups and downs. To learn more about how to protect yourself from the hard times, reach out to 12 Step Illinois today.
Pros & Cons of Pink Cloud Syndrome
There are pros and cons to riding high on a pink cloud. It is great to feel confident about where you are in your recovery. Of course, recognizing that a sober way of living
is better than a life of active alcoholism is important. However, leaning too hard into a pink cloud mentality can negatively impact your recovery later on. How? Below are several pros and cons.
Pros of a Pink Cloud
- Your recovery is off to a strong start.
- Your perspective is beginning to shift.
- You know how good living a life of sobriety can be.
- You are starting to accept the fact that sobriety is more fulfilling than active alcoholism will ever be.
Cons of a Pink Cloud
- You start to feel overconfident in your sobriety.
- You do not adequately prepare yourself for the unavoidable challenges ahead.
- When your mood declines, it feels much worse than it might be in actuality.
- You start to believe that recovery should always be easy. It won’t be!
- You experience depression when the pink cloud dissipates.
How to Keep Your Sobriety Fun
You might not always experience feelings of euphoria, but there are steps you can take to ensure your sobriety stays fun and that you don’t spend too much time in emotional low-points. These steps include:
- Continue developing a spiritual connection. Find a spiritual practice that works for you and throw yourself into it. Work at it on a daily basis.
- Stay engaged with your 12 Step program. This means daily or near-daily meeting attendance, regular work with a sponsor, taking on sponsees once you are through the steps, and continuing with your daily stepwork-related practices (nightly inventory, prayer, meditation, etc.).
- Seek outside help whenever necessary. This might look like finding a licensed therapist to meet with once a week or seeking psychiatric care if you struggle with a mental health concern like anxiety or depression.
- Spend time with sober friends who share common interests and who are dedicated to making recovery as fun as possible.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
At 12 Step Illinois, we understand just how difficult it can be to reach out for help and actively pursue a life in recovery. Change of any kind can be scary, and making the transition from active alcoholism to total abstinence is likely the most significant change you will ever make. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate the process on your own. At 12 Step Illinois, we are available to help guide you along every step of the way.
The initial stage of the recovery process involves determining which treatment option is the most appropriate for your unique case. If you have been struggling with a mild or moderate alcohol use disorder and no underlying issues, engagement in a 12 Step program might be an effective treatment option. However, if you have been struggling with a mild, moderate, or severe alcohol use disorder and any co-occurring issues, entering into a more intensive, multi-staged treatment program might be an ideal option.
Regardless of the care you need, we will help connect you with a treatment program in Illinois that caters to all of your personal clinical requirements. Contact us today to learn more and to begin your personal journey of alcohol addiction recovery.