Growing up the phrase there are two things certain in life was repeated many times. These two things were death and taxes. Not to make light of death, but it will happen to everyone. When dealing with death while in recovery it can be tempting to relapse to deal with the stress and depression associated with the death of a loved one. Losing a loved one is one of the most painful human experiences. Grief can take its toll on anyone as feelings of guilt, denial, sadness, and despair can become overwhelming. Those in recovery are at a greater risk of relapse during a period of grief, even those who have been in recovery for a long time. Grief can compromise our ability to think clearly. There are some ways that you can stay strong even during periods of grief.
If you have experienced a death while in recovery than try some of the following to help you grieve and stay focused on recovery. Reach out for support. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. When you lose someone close to you it is important to ask for the support you need to get through the trying time. Instead of retreating inside yourself, talk to others that will be supportive and understanding. Lean on those in your support circle. This is why the support circle is so important in recovery. These are the people that will help you stay focused on getting better while dealing with your emotions.
Speaking of emotions, acknowledge what you are feeling. Death can bring out strong emotions that may include sadness, depression, anger, and many more. Allow yourself to feel the extreme emotions without dwelling on them long term. Substance abuse allows us to dull the pain, but allowing ourselves to feel it can allow us to move on in life and recovery. Be creative and find healthy ways to express your emotions. Some people find power in prayer or meditation to stay connected to the inner strength that is inside each of us. Get counseling if needed. This is another way to reach out for help when needed or when other forms of support are not available. Another option may be to read books and articles about others who have dealt with grief. There are many options available. Finally, remember to take care of yourself while mourning your loss. Eating healthy and getting plenty of rest are highly important for your mental and physical health.
If you do experience a loss while in recovery know that you are not alone. Take the time you need to grieve, but do not give up on recovery. You have an inner strength and a support system that are in place to help you through this trying time. Stay true to your goals and know that you will survive even this stressful time. Recovery will be worth the effort and your life will be better for having dealt with the grief while not returning to your addiction.
CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment.