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Women's Recovery

The Realities of the Pink Cloud

So you are newly sober! You have been given the gift of desperation and became willing to make one of the biggest changes of your life, getting sober. I’m sure by this point, you are now feeling all of the emotions that you haven’t felt for the last, however many years you were abusing drugs, alcohol, food, relationships, etc. It kinda sucks right?

Don’t worry, it gets better! And for some of you, it may already be better, so good in fact, that it feels like you are riding a wonderful and blissful high on life. Well, that’s awesome! Enjoy it!

Now let me be the bearer of… bad and good news. Many people in early recovery find themselves in this position, and so it has been dubbed the “Pink Cloud”. Calm down, let me explain.

What is the Pink Cloud?

The pink cloud is a term for the first few days, weeks, even months of sobriety after the initial highs and lows of getting sober begin to even out. Some people begin to experience so much freedom and joy that they start to think “getting sober is easy! Maybe I never even had a problem in the first place!”

I myself have fallen victim to this thinking through 4 relapses.

Getting sober brings with it the gifts and joys of life that we have blocked ourselves off from for years. For example, getting an enjoyable job, finding a boat load of new friends and feeling like we are on top of the world. After a while, we can start to wonder if we really need our fellowship.  

But Doesn’t Getting Sober Mean We Should be Happy?

Yes, definitely! Getting sober can be easy, and is definitely more enjoyable than the way we were living. However, if you find that you are having thoughts or ideas that you may not need to be here anymore, you might be moving down a slippery slope. But don’t worry, there is still time to fix it. I highly recommend voicing these thoughts to a trusted member of your fellowship who has more time than you do.

After the years of horror we have put ourselves through, I’m not saying we don’t deserve a little happiness and joy in our lives. What I’m saying is, there is a line between reality and delusion that, when newly sober, can be hard for us to distinguish.

In my own personal experience with the pink cloud, I would often find myself thinking things like “Okay I’ve gotten my life back together, thank you AA, but I don’t think I ever actually had a problem” meanwhile I was living in a halfway, not paying any of my own bills, and working less than 20 hours a week at a Jersey Mikes. But for the first time in a long time, I was happy. I hadn’t started working any steps, and I romanticized my addiction and getting drunk and high almost constantly. Low and behold, I relapsed shortly after.

The Danger of the Pink Cloud

The danger of the Pink Cloud lies in its deception. It’s very subtle for many of us, and the problem comes once it starts to wear off. One bad thing can happen and all of a sudden we hit a low so hard that we are knocked right out of our elation, and are faced with the only remedy we’ve known for years.

But wait! There’s hope! Hopefully, by this point, you have found a sponsor, whether by choice or by encouragement from your halfway. Regardless of how you got them, hopefully, you have started your steps. If you haven’t,  it’s not too late!

We cannot hope to continue with the joys and blessings of our new life until we become willing to work the 12 steps of our new found fellowship.

woman dreaming of pink clouds

Bring on the 12 Steps!

These steps were not created to intimidate us by adding extra rules and laws for us to conform to. On the contrary, the steps give us tools and a spiritual outlet that allows us to face all of the ups and downs that will come with our new way of living.

They are absolutely crucial in maintaining any healthy, long term sobriety. And honestly, they can be truly eye opening and enjoyable if you work them fully and thoroughly with a sponsor.

So if you find yourself floating around on this pink cloud of newfound sobriety, please, enjoy it, but be aware that life is not all sunshine and rainbows, and the time will come when you will need a solid groundwork of recovery to help you face and overcome any troubles you may encounter on your journey.

So How Can I Protect Myself?

Good question, and the answer is simple and I’m sure you’ve probably heard it a hundred times in meetings by now. The best ways to protect yourself is to dive into your program.

