You hear a lot of people talk about the “pink cloud” in early sobriety. Apparently it’s a feeling of euphoria, of extreme pleasure in life and where you are and everything is just wonderful.
I haven’t felt that. I’ve actually felt remarkably sorta middle of the road.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than drinking. Better by a long shot! I would say it’s differently better though, like on a whole different spectrum of “better” than I could even be on when drinking. It’s like I used to be on highway 10, winding through a valley, thinking I liked the view of km 50 better than 20. Now I’m on a completely different highway that’s up on the mountains and I can see so much farther and it’s stunning! But I’m still just sitting in a car, driving through life.
I’ve honestly been okay with feeling a bit, well, “meh” because it has been SO much better than the agony of wanting to quit drinking and not being able to. And I feel so much more hopeful which, in and of itself, is an amazing thing. But I’ve wondered about that pink cloud.
Yesterday I listened to an Annie Grace podcast (This Naked Mind episode 320) talking about the pink cloud and the takeaway I got, from her breaking down the limited science on it, is that the pink cloud is not to be trusted. It’s often the people who feel it more intensely who end up relapsing. It’s like they get trapped up in the euphoria of sobriety and forget to be vigilant about watching for addiction triggers.
For me, these last 36 days, I have been vigilant. I’m feeling good but with an underlying wariness that I’m still in the danger zone. Maybe this is why I’m not in the pink cloud? I’ve decided that’s okay.
In an unrelated sober victory, my kids and I were doing our typical Saturday afternoon routine of hopping in the car, going to the river to throw rocks, then finding a playground to kill some time. Historically I’d enforce this time purely as an excuse to stop and buy wine on the way home. Friends, I went to bed yesterday and realized I hadn’t even thought about wine. I didn’t even glance off the highway at the no fewer than 5 liquor stores within easy stopping distance en route to the playground. VICTORY. Well, at least for that day.
Btw – 36 sober days under my belt. This is officially the longest I’ve been consecutively sober outside of pregnancy since I started drinking at 20!
I’d love to hear some stories of your early sober victories! They are so fun to read!