What is “Pink Cloud Syndrome?”

The best way to avoid pink cloud syndrome is to always stay focused on recovery.
It is said that, “When you begin recovery, the bad news is you get your feelings back, and the good news is you get your feelings back.”

In addiction, drugs are often used to numb unwanted negative feeling such as guilt, shame, and regret. In doing this, other feelings of genuine happiness and joy also become masked, making it difficult to feel anything. Early in recovery, once abstinence begins, one starts to get their feeling back gradually. Often, a world full of emotion comes crashing down upon them; however, many addicts rejoice in this simply because it has been so long since they felt anything that they had been feeling like they were not even human. Then, life begins to feel amazing. Suddenly everything is falling into place better than life did before. Employment possibilities open up, recovering addicts go back to school to pursue an education and life feels full of possibilities. Staying abstinent from substances is no longer a struggle and they begin feel that they do not have to work as hard to maintain that abstinence leading them to wonder why they ever thought recovery would be so difficult in the first place. Everything seems to being going great, which makes them feel like they are living in an unrealistic fantasy land. This phenomenal high is known as the “pink cloud.”

When someone has pink cloud syndrome, they could be at risk for relapse. In feeling like recovery has become so easy that they no longer have to put any work into it they are setting themselves up for relapse. Relapse is likely to happen within the first few months after leaving treatment, which is also typically when the pink cloud happens. To avoid falling victim to the pink cloud, one must stay in touch with reality. That is not to say that one cannot enjoy life and rejoice in the new found abstinence, but rather that one should maintain a balance.

The pink cloud has a rough landing. After all, what goes up must come down. After experiencing such an astounding high on life, ordinary levels of emotions may seem insufficient. Negative emotions have a more intense effect than they did before, leading one to wander back into active addiction to cope.

The best way to avoid pink cloud syndrome is to always stay focused on recovery. In putting recovery first, one does not become blind sighted by the pink cloud, and therefore, is not affected by a harsh reality once the cloud has popped. Feeling better than ever in recovery is every recovering addict’s goal, but the key is to not feel so good that one loses touch with reality and loses track of their recovery journey, thus hindering the longevity of that recovery.


Distributed by NetJumps International

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