  • Get a Sponsor! Find someone whom you admire, who seems to really enjoy the program and is truly grateful to be in it.
  • Work your Steps with your sponsor. They say it’s suggested, but it’s not. This is mandatory, don’t like it? Get over it. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Find a home group, and get a commitment. Whether it’s greeting at the door, making coffee, or cleaning up afterward, you will become interlaced with the lives of others and I promise you will consider this meeting your home away from home.
  • Practice calling sober supports. I know it’s a pain and we may feel weird opening up, but reaching out for help will save your butt when life becomes too heavy.
  • Find a healthy outlet for stress. If you find something that benefits your life like writing, exercise, hiking, sports, whatever, you can turn to this in times of stress to help reset your brain. Think of it as an early practice of meditation.

And lastly but definitely not least,

  • Begin to discover your higher power, and talk to them often! Worried that people will think you’re crazy? So what? It probably won’t be the first time, and at least now it’s because you’re growing spiritually rather than because you blacked out and did some reckless stuff last night.

So if you think you’ve been floating around on a pink cloud and wondering when you will fall back to Earth, don’t panic! Just prepare. Dive into your program, raise your hand and say you are new and want support. Work towards your sobriety as hard as you worked to get drunk or high. It will ensure you drift gracefully down from your cloud rather than plummet.

Getting Help At Wayside House

If you are a woman struggling with addiction, Wayside House can help. We offer a women-only program and provide a safe, supportive environment to recover in. We have outstanding treatments and therapies that are often only found in more expensive programs. We offer a 90-day inpatient rehab with relapse prevention education, outpatient, and aftercare. Contact Wayside House at 800-655-0817 to learn more.

Testimonials

  • “Thank you Wayside for being there for her when she needed your help the most!!!”   Woohoo!!! 

  • Wayside taught me how to be a woman and live life clean & sober!

    Alexandra N.

  • “Wayside is more than treatment. It is a home. I grew up emotionally in that little house. I was there for 9 months and they were the best 9 months of my life. To have time to learn about yourself and take the time to focus on yourself is such a blessing. The plants I planted are still there. I see them in the photos. Such a special place!!”

    Amanda O.

  • This is an excellent treatment facility and all women down in Delray Beach, FL. …if you have anything you can send to help these young/older women, believe me anything is appreciated. This place and God did wonders for my girl.

    Amy G

  • Wayside House is where i went to rehab & they are AMAZING!! Its a 90 day program & alot of the girls have absolutely nothing when they move into the house. If your feel generous, or just want to help, it’s a worthy cause!!  Mandy W.

  • “What a rich heritage Wayside House has!”

    Allen S.

  • “It was so nice to hear from Wayside House.  I am still employed and I love my job!!! I will have 9 months on the 21st of October…..All thanks to Wayside and you ladies at the Posner Center!!!!🤗”

    Rita P.

  • “Tonight’s Wayside House Anniversary meeting and listening to the journey’s with 1,2,6,22,29 and 33 years in sobriety empowered my heart! So happy for one of the girls I sent to Wayside House.”

    Katrin O.

  • “Wayside does such good work in our community.” 

    Jan S.

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      Delray Beach, FL 33483

      What People Are Saying

      • “I have always supported Wayside House — I know women who have come through their program and support all they do. If you don’t know about this fabulous place I encourage you to become involved and find out more — they are an anchor in Delray Beach and their history speaks for itself.” 

        Nancy S.

      • “I went through Wayside House & it was the first place that actually felt like home to me. The staff actually care about their clients and their sobriety. I worked through so much here without fear of being judged. I love wayside & it will always have a special place in my heart along with ALL the amazing women who work there.”

        Mandy W

      • I so wish I could tell the girls how much Wayside saved my life,  and after 31 years sober, it still is just “One Day at a Time” and “The Serenity Prayer.” I will always remember those first days of being at Wayside and how the girls , the counselors , and the House put me back on track to living a fulfilled and Sober life . I followed the AA steps, got a wonderful sponsor and have followed that path ever since. — Pamela R.

      • “Thank you Wayside for being there for her when she needed your help the most!!!”   Woohoo!!! 

