Sobriety in Early Recovery: Pink Cloud Syndrome

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

Finishing substance addiction treatment is a great accomplishment, and you deserve to feel proud of yourself. By deciding to find the path to a healthy, balanced life, you chose to commit yourself. Don’t break that commitment to yourself after you leave your treatment program. The steps you take following the completion of treatment are essential in your dedication to remain sober. 


Early Days of Recovery


Early recovery is a delicate part of your sobriety. You are on your own in the “real world” and are beginning to learn how to use the coping skills you learned in treatment. Yes, being optimistic is a positive emotion, but take the time to assess your optimism and your behaviors. 


The early days of recovery hold so much promise. First, you completed a program that encouraged you to discuss or find the root causes of your substance addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder. Then, through intensive inpatient or outpatient therapy, your therapist guided you to learn healthy alternatives to previous harmful behaviors. Now that you’re out of the intensive treatment environment, you feel confident you can handle everything. 


Pink Cloud Syndrome


Pink cloud syndrome is a term created by Alcoholics Anonymous to describe the early stage of recovery. Those who experience pink cloud syndrome feel a strong sense of joy, hopefulness, and confidence. These feelings aren’t harmful on the surface, but when they blind you to potential behaviors or lull you into complacency, your sobriety can suffer. 


Often, when people complete their inpatient or intensive outpatient program, they dive into outside meetings. You may attend one or more a day, find a sponsor, and jump into your new life. That’s great. However, before you take on every aspect of sobriety, take a breath. 


The problem with jumping into anything with abandon is the danger of burning out. After a while, you can feel fatigued by attending groups. The thrill of going to meetings and talking with others fades, and your sobriety can experience a slump. The excitement is gone, and you feel a lack of interest in what once excited you about remaining sober.


Post-Pink Cloud Sobriety


Finding ways to maintain your sobriety is essential to retaining your work while you were in treatment. Perhaps you can re-connect with the friends you made while you were in therapy through your treatment center’s alumni support groups. In addition, you can discuss what you learned with peers who understand the program. 


Alumni support groups help you maintain your goal of sobriety through compassionate support. You can connect with those who want to guide you through difficult times. They can also provide an empathetic ear when you are at a crossroads in your life. Throughout your sobriety, you will face many situations that can challenge your dedication to your sobriety. Maybe you think you can make these choices alone. However, you’re not alone. Avalon Malibu’s alumni support groups are available to buffer you from rough times and carry you through good times. For addiction and recovery treatment, call Avalon Malibu (844) 857-5992.

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