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Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

The losses we experience, and the accompanying grief, can be such a huge blow to us that we suffer in extreme ways, with both our mental health and our addictions taking a turn for the worse. We struggle with depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, insomnia and eating disorders. We often increase our drug use and our dependence on addictive behaviors. We find ourselves using anything we can, any form of distraction, from overeating to bingeing on television shows to experimenting with new drugs, in order to escape the pain of our grief. As we work to recover from the loss of a loved one, we can find ways of coping that don’t end up hurting us more but that help us to heal little by little.

Sometimes when we’re grieving a loss, our instinct is to hurry up and try to stop thinking about it as much as possible. It’s so painful and so overwhelming that we want to rid ourselves of any reminders of our loved ones. We rush ourselves to pack up their belongings. We refuse to reminisce with friends and family. We put away all their photographs and try to remove any evidence of them so that we’re not constantly being reminded of the pain we feel. While in the moment we might think we’re doing the right thing to help ourselves move forward, these things can in fact delay our healing and compound our grief.

When we lose a loved one, our love for them doesn’t dissipate or disappear. It stays within us, just as strong as ever but now compounded and amplified by how much we miss them and how sad we are to have lost them. We might aid our healing more to honor the love we have for them. We might help ourselves by allowing ourselves to remember them and to feel their energetic presence within and around us, rather than trying to suppress our memories or block them out, rushing through the grieving process, and forcing ourselves to let go before we’re ready. The act of honoring, remembering and celebrating our loved one will undoubtedly hurt. We’ll feel surges of overwhelming grief. We’ll feel anger at them for leaving us, at our higher power for taking them away from us, and at ourselves for all the things we wish we had said and all the things we wish we had done differently. We might feel the sting of regret and shame. Let’s allow ourselves to feel all of these difficult emotions as part of the grieving process. When we don’t treat our grief with acceptance and allow it to be as it is, when we don’t fully mourn, we often end up causing ourselves more pain, and we usually unconsciously stall the overall recovery process.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.