Have you ever heard of the “pink cloud” phase of recovery? Pink clouding describes the early stage of addiction recovery - it’s also called the honeymoon phase. It involves feelings of euphoria and exhilaration. When you’re at this stage, you feel confident and good about your recovery.
Unfortunately, the pink cloud phase does not last forever. Coming out of this phase can cause you to feel discouraged and depressed, negatively affecting your recovery. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to be aware of pink cloud syndrome, why it happens, and how to keep your expectations realistic.
How Can I Recognize the Pink Cloud Phase?
It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re pink clouding. If you recently completed addiction treatment in Agoura and are feeling great about your recovery, you are probably experiencing pink cloud syndrome.
Usually, this happens after a person has gone through the detox and withdrawal phase and is starting to work on their recovery. With the drugs out of their body, it’s easier to see things clearly. As a result, people in recovery look forward to every day with optimism and hope.
Here are some examples of what pink clouding looks and feels like:
- Extreme joy and euphoria
- Positivity and optimism
- Increased emotional awareness
- Peaceful state of mind
- Confidence about staying sober
- Commitment to positive lifestyle changes
How Long Does Pink Clouding Last?
There is no set timeline for when pink clouding starts and ends. Typically, people in recovery start to feel this way once they are a few days into drug rehab in Agoura. Some people feel this happiness for a few days, while others feel it for a few weeks. Nevertheless, the pink cloud phase does not last forever.
That said, the pink cloud can return at certain points in your recovery journey. It’s not necessarily a “one and done” event. You can’t stop yourself from experiencing this honeymoon phase, but you can prepare yourself for the ups and downs of this journey. In other words, enjoy the good days but prepare for the bad ones.
Is Pink Clouding Good or Bad?
There are pros and cons to going through the pink cloud phase. Addiction takes a toll on your life, so having a new perspective and feelings of optimism are important. The pink cloud phase can give you just enough “juice” to power up your recovery.
Here are some benefits to consider:
- Shift to a new perspective
- Get back in touch with your emotions
- Rebuild your relationships
- Look forward to sobriety
The problem with the pink cloud phase is that it can cause you to have unrealistic expectations. You won’t be on top of the world forever, so you must be prepared to put in the hard work. Not to mention, the daily responsibilities of life will return and you don’t want to slip into depression because of this.
Below are some disadvantages to be aware of:
- False beliefs about recovery being easy
- Tendency to ignore real-life challenges
- Having a false sense of security in your recovery
- Experiencing disappointment when the pink cloud fades
How Can I Manage the Pink Cloud Phase?
You don’t need to have an extreme-low after being on cloud nine. Instead, try to realize that your recovery will come in waves. As long as you follow your recovery plan and continue making healthy choices, you can plan for long-term success, not just immediate gratification.
Here are some tips for managing the pink cloud phase:
It’s easier to plan for the future when you’re feeling good and have a positive outlook. When you’re in the pink cloud phase, learn about the phases of recovery. This will help you prepare for the bad days and maintain realistic expectations. Plan for how you will manage your urges and protect your recovery from relapse.
Write in a journal
Even though the pink cloud phase won’t last forever, you can still carry positive feelings with you. To help you remember what these emotions feel like, write in a journal, or track your days in a recovery app. This way, you can look bad and remember the way you felt when you were in the honeymoon phase. One day, you’ll get to this point again.
Start with small, manageable goals
One of the signs that you’re in the pink cloud phase is making a bunch of decisions. You might start a new workout routine, improve your eating habits, or apply for a new job. While these can all be beneficial things in your life, be careful not to dive in too soon. This can backfire and cause you to do nothing at all.
The better approach is to start with small, manageable goals that are easy to follow through with. This way, when the pink cloud phase is over, you can still focus on completing these goals and making healthy, permanent changes in your life.
Practice good self-care
It’s critical that you take care of yourself during recovery. This will provide you with the strength and energy to get through your hard days. It will also protect you from relapse. Here are some examples of the healthy habits you should be doing on a regular basis:
- Get enough rest at night
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Exercise most days of the week
- Drink enough water
- Spend time with your support circle
- Practice relaxation techniques
Continue with your aftercare plan
Lastly, make sure you stick to your recovery regimen in the pink cloud phase. Even though you might feel confident, you should continue going to your AA meetings, talking with your therapist, taking your medications, and more. It’s best to have this type of support in place before you deal with the challenges after the pink cloud phase.
Awakenings Treatment Center offers intensive outpatient drug rehab in Agoura. Our programs are a great fit as you transition to a lower level of care or look to supplement your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how our program can prepare you for during and after the pink cloud phase.