If you’re just out of treatment or joined a 12-step program on your own, you may hear people talking about a “pink cloud” that newbies go through. Others call it a “honeymoon phase” where you experience feelings of intense excitement and happiness. During this nice little window, you may be absolutely thrilled to start your new recovery journey. Not to be a bummer, but it’s super important for you to know this phase doesn’t last. When people don’t expect it to end, some crash hard or even relapse and leave the rooms.
The pink cloud can be caused by a couple of different things. You may be on the other side of withdrawal after treatment, and your feelings are just now coming back. If you did detox, you may still be on prescribed medications to help you function (like suboxone). Either way, you may be feeling the joys of life again and enjoying the peace from lack of drama and distress. This is truly awesome. Enjoy it. And then the day will come where these positive feelings go away. When that happens, it’s time to get to work.
I won’t lie, recovery can really suck in the beginning. Feelings come back, we face demons past and present, we confront people, make amends, we learn to function in a whole new way. Just keep in mind it’s a good kind of pain, the healing kind similar to having had surgery. Whenever you think about going back to your old life, remind yourself this is distorted thinking. You’ve been there, tried that, and things will not be different if you go around again. While the pain you feel in recovery leads to something great, the pain you felt while drinking or drugging just leads to more pain. No end in sight.
The addict in your mind will lie to you a lot in the beginning. Resist it by staying connected with your fellows. It’ll take something bigger than you to handle it
By Clint Fletcher, Editor-in-Chief, Recovery Club America