After a few weeks of abstinence, I was in a bit of a cloud. Once through the emotional chaos and hardships of withdrawal, I felt myself growing wings, strong in the benefits of this new alcohol-free life. Full of hope and confident in maintaining my sobriety, I was tasting the Pink Cloud syndrome.
I understood that sobriety had not erased reality and that it would not always be rosy.
Pink Cloud syndrome describes a state of euphoria and overconfidence that often appears in the early stages of recovery. First observed in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), this feeling is often reported by recovering addicts, even if not all experience it. In the absence of studies on the subject, I was able to find testimonies which converge and in which I recognized myself.
An addict is confronted with so much difficulty and suffering that the exit from this addiction can appear particularly liberating. After the psychological and physical distress caused by stopping the substance, a new field of possibilities opens up to oneself, a new world of opportunities and well-being. Many users admitted that this feeling of excitement gave them hope after the chaos that addiction had brought into their lives.
For my part, I quickly noticed the benefits of stopping alcohol: restful nights, energetic awakenings, a changing body. Morale in good shape, free of the downsides and hangovers etc. The experience of these benefits is particularly encouraging and stimulating. I then managed to project myself into a fulfilling alcohol-free life with optimistic prospects. I was excited about my recovery, in a calm and peaceful state of mind. Fully committed to positive life changes.
This state of excitement lasted 6 months. I put a lot of energy and work into this new sobriety. Cradled by these pleasant feelings, I detached myself a little from reality while remaining in my bubble of happiness. Until a disappointment in love that sent my alcoholism back to my face. Overwhelmed by my emotions, I suddenly regained consciousness of my fragility. I wanted to drink to drown my sorrow. After having bought a bottle following intense craving, I ended up throwing it in the trash at the cost of a merciless fight against the voice of addiction. I understood that sobriety had not erased reality and that it would not always be rosy. Physical sobriety is just the first step towards emotional sobriety. I was now going to have to learn to manage my emotions in the face of the vagaries of life,
The pink cloud can sometimes cause us to obscure the realities that surround us in all areas of our life (family, professional, financial, etc.). Getting out of addiction changes our view of the world but not its truths. It is not possible to remain in extreme joy indefinitely. Getting down to earth can bring its share of disappointments and it is necessary to be able to protect yourself in order to best tackle these disappointments.
Understanding what lies ahead on the road to recovery can help maintain a healthy living routine where small strides build long term success. The confidence and hope that sobriety brings in its beginnings can be a real lever in building this new chapter. Mindfully enjoying these benefits can boost morale and prepare for the road ahead.