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Am I Escaping My Grief?

A common driving force behind addiction is a feeling of desperation to escape grief. When we’ve had a meaningful, impactful loss, we can be filled with deep sadness as we continue to mourn that loss. Our grief can stay with us for a long time. People can easily lose years of their life to unprocessed grief. The weight of our grief can be so intense that all we want to do is get high to numb ourselves to it. The trauma can be so destabilizing that we develop a dependence on an addictive substance or behavior to try to escape it. 

A Mental Break

Many of us will replay memories of the loss over and over again, compounding our grief. We might obsess about it, unable to think of much else. Conversely, we might suppress it to such a deep extent that we never allow ourselves to think about it. In those cases, the grief will eventually reemerge, leaving us haunted and consumed by it. Our drug of choice helps us to avoid dealing with our grief temporarily. When we’re high, we zone out and forget our sadness. We feel calmer and more at ease, but this is only a temporary reprieve from our emotional pain. Eventually, it will return in one form or another. 

Worsened Health Issues

Unhealed grief can develop into severe episodes of depression, major breakdowns in our overall health, and worsening patterns of addiction. Attempting to escape our grief usually causes us considerable mental, emotional, and spiritual harm. We might be at risk of overdosing or otherwise hurting ourselves, all because the pain of our grief is so debilitating.

Learning Ways to Cope

Fortunately, there are ways we can help ourselves cope with our grief. We can seek out the support of specialized grief counselors who can help us process our feelings of grief. These professionals can also help us understand our relationship with loss, in general. Joining a support group can be an excellent solution, as well. In these groups, we can share our stories and receive emotional support. People in these groups can provide understanding and camaraderie as they relate and empathize. We can examine the trauma surrounding our grief with a therapist or coach. Journaling, energy healing, and creative self-expression are also excellent solutions for those who are more introverted. Any healthy coping mechanism for our grief is preferable to escaping into an addictive high. In recovery, we can move through our grief and forward into a better life. 

A terrible loss doesn’t have to leave you paralyzed. If you’ve lost someone close to you or experienced any traumatic loss, you owe it to yourself to process the pain. Until you heal your inner wounds, your addiction will continue to consume your life. Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery? Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800.