You wouldn’t think that being happy would be seen as a bad thing. If you are in recovery from alcohol or drug treatment in Wilmington NC, you probably feel good about your accomplishments. You were able to admit that you needed help and you got it, and now you are living a new life as a sober person. Those feelings of hope and joy can develop into extreme emotions for some people. When someone walks around with rose-colored glasses on and seems to be unaffected by any negative emotion, they are sometimes said to be in a pink cloud.
Pink cloud syndrome is a type of extreme happiness that borderlines on delusional. Others may think the person experiencing it is living in a fantasy world. It is often used negatively to describe newly sober people who appear to be too happy and may be at risk of relapse because they seem so unaware of reality.
It’s normal for someone new to recovery to feel exceptionally good in the early days of their sobriety. Some people may even feel a sort of “high” from being in a better place in their lives. The relief they feel from not being controlled by addiction can make them feel as if nothing can bring them down.
When in recovery, if they were able to deal with deep rooted issues that may have played a part in their addiction, they came away feeling free of those things. They may have dealt with things that haunted them for as long as they can remember, so being free of them can feel as if a weight that they carried for most of their lives has been lifted.
Many people turn to drugs and alcohol to numb their feelings, so often when they’re able to feel again, their emotions are heightened. After dealing with the negative emotions, the positive emotions follow. For someone who hasn’t felt positive feelings in a long time, it can bring a sense of euphoria. They may marvel at the wonders of having these good emotions so much that they don’t want to let them go.
There is nothing wrong with having positive emotions, but once they begin to settle down and everything isn’t as new as it once was in early recovery, a person can be at risk of relapse.
Do you feel like you’re living in a pink cloud that might go away and make you want to turn to drugs or alcohol again? Don’t be afraid to get help even if you’re in recovery. It’s never a bad decision to reach out for additional help if you need it. Call Legacy of Wilmington to speak with an admissions counselor about our plans for alcohol and drug treatment in Wilmington NC.
Here are some signs of pink cloud syndrome, which tends to happen within the first few months, or even years, of recovery. It is more likely to occur most strongly during the months after leaving rehab.
• Feelings of extreme happiness and a sense of euphoria
• An attitude that nothing can get you down and you are invincible
• An unwillingness to be realistic about situations because they will bring you down
The reason these feelings can be dangerous is because they are becoming another mechanism for someone to use to avoid facing reality. Not acknowledging other feelings, such as sadness and disappointment, is dangerous because as a human being we experience a whole spectrum of emotions, sometimes even daily. We have to learn how to deal with all of them, not just the positive ones, in order to cope with life in a healthy way.
It can also become a problem because people in this state of mind may ignore signs that they may be headed toward relapse. If they feel invincible and like nothing is going to bring them down, then they may take more risks that could trigger them to use drugs or drink again.
For instance, if Jane feels absolutely wonderful about life because she has been sober for six months and is positive that she will never drink again, she may start hanging out with her old drinking buddies again. She thinks she is strong enough to be around them without being tempted to drink. She’s in a better place and she knows she’s not going to drink, even if she meets them at their old bar to hang out. She doesn’t even consider that it may be too soon. She’s looking at the situation from a perspective that doesn’t allow her to think of the risks.
Another problem it can cause is complacency. Someone who is riding on the high of being in recovery may think that he or she doesn’t need to do anything else to remain sober. Recovery is a process that lasts a lifetime. It requires maintenance in order to be successful. Someone who thinks they can up the strategies that helped them in the first place, such as group therapy or keeping up with a mentor, may slip into risky behavior that could lead to a relapse.
Being caught up in feeling good and the positive aspects of recovery can keep someone from seeing the realities of it. Ignoring it or not dealing with life’s normal ups and downs isn’t healthy. There should be a balance between being happy and able to see the positive but also recognizing that life isn’t always going to be perfect.
The extreme happiness that occurs after recovery will fade and if there is a sudden return to “normal life” it could be shocking. It is important for someone who thinks they are experiencing extreme emotions that may be affecting how they deal with things to talk to someone about it.
Keep in mind that just because someone in recovery is happy doesn’t mean they are experiencing the pink cloud syndrome or that they are in danger of compromising their sobriety. Overcoming addiction is something to be celebrated and being able to enjoy a life without drugs or alcohol should make a person feel happy and joyous.
Legacy Freedom | Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Wilmington NC
If life's problems have led to addiction and substance abuse, and you want to get help, call Legacy Freedom. There is no reason to wait if you're finally ready to get sober. Our caring admissions counselors can answer any questions you may have about our alcohol and drug treatment in Wilmington NC. We have alternative therapies that we customize to meet your individual needs. We want to be a part of your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Call Legacy of Wilmington today to discuss the many outpatient treatment options we offer.