      • Wayside taught me how to be a woman and live life clean & sober!

        Alexandra N.

      • “Wayside is more than treatment. It is a home. I grew up emotionally in that little house. I was there for 9 months and they were the best 9 months of my life. To have time to learn about yourself and take the time to focus on yourself is such a blessing. The plants I planted are still there. I see them in the photos. Such a special place!!”

        Amanda O.

      • This is an excellent treatment facility and all women down in Delray Beach, FL. …if you have anything you can send to help these young/older women, believe me anything is appreciated. This place and God did wonders for my girl.

        Amy G

      • Wayside House is where i went to rehab & they are AMAZING!! Its a 90 day program & alot of the girls have absolutely nothing when they move into the house. If your feel generous, or just want to help, it’s a worthy cause!!  Mandy W.

      • Allen S.

        “What a rich heritage Wayside House has!”

      • Rita P.

        “It was so nice to hear from Wayside House.  I am still employed and I love my job!!! I will have 9 months on the 21st of October…..All thanks to Wayside and you ladies at the Posner Center!!!!🤗”

      • Katrin O.

        “Tonight’s Wayside House Anniversary meeting and listening to the journey’s with 1,2,6,22,29 and 33 years in sobriety empowered my heart! So happy for one of the girls I sent to Wayside House.”

      • Jan S.

        “Wayside does such good work in our community.” 

      • Leah J.

        “I just wanted to thank you for how you and the team make the world a better place.  I won’t claim to understand the things you sacrifice, but you are truly wonderful for doing so.“

      • Janine T.

        “I  highly recommend Wayside Women’s in Delray Beach. My daughter completed their wonderful program, she’ll have 2 years July 1st. They have an active alumni. I couldn’t say enough good things about them, they’ve been doing this since mid70’s.”

      • Stacy J.

        “ Thankful for my sobriety and for Wayside! “

      • Susan B.

        “Wayside House was and is an amazing place to me. I am on a journey that is better than I could have ever imagined. The strength of the women that came before me, that are beside me, and those that are there now teach me how to live “.

      • Lisa D.

        “Wayside saved my life and I will never be able to repay them for everything they have done for me.”

      • Dolores A.

        “Wayside house saved my daughter’s life. She transformed into the beautiful woman I knew she could be. It’s only been a few months but one day at a time she and I are enjoying her recovery journey!!!”

      • Jeanne H.

        “We appreciate all that you do to help individuals in recovery, demonstrating God’s love in our community. Your staff at Wayside House continue to help in so many ways, women and their families that need the love, care and support that you are able to provide. Thank you so much for all you do for them.  May God continue to bless you, your staff and your volunteers each and every day for the light you provide for our community.”

      • Susan C.

        “ Wayside is “the light”! Congratulations on the article in the Palm Beach Post
        for all you do to make the commitment to help those in need.”

      • Lynne B.

        “I will always be grateful to Wayside for giving my daughter the tools and knowledge to live a sober life on the outside. You changed her life thank you thank you thank you, may all the people that pass through your wonderful cozy house succeed in sobriety as well.”

      • Katy B.

        “I am sober and happy today thanks to Wayside.”

      • A.D.

        “Having the opportunity to go to Wayside was the best thing I’ve ever done. They lovingly deconstructed my life so I could put it back together. They are a serious program that gave me the ability to understand myself in a way I never thought was possible. They didn’t baby me and they taught me how to be beautifully authentic with myself and those around me. I really can’t thank them enough.”

      • Susan T.

        “Please keep up your wonderful work; the kids of south Florida need you.”

      • Jaimie K.

        “I am making this donation and thank you for all you do!”

      • Pam H.

        “Celebrating 29 years 7/22/2016. Sponsoring, 3-5 meetings a week, and forever grateful to Wayside House!”

      • Laura B.

