Addiction and substance abuse are topics that people perceive as a one-and-done kind of thing—wherein once you go through treatment, you are automatically cured. The truth is that addiction is a chronic disease, which means that it never goes away, either worsening or just stay dormant until it surfaces again.
This is often the difficulties that people face when they leave treatment at a rehabilitation center, wherein they feel what the Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous books call “the Pink Cloud.”
The Pink Cloud & When It Fades
After rehab and when in early recovery, things seem to be going well, and you may find yourself in an amazing state of mind. You feel like you’re stronger than you used to be, that you beat drugs, and things are going in such a great direction with your life. Your sponsor or counselor in the rehab center or in meetings has probably warned you about the pink cloud and when it fades.
The pink cloud is what causes relapses for many people who have just gotten out of rehab. The trick to beating it is never to be complacent and always expect that the feelings of power you have after treatment are merely temporary.
The moment you get overconfident, feeling like you are stronger than the drugs, than the alcohol, than the gambling, or whatever addiction you possess—this is, unfortunately, the moment you lose.
Tips To Avoid Common Temptations That Surface After Rehab
There are some surefire tips that those who have made it to years—or even decades—into recovery can say have worked for them, and here’s a shortlist of these things:
When you get out of rehab, there is a non-negotiable understanding that entails modifying the environment you are around. While this means cutting off friends who are using, the bigger part is choosing where you go and what you do.
There is a saying in recovery that “if you hang around the barbershop long enough, you are probably going to get a haircut.” Knowing this, if you hang around bars with your old drinking buddies, you’re probably gonna get a hold of that ice-cold beer you love—leaving you spiraling back into your old habits.
By surrounding yourself with sober people you met at rehab, or those you meet in NA or AA meetings, you can ensure that you are in good hands. There may be some people who you cannot cut off from your life who are using—but just remember that you have to set your healthy boundaries with them.
If they want to hang out with you, it must be a sober meeting, wherein you only grab a cup of coffee or a hearty meal together. If they cannot accept that you cannot drink or use, then it is likely that you should not be keeping them too close to you.
Whether it is a meeting with your sponsor, with your rehab counselor, or with your psychiatrist, always stick to these, as these are important in living a life without drugs. Some people start to skip on meetings with these important people, which is when they start to slip due to their notion that everything can be handled on their own. Trust the veterans when they say that support from professionals and someone you can absolutely trust to understand you goes a long way.
By finding a new hobby to undertake that is therapeutic and good for you, such as exercise, gardening, writing, art, or other hobbies, you can keep the temptations at bay. Boredom is the recovering addict’s mortal enemy, as this brings up feelings of the past joys when life was exciting due to drug abuse.
By learning new things and keeping fit, you can sustain your recovery for a longer period of time.
If all these seem difficult to do, remember that the easiest way through it is to take things a day at a time. Even by just reminding yourself that you will be clean today, and whatever happens tomorrow is the higher power’s plan, then all will be well. If you feel like you’re on the edge, then consider speaking with a professional to help you out of it.
Hope Harbor Wellness is a drug rehabilitation center in Hiram, Georgia, that is run by people in recovery, for people in recovery. Our dedication to serve those who come through our doors goes further than just treatment. We wish to show addicts that recovery is possible long-term and that life gets better without drugs. Get in touch with us and let us help you get along on the road to recovery.