After months or even years of scuffling with mental and emotional health, it’s no wonder that when proper treatment shows promise, you feel on top of the world. However, there’s a difference between a hopeful outlook for the future and pink cloud syndrome. Let’s take a closer look.
Pink Cloud What Now?
A common reference in the 12-Step support group Alcoholics Anonymous, “pink clouding” refers to the confidence, elation, and even euphoria many people feel in the early days of recovery. This state of being usually happens in the first few weeks after withdrawal and early treatment. People often feel that they’re “cured” and everything is great.
While everyone handles illness recovery differently, Healthline points to some typical aspects of pink cloud syndrome:
- An optimistic outlook about recovery
- Focusing on only the current positive aspects of life
- A zealous investment in better lifestyle changes
- Having potentially unrealistic commitments and expectations
- A heightened sense of calm
We hear your questions loud and clear: aren’t all these behaviors exactly how people should feel in recovery? Seriously, if not, what’s the point?
Yes, we need to acknowledge the hard work of treatment, take time to enjoy the proverbial fruits of our labor, and have assurance for a better future. It’s also important to stay grounded and establish healthy coping mechanisms to handle life’s inevitable ebbs and flows, staying mindful of the necessary hard work invested to heal and create a solid foundation of wellness, not one based on wisps of false hope.
Many times, individuals in the early stages of treatment have the opportunity to focus on nothing but that. Few pressures or obligations crowd into their peaceful existence. This break is often critical to providing stability in mental, emotional, and physical health.
When they reenter the world, there’s a need to balance all aspects of real life with a newfound sense of tranquility. Without the critical points of an individualized continuum of care plan and dedication to therapeutic tools, suddenly that pink cloud is filled with lightning bolts.
Mental Health & Pink Clouding
Can people ride the pink cloud of sobriety when dealing with emotional and mental health? Absolutely.
- You started a new form of therapy, such as brainspotting or EMDR, and feel you’re on the cusp of discovering something different than before.
- Your healthcare professional advised a new course of medication that may produce better results than previous attempts.
- You’ve changed various aspects of how you acknowledge trauma.
Again, we hear you. These are all tremendous steps in the management of mental and emotional health and process addictions. So what’s the harm in riding the pink cloud?
The key word here is management. Often in the pink cloud state, a person might inadvertently overlook the essential processes required to maintain their best selves. Each progressive step is something to celebrate, balanced with regular monitoring and other measures of effective management throughout all stages of life—especially when the skies turn gray and threatening.
Harness Pink Cloud Energy
Creating a path to better wellness might take months or even years to forge. While worth the effort over time, how can you use the momentary bursts of pink clouding to your advantage?
- Stay committed to your personal welfare. This includes following a whole-foods diet, regular exercise, quality sleep hygiene, and other healthy behaviors that support your well-being each day.
- Establish quality routines and identify meaningful rituals. How you structure what matters to your mental and emotional health allows you to ride the pink cloud of success but also have an assured safe place to land as it drifts off into reality. Your structure makes it less likely that negative life events will take away everything you’ve worked hard to achieve.
- Identify your triggers and challenges. Ah yes, more of the “hard work” of health management. But with integrated therapeutic techniques, you’ll soon be able to learn what’s truly resolved and what needs closer attention—and how to handle it. Without a doubt, you’ll experience bumps in the road of life just as before, but what’s different now is that you’d prefer not to fall back into negative behaviors.
Additionally, seek help when you need it from your professional and support networks. These people have probably experienced a wave or two of pink clouding and can help you regain your footing.
Tap Into Resources From Cottonwood Tucson
What’s truly amazing about the human condition is the ability to rise above almost anything. This belief helps sustain us in even the most challenging times. Whether at a Cottonwood alumni meeting or on our social media pages, pink cloud syndrome is a great topic to discuss with other people because each person’s story informs and enlightens our experience. Together, we can promote a more unified approach to pursuing realistic yet promising aspects of life.