Beyond the Pink Cloud

How to stick with sobriety after the novelty wears off.

Benya Clark
Exploring Sobriety

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This essay originally appeared in the Exploring Sobriety newsletter.

Photo by Nicole Geri on Unsplash

When I think back across the entire six and a half years that I’ve been sober, two periods stand out as exceptionally difficult.

The first came at the very beginning: The week that I quit drinking. Those earliest days of sobriety were an immense physical and psychological struggle. The cravings were constant, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t think clearly, and I was in a truly miserable state.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs since getting sober, but that first week was still the hardest. The saving grace, however, was that at least it didn’t last long.

By the end of my first week sober I was already starting to feel better. By the end of the first month, I was on top of the world.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but as my withdrawal symptoms faded, I entered a phase of sobriety called the pink cloud. I’ve written about this before (See: “What is the Pink Cloud”), but in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a nearly-euphoric state that many recovering addicts enter early in their sobriety.

While in the pink cloud, I felt like my life was perfect. I had escaped sobriety — now it was…

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Benya Clark
Exploring Sobriety

I’m a lawyer turned writer from North Carolina. I write about sobriety, mental health, and more. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter at exploringsobriety.com.