What is Pink Cloud syndrome in Sobriety? The Pink Clouding Effect.
When we are drinking constantly, our body and mental stability are taking an absolute battering. Pink clouding is a term that is used to describe a feeling when you have decided to rid yourself of the booze, and the feeling that follows.
I personally believe that I went through the Pink Cloud Syndrome the very first time I managed to successfully quit alcohol. I remember vividly the first time I managed to get through to day 7 (1 week solid!) of not drinking. It was quite a momentous experience for me, and I was feeling great about it. Proud, and quite rightly so. Then a month passed. Then 2 months. I was feeling on top of the world.
My sleep was improving, I was feeling more energetic and I was getting compliments from friends and family about how well I looked or ‘seemed’ in general. The feeling was amazing – like I was living on a cloud. Everywhere I went, I was telling people that I had chosen to become alcohol-free, and it was the best feeling ever. This feeling was very natural in my eyes.
When a person stops drinking, their body starts to get better nutrients, they may feel more energetic, they may feel more vibrant.
Often when we take away a poison like alcohol from our body, one so strong that it drains the very life out of you then you may even feel euphoric, elated. This can be seen as a good thing as you are finally free of something that has been holding you back for so long.
Holding you back in your personal life, your social life and your work life. Basically, every aspect of your life. When you experience this sort of feeling, it has been described as the Pink cloud effect or the pink cloud experience.
Welcome to the pink cloud.
What exactly is the pink cloud?
Whenever a person goes through sobriety, feelings and emotions start to return to them. Often these are feelings that have long since left them, and it is an exciting time for a person to have such emotions to return. To feel like you have returned to your former self.
What causes the pink cloud?
The person is so happy, on a natural high for achieving something that has destroyed their every morsel previously. It is very natural to be pleased about such an achievement, but often people can get ‘too’ pleased. Expectations about the rest of their lives get lifted….well beyond realistic expectations. This is what is described as the pink cloud.
Is the pink cloud dangerous?
When experiencing recovery in sobriety, pink clouds are quite a common experience – feeling fantastic as if a massive weight has been lifted from your shoulders and you can enjoy life to the fullest. But, this experience can give you quite unrealistic expectations about what life is going to be like. Yes, these amazing feelings offer hope and a future for those who do experience it, the cloud can cover up the vision of the real problems that one may have to face. These blinding experiences are often followed by disappointment, which could put a person back to wanting to drink again – exactly where they have worked so hard to be free from.
This is exactly what happened to me. I was so happy about my new-found or regained life that I got comfortable that I had now cracked it. I was now free from the addiction of alcohol. I thought, that as a new man, I could ‘take it or leave it’.
I decided that I would try it out, which is one of the dangerous points of the pink cloud. I tried it, and before I knew it I had relapsed. And seemingly being able to drink just as much as I had done with a 6 month break in drinking every night. Straight back into it. Bang. And at the blink of an eye, I was back to drinking heavily, every night.
The first few days I was convincing myself that it was ok to do this – I had just completed 6 months straight without a drink. That was the longest that I had remained alcohol-free in my adult life, so I could easily do it again. How wrong I was. The Pink Cloud Syndrome – something that I had not even heard of before – had gotten me, and I walked straight into it.
What to do if you experience pink cloud syndrome.
Having an awareness of your experience is an amazing thing. To an extent, you can enjoy the feelings – after all, you have done great and should be very proud of yourself. And who doesn’t like to feel great? But, keeping yourself in check is vital, something I learned only too well.
Take time out of your day to give yourself an awareness of what is going on around you. Remember that these ‘high’ feelings are nice but there is still a real-life out there that you will have to live with once this feeling has died down. Take the time to take care of yourself, relax. Absolutely do not give yourself a hard time about the experience of pink cloud…but within realistic boundaries.
This can be a difficult challenge, but it is all part of your own sober journey. And remember, it is YOUR journey.
How to deal with your life post-pink cloud.
Please remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with aspects of the pink cloud. Feeling great is…well, a great feeling. Please be aware though that these euphoric feelings of freedom are temporary and at some point reality will kick in. I really don’t want to be in any way negative about anybody’s journey to sobriety, but it is often at these points of over-confidence that the pink cloud offers, that people can become complacent. The amazing feeling that you have finally beaten the booze can leave you succeptible to the possibility of a relapse, and that is the exact thing that you don’t want to do. Healthline also have some great tips on how to deal with life post-pink cloud.
You have just done all of that amazing work in changing and regaining your life, don’t let an experience like the pink cloud syndrome put you back to where you first started!
Being armed with the knowledge that what you are experience is common, and that the natural highs will disappear is solid information to know.
There are a lot of positives to be taken away from pink cloud syndrome. Keep those outlooks with you as you move through your sober journey.
Similar to knowing your own triggers, knowing this will change will allow you to be prepared for it and continue with your beautiful life of sobriety 😊