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Overcoming the 'Pink Cloud' During Addiction Recovery

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Casting off the restarts of addiction is refreshing. Indeed, deciding to overcome addiction is an achievement that should be celebrated. However, in some cases, the newly sober person can become so ecstatic about staying dry that the emotion can become overwhelming, even dangerous. This removal from reality is often referred to as pink cloud, and can lead the sober person into relapse.

Defining the Pink Cloud

Emotions that have been subdued by alcohol and drugs arise when an addict becomes sober. The mix of great highs and lows suddenly become intense in the first months or years during recovery. During a long-term high, the sober person might feel as if they have overcome addiction. Life might appear simple.

These feelings often do not reflect the actual state of reality the individual is experiencing. Therefore, those experiencing such a high are negatively referred to as pink clouds.

From High to Low

Those who are sober are most vulnerable to the syndrome when they experience the end of a pleasant period, or the pink cloud, in recovery. Though life is full of highs and lows, a recovering addict may experience the weight of a low more deeply than the average person. Some feel the end of the pink cloud is a result of something they did wrong, or question whether recovery is worthwhile. This low can easily spin the sober person into addiction again.

Be Glad, Not Guilty

Pink cloud is sometimes interpreted as something to describe a person who feels confident or excited about recovery, though they may not exhibit the extreme happiness displayed by those actually experiencing the syndrome. Sobriety and happiness is not a combination to feel guilty about. The important thing to remember is to keep on the path to recovery.

Source: DARA Thailand