        “I will be celebrating my 17th year clean and sober.  PLEASE share with the celebrants that I am with them in spirit even though I can’t be with them.  Wayside rocks!  Remind them to stay until the magic happens.”

      • BH alumni

        “I just want to give a shout out to the Wayside staff and alumni who organized and participated in the first annual gratitude dinner. The entire evening was absolutely devine! Wayside House saved my life and I am so very happy that you are at the helm.”

      • Brenda

        “Just walking down memory lane! I Love Wayside House! I went through twice!!
        LOL!! Clean and sober today! Love to all the women! XOXO”

      • Ashley

        “Thank you to Marlies and the Posner Center because without your guidance I wouldn’t have been pushed to pursue what I love and want out of a job and school. You’re amazing!”

      • Colletta D.

        “Proud to be a donor supporter of your efforts.”

      • Sara W.

        “Wayside House saved my life. It was a place that gave me a purpose to follow my dreams. And gave me a life that I never thought could be possible. It is a place where God lives in the lives of so many recovering women. Thank you.”

      • Andrea S.

        “So many miracles and beautiful souls are at Wayside. It’s a very special place.”

      • Phoebe M.

        “What an incredible gift to have gone to Wayside House.  Keep up the great work!”

      • Kathy G.

        “I’m so grateful to be a Wayside Winner 12/89 . One day at a Time.”

      • Christine D.

        “I have to commend Wayside House. They are a 1st class treatment center.”

      • Christine A.

        “I went through Wayside House in 1991 and have been clean and sober for 23 years. I have had four children, two grandchildren, and am happily married. The aftercare and parenting groups that Wayside had is something that helped me so very much as a new parent who was fairly new in recovery. I now have a Bachelor’s degree in social work and am working on a Master’s degree in counseling specializing in addictions counseling. If I had not been placed in Wayside House so many years ago I would have never been able to achieve the things that I have in my life. I am forever grateful for the blessing it has had in my life!”

      • Jeffrey Lane Esq., Weiner, Lynne & Thompson P.A.

        “Wayside is the benchmark by which I hold other similar facilities too.”

      • John Lehman, President FARR

        “I know many women whose lives have been greatly impacted by the quality support they experienced while enrolled and residing in your program. My first hand knowledge dates back to 1980 and I can attest to Wayside’s long tradition of excellence.”

      • J.L.

        “Wayside House saved my sobriety at a critical time in my life. My HP knew I needed to be there and surrounded by strong women who believed in me. Thank you!”

      • Evelyn H.

        “ My life has changed very deeply. I have been given the gift of life in sobriety and treating it like a present.”

      • Cynthia F.

        “I hated God & tried not to believe in any higher power before getting sober. Now I know that each day is a gift and
        that all things are possible through my spiritual connection. All of life is a miracle and for the ultimate good.”

      • Liz D.

        “I just wanted to send my gratitude and thanks for all you have done for me and thousands of women out there recovering from addictions.”

      • Sally W.

        “God bless your work at Wayside.”

      • T.P.

        “Thank you for all that you have done to make me experience Wayside and the true change in my life through this program. I am grateful.”

      • Cindy

        “To all of you fortunate enough to celebrate the holidays at Wayside, I hope you find peace and happiness.
        My Christmas at Wayside was one of the best ever as I received the lasting gift of sobriety. God Bless you all!”

      • Anonymous

        “ My children have been returned and I have found God.”

      • Anonymous

        “Wayside House and God have given me a life I never thought I deserved.”

      • Anonymous

        “Wayside House played a very big role in treating our daughter. We will be forever grateful for you and our blessings from the Lord.”

      • Anonymous

        “ I have restored relationships with my family and learned how to love others. I am accountable, help and trust others and enjoy living life. I have peace and I don’t worry. I know that everything is going to be OK. I also attend three meetings a week and sponsor several women.”

      • Anonymous

        “ By spending time with my awesome God every morning who saved me by touching my life while at Wayside. God continues to draw me close to him.”

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