What? No “Pink Cloud”?

The second stage of recovery from Crystal Meth is called the “Honeymoon” period and it generally starts anywhere from a week after you quit, but can take up to a month or more, all depending on how long your “Withdrawal” stage lasts.

What is the Pink Cloud?

“After about a week of feeling awful and sleeping all day, I woke up feeling great. It was like a light switch had been thrown in my brain and body. I had hope and energy back. I even found myself humming while taking a shower. I really felt the obsession to use had been lifted. I was suddenly so glad to be alive. I’d forgotten how great just an ordinary day can be.” These words were said to me by an addict just one month into recovery and are an example of the “Pink Cloud,” as the old-timers from AA say. It’s a great time in your recovery and usually lasts a month or two. So, definitely try to enjoy it. Of course, not everyone experiences this uplift in such dramatic terms. Still, almost universally, this “Honeymoon” from our addiction happens to one degree or another.

Whether or not you experience this elation in all its glory depends on your individual brain chemistry. For some, there is no wide pendulum swing over to a big fluffy Pink Cloud. But hopefully there’s some kind of additional feeling that life isn’t as utterly hopeless as it seemed during the crash of Withdrawal or those final weeks of using. Usually, there’s at least some sign of a definite upswing out of despair and exhaustion. But not always.

No Pink Cloud Whatsoever, Nothing…

Occasionally, someone recovering from meth misses the Pink Cloud experience, going directly from Withdrawal to the emotionally challenging and painful stage known as, “The Wall.” To read a thorough discussion about the Wall, check out, Quitting Crystal Meth: What to Expect and What to Do. But, if you can’t afford the book or don’t otherwise wish to buy it, there’s a blogpost on “the Wall” you can find by clicking here. (By design, a significant portion of the book is available for free on this website. I want there to be no reason the information is denied to anyone who wants it. It’s just that if you want the convenience and ease of knowing about the stages of meth recovery for the first year, what you can expect to experience emotionally and physically during those stages, and information on how to better your chances at surviving that year clean and sober – it’s all available in one convenient place, the book.)

But, here, I want to address those recovering addicts who don’t really experience a Pink Cloud. I hear it every so often, someone claims: “That first year was hell. I wanted to use everyday, almost. I was white knuckling my way through it moment to moment.”

It’s understandable that if this was your experience, you’re really tired of hearing about that seemingly mythical Pink Cloud.

If you are a month or two into your recovery and have not experienced anything remotely uplifting, remind yourself that everyone’s journey to recovery is somewhat unique. Physically, it’s basically all about brain healing. You may be one of the unlucky few whose brain chemistry is such that the Pink Cloud is not on your horizon.

The only thing I can think to suggest is: try to find the positives, anyway. Hey, at least, you’re not using. And maybe small parts of that Pink Cloud might peek through the otherwise gray sky from time to time.

But I did want to get it out there in print (or pixels): not everyone experiences a glorious “Honeymoon” phase, though the majority of us do.

The central fact of recovery from meth remains, however: it gets better. You may have little pink cloudiness on your horizon, but there is a rising sun out there. In a year, your brain will have mostly healed (for most of us meth heads, according to the latest medical research) and cravings decrease dramatically after six months.

Try to keep positive. It does get better.