Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

Understanding the Pink Cloud

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One of the hardest things a person may ever have to do is choose to recover from addiction. However, while this may be a hard prospect, it is also one of the most rewarding things a person may ever do for themselves. For many people, this becomes apparent as soon as they put down the drink or a drug and start their recovery journey. This is also known as the “pink cloud.”

Noticing the Immediate Change in Early Recovery

It makes logical sense that once we stop drinking or using, we start to see immediate changes. Now, the most apparent first signs will most likely be physical changes. The body is very resilient. Once alcohol and drugs are out of our system, the body quickly starts to recover. However, it is important to do this in a safe and secure manner (often within the confines of a professional detox setting).

The next (or concurrent) change that people often start to notice is that their thinking begins to become more clear. This is because the cognitive “fog” that addiction causes often lifts quite quickly after alcohol and drugs have left our system.

Finally, while this often takes a little longer, our emotional outlook starts to improve once we choose sobriety. We start to realize that we have made the right choice and that we are on the right path. When all three of these factors start clicking at the same time, it is known as being on the pink cloud of recovery.

What Exactly Is the Pink Cloud in Recovery

The pink cloud is a term that refers to the feeling we have in recovery when we start to feel healthy again. As previously mentioned, this includes feeling healthy, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This almost exclusively refers to people who feel this way and are in early recovery.

The pink cloud feeling can be felt at any time in recovery. However, it is most present in early recovery because of the contract that is felt from recently being in the hopeless state of body and mind that is addiction. the pink cloud leads to a hopeful and free feeling of being in recovery.

The pink cloud also has to do with the excitement we feel as we envision the opportunities that their recovery can offer. No longer do we fear the future, rather we are ready to embrace it. We start to feel like we can do anything. Also, we metaphorically feel like we are floating on a cloud so high that none of our problems can touch us. While this is certainly a positive feeling, we must also be careful not to be too overconfident.

Navigating the Pink Cloud in Recovery

We must always remain vigilant in our recovery. This means that we must not feel like we immediately have addiction “licked.” Addiction is an insidious foe that can reappear in the form of “triggers” if we are not careful. This can easily lead to a relapse.

Relapses are much more common than many people realize. According to the peer-reviewed thesis, Addiction Relapse Prevention, by Doctors Guenzel and McChargue, “One primary concern in addiction treatment is the high rate of relapses within a short period after even the most intensive treatment. Many studies have shown relapse rates of approximately 50% within the first 12 weeks after completion of intensive inpatient programs that often last 4 to 12 weeks or more and can cost tens of thousands of dollars.”

However, relapses can be easily avoided as long as we put in the essential work that is needed to keep our recovery at the forefront of our priority list. Also, when we do this, there is no reason that the pink cloud has to go away.

Maintaining a Version of the Pink Cloud in Recovery

While the pink cloud may not remain as vibrant as in early recovery, the pink cloud can certainly remain in the long term. The key to ensuring that this happens is to ensure that we keep doing the work and taking action.

These actions include staying engaged with a recovery community (such as a 12-step community, or a recovery center alumni group), taking part in individual and/or group therapy, acquiring a spiritual practice, and participating in healthy activities that don’t involve drinking or using. Helping other people early in recovery navigate their own pink clouds is also a great way to keep our pink clouds going strong.

The Importance of Long-Term Success at Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, we understand the phenomenon of the pink cloud. We also prioritize long-term recovery over short-term “fixes.”

Recovery is a journey, never a destination. That journey can be a lot more fun when there are plenty of pink clouds on the horizon.

The “pink cloud” refers to the intense positive feelings someone experiences when they first get sober. This is because they feel significantly better not being under the direct control of active addiction. However, this pink cloud feeling can ebb and flow, and one must be prepared for this to avoid relapse. But, that does not mean that the pink cloud needs to disappear as one continues their recovery journey. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction or mental illness, we can help you recover. For more information about those pink cloud feelings, as well as the importance of vigilance in one’s recovery, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.