Alcoholism definition Alcoholism definition dsm Alcoholism definition medical Alcoholism definition psychology Alcoholism defense mechanisms Alcoholism defined as a disease Alcoholism definition number of drinks Alcoholism deficiency Alcoholism defined by. The Truth About The Pink Cloud in Sobriety

If you have been sober for any amount of time and attended 12 step meetings then you have probably heard about the concept of the pink cloud. Some say that it lasted only a few months, some for a year or two, and others don’t even recall feeling it. Depending on the context and whom you are talking to, the utterance of the pink cloud could be a positive thing or a negative thing. Some people will say enjoy it while you can because when life shows up it’ll be gone while others tell you that it is a time to be careful, and tell you to not feed into the good feelings that you are currently experiencing. No matter what your current belief on the subject is, the truth is that many alcoholics and addicts worship their emotions. When they are feeling good, life is great, and when they are not feeling good, they want to feel good, searching for whatever remedy they may need in order to alleviate any ill feelings. In sobriety, this can tend to be a positive thing, as they will not allow themselves to sit and stew in their own morbidity, but at the same time, it can also lead to unrealistic expectations on how they should feel at any given moment. The pink cloud speaks to a larger misconception held by some in the sobriety community, that they should feel good all of the time and if they are not feeling good then they must be doing something wrong. This thought process is often not conscious and when considered within the framework of the pink cloud it can often be dangerous Alcoholism def.

What is the Pink Cloud?

The pink cloud discussed in sobriety communities refers to the feelings of elation and happiness that are usually felt by someone in early sobriety. These feelings are usually the result of the alcoholic or addict coming to the realization that they have avoided disaster and have now set course for a new way of life. This knowing coupled with the feelings brought about by the realization that there is a higher order to life than the one that they had previously imagined leads to the pink cloud feeling, which is best characterized by William James, a 19th-century philosopher, in a Variety of Religious Experiences. James writes that there are four defining qualities to a “mystical experience” as he calls it. They are:

Ineffability: meaning they can not be expressed in mere words

Noetic quality: meaning they give depth of understanding previously not had

Alcoholism definition Alcoholism definition dsm Alcoholism definition medical Alcoholism definition psychology Alcoholism defense mechanisms Alcoholism defined as a disease Alcoholism definition number of drinks Alcoholism deficiency Alcoholism defined by

Transiency: meaning they are short lived, but with lasting effects

Many people who experience this pink cloud effect become hung up on it and then begin to chase that feeling unrealistically, because as James points out they are short lived. This means that the pink cloud is but a point in time and believing that you will feel the elation brought about its effects for the rest of your life can be dangerous to someone’s sobriety. The reason is, because when, as the book Alcoholic’s Anonymous points out, “the certain trials and low spots” that lay ahead show up, they will be ill-prepared to handle them because they are operating under the assumption that they should only feel good. Feelings are transient in nature. They sometimes bubble up to the surface seemingly out of nowhere, and quite frequently they do not match with how we think we should be feeling. If a person uses their feelings as a barometer for how they are currently doing in life, then they will ultimately be let down, or for the alcoholic or addict, their sobriety will be precarious at best.

How to Best Defend Yourself Against the Pink Cloud

Once the feelings of elation brought about by the pink cloud leaves, many alcoholics and addicts go out and use again. This is not to say that the pink cloud in and of itself is a dangerous thing, but people’s relationship to it, if faulty, can result in terrible things. One way to avoid this is to enjoy the feelings that the pink cloud brings about, but do not expect them to continue. Operating with the understanding that life will at some point throw you some curve balls means that when the pink cloud leaves and you are left with negative feelings, you will not be shocked by this and will not get too worked up over it. Many times alcoholics or addicts believe they should be feeling some way other than how they are currently feelings. The understanding that their feelings are not facts and do not need to control how they move about in their lives is one of the greatest defenses an alcoholic or addict can mount in order to defend against the disintegration of their pink cloud.

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Another great defense against the pink cloud is truly understanding what the 12 Steps’ intentions are. Achieving a feeling of happiness, while something that we should all strive for, has little to nothing to do with what the 12 Steps are about. Yes, a by-product of having the spiritual awakening discussed in the 12

step is a feeling of joy that has never been experienced before, but the intention of the 12 Steps is to alleviate the obsession and compulsion to drink, while offering a sustainable way of life to the alcoholic or addict. This sustainability is what is important to keep in mind. It is not sustainable to be happy all of the time, because it is unrealistic, and what it does is creates conditions on your sobriety. Operating with conditions on your sobriety is a great way to ruin it down the road, so understanding that the goal is continued sobriety through a sustainable way of life is a great way to defend against the aftereffects of the pink cloud.

Seeking Treatment for Drug Addiction or Alcoholism

If you have experienced the pink cloud before and relapsed as a result of not being prepared to deal with it, do not be ashamed, and give sobriety another try. Call Elevations Health today, at 866-200-3224, and talk to one of our trained professionals about the treatment options available for you.

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