Once the alcoholic fog begins to clear, a sense of euphoria, often called “the pink cloud,” may begin to develop. It brings to mind lyrics from the old Johnny Nash song:

“I think I can make it now, the pain is gone;

All of the bad feelings have disappeared.

Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for;

It’s gonna’ be a bright, bright, sunshiny day.”

The “pink cloud” is an inkling that sobriety can lift the despair and desperation experienced while drinking. It is a time when relationships improve and the chaos of alcoholism dissipates. Enjoy the “pink cloud,” but don’t assume it will last indefinitely. Hard work lies ahead. After all, no one experiences life without pain and problems, and a recovering person needs to pay particular attention in ways to handle situations once a life incident causes him to fall off the pink cloud.

Staying on track

Even though the pink cloud gives a glimpse into what the sober life can be, one cannot just jump miraculously from the mire of addiction to the joy of the pink cloud and expect to stay there indefinitely. Disappointments, resentments, loss, tragedy, fear and anger are part of life for all human beings. Recovering alcoholics and addicts have more trouble dealing with those realities than other people. Soon enough self-centered thinking will begin anew. Low self-esteem and self-pity will lurk nearby. Preparing for the inevitable crash will help maintain sobriety. One way to prepare is to recognize specific situations and emotional triggers for relapse, such as:
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Major financial changes
  • Health issues
  • Obsessive behavior
  • Anxiety, worry and confusion
  • Perfectionism
The pink cloud is one part of the roller coaster of early recovery. It is a thrilling change, but it won’t last. Knowing what it is and how to deal with it will help maintain sobriety.
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