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Moving from "honeymoon phase" to "hitting the wall phase"

Old 02-06-2012, 01:42 PM
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Moving from "honeymoon phase" to "hitting the wall phase"

Saw my therepist today ( I am on day 28) and she said that there are several "phases" of recovery, starting with Withdrawl (days 1-15) then the Honeymoon phase, (days 15-45) followed by "the wall phase (days 46-120),Adjustment Phase (days 121-180) and finally Maintaince Phase, (days 180 plus)

So the honeymoon phase is characterized by feelings of confidence and optimism about your life, a sense of well-being, and a sense that you are now in control and "can take it from here". Hmmmm, boy that describes me perfectly.......! Feeling great physically, little to no cravings, dont seem to miss the drinking.

What scares me is the next phase, "the wall"........Boredom, depression, questioning whether not drinking is "worth it" or not are characteristics of this phase.
Please chime in more experienced folks! I thought things would continue to get eassier not more difficult? Guess we ALWAYS have to keep our gaurd up! Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:47 PM
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Ok - I was doing great until this disection (now i have a little angst too...). Oh well, for what it is worth, I'm 1/3 through the wall phase, and still feeling great. But then again, I was supposed to hit the wall at mile 18 in the marathon and breezed right through it. Mile 20 - that however was a wallop!
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:49 PM
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I am almost at 90 days but I do not feel that I am at a "wall". I am working the steps with my sponsor as a program of recovery and still have a lot of work to do!
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:51 PM
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Personally I've always had issues with set in stone time lines. I think they stet up our expectation in a skewed way. I never really experienced a "wall phase", when I went a year and a half without a drink. I think time lines as such can be useful if we can relate to them at a give time when were having issues, but they are over generalization that do not necessarily apply to everyone. Just my take. I would try not to focus on the "wall" thing and see what happens. Maybe you wont even hit it? Congrats on 28 days!
Also, as Elizabeth mentioned above, being proactive and coming up with a plan seems to really help in general.

Last edited by ElegantlyWasted; 02-06-2012 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Response to Eliz post
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:58 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about 'phases' - your therapist probably won't like it, but in my experience people tend to defy categorisation like that.

I also think recovery is a lot more elastic that that - it's not a linear process - I've had many double backs, many leaps ahead, and many weeks stuck in cul de sacs.

Recovery's a lot like life - you get out of it what you put in, and no matter how much 'time' we have we can still have good or bad days

If you do hit a wall - whether it's at day 47, 90 days or day 2541 - you can be sure you'll find support here SK

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Old 02-06-2012, 02:01 PM
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THKS everyone for the quick responses......!
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:42 PM
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Yes I think those timeline models are only intended as a general guide, not to be set in stone. There's some truth to it overall, but I found myself jumping in between those stages a fair bit, I experienced the 'pink cloud' effect several times, other times I didn't feel so great, but that's part of recovery. Eventually I started having more normal phases, these became more common and lasted longer as my recovery continued.

Often we feel a bit stuck and as if we've hit a wall just before a breakthrough of some kind. We may feel like we're moving nowhere, but in fact we really are.

I feel quite comfortable in my sobriety now, it's a good feeling, not the giddy feeling of being on a 'pink cloud' which is usually temporary, but probably what they call in AA the acceptance/serenity. A big point in my recovery I think was ending the seek-quick-high/escape-mentality (which I never thought I could live without), learning to accept things at their own pace, appreciate more in the here and now.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:07 PM
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I never really thought of this before, but the different phases make sense to me. I'm sure the amount of time an individual spends in each phase varies. I feel like I'm in the Maintaince Phase, (days 180 plus), and based upon the amount of time I have, this would be true. But I'm wondering, what's the definition of each different phase?
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:06 PM
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5 Phases of Recovery: Drug And Alcohol Rehab: 5 Phases Of Recovery
Emotional Stages: Emotional Stages of Recovery
Alcohol Stages: Phases of Recovery
More:
TM_The Family Program.final
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...20Recovery.pdf
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Road Map for Recovery. • Withdrawal. • Honeymoon / Early Abstinence. • The Wall/. Protracted Abstinence. • Adjustment. • Resolution. Stages of Recovery ...
[PPT]
Roadmap for Recovery
kap.samhsa.gov/products/manuals/.../ppt/roadmap_for_recovery.ppt
File Format: Microsoft ********** - Quick View
Stage 1: Withdrawal. Stage 2: Early Abstinence (“Honeymoon”). Stage 3: Protracted Abstinence (“the Wall”). Stage 4: Adjustment/Resolution. Matrix IOP. 5-3 ...
[PPT]
Medical Realities of Meth Use
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...nd_Recovery_6-...
File Format: Microsoft ********** - Quick View
Components of Stimulant. Addiction Syndrome. STAGES OF RECOVERY - STIMULANTS. OVERVIEW. Withdrawal. Honeymoon. The Wall. Adjustment ...

