by Restorations Therapy Center on Monday, May 20th, 2019
Grieving the death of someone close is one of the hardest parts of life for anyone. If you lose someone while you’re recovering from addiction, grief may be one of the hardests tests you can face. Grieving sometimes leads to depression or substance use, even in people with no history of those issues. If you lose someone you love while in recovery, it’s important to commit to persevering, however bad you may feel. The following tips will help you stay sober in the face of grief.
One of the most important ways of dealing with grief is to accept that it’s normal to feel bad for a while. People often try to suppress their sadness or avoid it by using substances or distracting themselves with work. These only make it worse in the long run and cause other problems too. If you accept that it will just hurt for a while, the pain will eventually diminish. It also doesn’t help to be angry at yourself for feeling sad or to feel like you should be over it by now. Those self-critical thoughts only add to your pain. It takes as long as it takes .
It may feel weird to stick to your regular routine when your life feels turned upside down. However, that’s usually when you need your familiar habits and routines the most. This is especially true in addiction recovery. Things like self-care, writing, meditation, prayer, and relaxation are especially helpful during difficult times, so don’t see a period of grief as an excuse to cut back on your recovery plan. Sticking to your plan and your regular routine can be a stabilizing force, helping you feel a little more normal during a chaotic time. Even if you feel like you’re just going through the motions, it can help you feel more grounded and you won’t have to reestablish your good habits weeks or months later.
It’s especially important to connect with others during times of grief. Stay close to other friends and family of the deceased. Talk about what made that person special. Remember, you’re not the only one hurting. Listening to others and offering your support can be therapeutic too. Also, make sure you’re going to meetings. Tell your group members what’s going on. Many of them will have had similar experiences. Let the group be there for you. More generally, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and loved ones when you’re having a hard time.
The death of a loved one can stir up a lot of complex and confusing emotions–sadness, anger, relief, guilt, regret, and so on. It’s often hard to sort out these feelings on your own. Talking to a therapist can help you better understand what you’re experiencing. It can give you perspective and give you permission to feel bad for a little while.
Located in Centennial, Colorado, Restoration Therapy works with patients who are struggling with addiction, intimacy disorders, and trauma who are seeking treatment. In order to offer patients a more holistic view on a healthy sexuality, Restoration Therapy offers individualized and group therapy, workshops, psycho-educational classes, and more to restore the harm brought on by addiction and intimacy issues. For more information, please call us at (720) 446-6585 as we are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm.