Darling and Sober: After the Pink Cloud
When I stopped drinking and realized that my consumption of anti-anxiety medication had somewhere along the line become a problem, I felt renewed. I also was in the “pink cloud”.
The pink cloud, defined by AddictionResource.com:
In addiction recovery, the “pink cloud” is a term used to describe a high-on-life feeling in one’s journey to recovery. The Pink Cloud Syndrome is a curious but often short-lived phenomenon. Many people, after detoxing, feel too good about their recovery, as they’re finally able to see the real world behind a curtain of pills and drinks.
In recovery, pink clouds are common phenomena, but can provide unrealistic expectations. While the feelings of happiness may bring hope to people, they have a dark side, in that the feelings can be self-effected mechanisms that stop people from seeing their real problems. Those delusions can bring over-confidence and disappointment, which can lead back to relapse.
The “Extremes” and finding my way back to Shore
The only way I can best to describe my pink cloud was extreme. Taking a pill every single time you feel the faintest sign of anxiety or binge drinking is extreme. When I stopped, I still felt extreme. But my extreme feeling became an obsession of all things sobriety.
I wanted a tattoo - Romans 8:18. (To be fair- I still do want this lol). I had to get a sober site. I had to make sober friends immediately and share my story. I had to dive 1000 percent in. I became obsessed. And then, that “extreme” feeling went away. I started to feel balanced. I was in that pink cloud and it made me think I could drink moderately. I didn’t want to admit I was an alcoholic. My thing would be to say “I never drank every day. I never was drinking vodka in my closet alone”. Or about my anti-anxiety medicine: “It really wasn’t that bad”. Oh, but it was.
Binge-drinking is still alcoholism and my intake somewhere along the line, did become that bad. 3 and half years ago was when it became a problem that I tried to hide. My friend was gorgeous, in shape and seemingly had her stuff together and introduced me to a little terror called Adderall. My doctor soon prescribed it and I figured “why not?” I was so tired from Ativan and hangovers were terrible. It became a cycle. I took Adderall to wake myself up from an Ativan-induced fog or to give me a jump from a hungover morning. Then I’d take an Ativan to calm my nerves when the Adderall made me too jumpy. Adderall accelerated my Ativan use and kept me awake while I drank. For 3 and half years, I tried to hide it. Adderall was never an every day thing, but it was just enough where it turned my Ativan use into a full blown problem and even worsened my drinking. The balancing of uppers and downers is horrific and it all came crashing. I’m glad it did. I can’t even remember the last time I took Adderall and I have zero desire to ever touch it.
I wanted to fit in with the girls at work and felt I could drink at a seminar. It was fun but the next day my anxiety was worse and I was nursing a hangover. I had no Ativan to calm my nerves and I certainly wouldn’t even try to take an upper. It was a hard reminder, dealing with regret that I drank and dealing with anxiety- no - sheer terror - all day.
I’m glad I came back to shore. The pink cloud is gone. That’s okay. Drinking and feeling anxious the next day was an important reminder to stay the course. I relapsed on alcohol but am going to continue on this journey of sobriety. It’s not easy but so worth it. I try to share my story in case there are other people experiencing the same thing. I feel it’s easier to own your story, your voice. This is my story. I’m so thankful to be back. Did you experience a relapse? Please check out the amazing article, Relapse on Repeat.
P.S. I’m rebranding my site, Mocktails and Glam to Darling and Sober. It fits better. I can’t wait to show you the revamped site! Stay tuned