just search it! All this from a google search
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:16 PM
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I didn't have a honeymoon phase and I'm kind of glad I didn't. When I stopped drinking, I was a mess and was worried about my physical health and my marriage, so I just slowly moved through that. And, I have yet to hit a wall, and it's been many years.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:54 AM
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at two years sober I can find myself in any of those phases, except for withdrawal thank goodness. life definitely isn't a linear process. nothing is permanent. I just try to keep moving forward, and if I cant do that today at the very least don't drink or use.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:50 AM
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At about 90 days in, I haven't experienced anything really in terms of a 'wall phase'. I still have good days and bad days, but so far they haven't been to difficult to mitigate. They're 1000 x better than my old hangover days!
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:29 AM
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Strength

You can do it. Just remember that confidence and strength are really 2 different things. Rely on your strength it took at day 1 to be the foundation for your confidence rather than how easy these days now are. Something that helped me was the understanding that drinking is like the common cold: there is no cure and it is around you always waiting to infect, but keep a good stock of vitamin c (confidence founded in strength), and you can ward off all infections. As for the wall I recommend dynamite; as in strength is the C4/TNT and your confidence is the fuse. All the power you will ever need you already posess. One little tid bit: "slip-ups" and all the feelings associated with coping at day 1 may cause you to have doubts about your strength, but that is actually what helps to add to strength = Here you are still fighting to stay sober and thats the toughest thing of all to achieve "Strength even through adversity". Tap into your reserves; I can tell you have monstrous amounts of strength; use it. A quick aside so you know this works: I had 1 bar I went to every day. I got sober. I hit "the wall", but, I decided (like i decided to quit) to fight and I mean right at the heart. I went to the bar for the first time since sober and found that my strenght held firm. I sat there with all the same people offering to buy me drinks and shots, watched the band play and drank ginger ale the whole night. YOU HAVE THIS SAME POWER!! I applaud you for step 1 and wish you all the best. YOU CAN BEAT THIS "WALL"--its just an inanimate object anyway. STRENGTH!
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:33 AM
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Phases keep analysts in business
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:35 AM
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I'm at 4.5 months and I think I am just hitting the wall phase, or more like the freak-out phase. At first it was very emotional up and down rollercoasters for a month, then mainly pink cloud for another month or two, and this last month has been rougher... I get distracted by anything and everything but recovery work... but on the whole I've had a feeling like "I can do this, my life will be so much better, I'm optimistic" and now I start feeling more like "oh crap, life is still life, and now I actually have to deal with it." I guess that is how I can best describe what's happening to me... I'm realizing that I have to find a way to live in reality without alcohol or drugs or my old ways of coping, and it's really scary, and I start to wonder if the past four months has just been some kind of a joke or a test I've been playing on myself, and sooner or later I will realize I'm bound to be a drinker no matter what. I don't want to do that so I am stepping up my step work and just talking about it with people who understand really helps. I am determined to stay sober no matter what, but I definitely think sobriety throws me some curveballs... or I guess it's my alcoholic way of thinking. :-/

Best wishes.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:45 AM
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I think those "phases" were written so the non-alcoholic therapist could better understand what alkies go through. This is why SR and in person talks are great! Chatting with others who have first hand experience helps a lot! No matter what they choose to do to recover. Staying stopped is our priority.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:51 PM
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by straykatz View Post
Saw my therepist today ( I am on day 28) and she said that there are several "phases" of recovery, starting with Withdrawl (days 1-15) then the Honeymoon phase, (days 15-45) followed by "the wall phase (days 46-120),Adjustment Phase (days 121-180) and finally Maintaince Phase, (days 180 plus)

So the honeymoon phase is characterized by feelings of confidence and optimism about your life, a sense of well-being, and a sense that you are now in control and "can take it from here". Hmmmm, boy that describes me perfectly.......! Feeling great physically, little to no cravings, dont seem to miss the drinking.

What scares me is the next phase, "the wall"........Boredom, depression, questioning whether not drinking is "worth it" or not are characteristics of this phase.
Please chime in more experienced folks! I thought things would continue to get eassier not more difficult? Guess we ALWAYS have to keep our gaurd up! Thanks!
Is your therapist in recovery and talking from experience? ......or are they talking about what they've learned?

There can be less "phases" or more......they can come and go in any order......and IMO, to be telling you stuff like that is pretty silly at best and possibly harmful at worst. At a minimum, they should know better........
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:36 AM
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These time frames are just guidelines, not set in stone anywhere that I know of. I wouldn't stake my or your recovery on the time frames though, but used to give a general idea of what to expect in recovery and when it would normally happen, but you should prepare yourself to deal with it or at least know about it before it happens. I have known others that have been stuck in the honeymoon stage aka "goodboy phase" then hit the wall anywhere from 9 months to 1 year later... Hope this helps, and with that I'll pass...
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:45 AM
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Congratulations....fantastic for 28days!

You didn't mention a recovery program....so just keep up what you have been doing. I can't disagree with your therapist...but that honeymoon phase sure sounds like good mental health...over-confidence? You can deal with that...I just wouldn't walk in to a tavern feeling over-confident.

Literally getting outside and involved with something should help....eat nutritously, avoid simple sugars and dehydration. Get some decent sleep...

Scared might be too strong of a word....in sobriety I don't fear alcohol or relapse...I just maintain my recovery....we do recover...

Also, I must remember early in recovery that there were alot more physical problems and mental problems going on than alcoholism. Quitting drinking was most important to uncover other problems.
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