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Coping With Grief in Recovery

Coping with grief in recovery can be challenging. Most people associate grief with death. However, you can experience grief in recovery over anything that you have an attachment to. What’s more, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. No matter how you look at it, grief is painful and can be tough to get through. Therefore, your recovery plan should include a plan for when grief strikes.

This blog will discuss healthy coping skills for coping with grief in recovery, who to reach out to and how, and how The Guest House can help alumni who are experiencing grief.

The Five Stages of Grief in Recovery

Grief can be caused by many things. For instance, you can grieve your old version of yourself or a pet who is no longer present. What you grieve about does not matter, it is how you deal with your grief in recovery that matters. It is important to have healthy coping skills that will get you through the not-so-pleasant times.

Grief affects everyone differently. However, everyone will experience the five stages of grief at many points in their lives. These stages include:

  • Denial: During the stage of denial, you may not believe that an event took place or you may make up stories.
  • Anger: You may feel angry that it happened, and you may blame others or a higher power. Other feelings that tend to accompany this stage are guilt and shame.
  • Bargaining: During this stage, you are mentally still in the past. You spend time thinking of all the things that you could have done to prevent the grief in recovery from occurring.
  • Depression: When depression strikes, you may feel empty. Sadness and pain are present while you struggle to process the loss.
  • Acceptance: During the acceptance stage, you are aware that you had no control over the situation. You accept that the loss happened.

Most people want to rush through the stages of grief and do not take the proper time and mourn their loss. It’s understandable if you want to return to normal activities and not experience grief in recovery. This type of rushing can look like not taking any days off from work. It may look like returning to normal activities the day after it happens to make yourself busy and avoid your feelings.

Make a Plan For Grief in Recovery

Grief in recovery is not reserved for when a death occurs. You are free to grieve anytime you want and for however long you desire. Grief is not linear, meaning you may not go through the stages of grief in order. Just as you are a unique person, your way of grieving is unique. You may bounce back and forth between stages, and this is entirely normal.

Relapse prevention is important no matter how long you have been in recovery. Anything can happen and it is essential to have a plan in place to prevent relapse. Recovery teaches you that it is perfectly normal to experience emotions. It is what you do with those emotions that is important. This applies to grief in recovery as well. Even though it hurts and you want to scream or cry, experiencing loss is part of being a human. However, you can arm yourself with tools for dealing with loss and grief. Having a plan for managing grief in recovery will help you avoid turning to substances to cope.

How Do I Practice Healthy Coping Skills When I Am Grieving?

Coping with grief in recovery is indeed challenging. After all, it’s hard enough to be in recovery. Adding new losses to that process can be taxing. However, you can and will get through these events. The worst thing you can do is avoid your emotions as they will do the talking later. Bottling your grief in recovery will lead to practicing unhealthy coping skills and you worked too hard to get where you are.

Below are five healthy ways to manage your grief in recovery. While it is not easy, coping with your grief is entirely possible.

  • Listen to your own timeline: As mentioned above, there is no set time frame for experiencing grief in recovery. Ensure you listen to what your body is saying and how you want to cope. Give yourself space to grieve your loss.
  • Feel your feelings: Take several minutes each day and sit with your emotions. Write in a journal about how you feel and how grief in recovery is affecting your daily routine. For example, perhaps you tend to avoid your emotions and fear being swallowed up by them. If so, give yourself a short time frame each day to sit with your feelings.
  • Acknowledge your triggers: Be mindful of how situations may feel. You may experience big triggers and more subtle ones. However, only you know your feelings. When you discover your triggers, create a plan for how to deal with them productively.
  • Do not isolate: Spending time by yourself can be healing. However, isolating can be unhealthy when depression occurs. Get out and do something with others.
  • Talk to someone: Individual therapists specialize in grief in recovery. They can help you explore your emotions. The Guest House has many qualified professionals who can help you in your journey.

Who Can Help Me With Grief in Recovery?

As an alumni, it may be hard for you to reach out and ask for help. Sure, you have been through the program and understand how grief in recovery works. Still, sometimes grief in recovery challenges you to be vulnerable and ask for assistance. You were not made to fight this fight alone.

The Guest House provides a warm and inviting atmosphere that encourages you to work through your grief. We understand that this may be a troublesome time in your life. That’s why we will do everything we can to assist you in learning how to manage powerful emotions.

Grief in recovery can bring up emotions you were not aware existed. Know that it is important to reach out for help when an unforeseen circumstance presents itself. Just because you completed treatment does not mean that you have to face life alone. At The Guest House, we understand that life has a way of bringing the unexpected. We want to be that healthy support you can turn to to overcome difficult transitions. If you or someone you know is struggling with grief in recovery, please do not hesitate to give us a call today at (855) 483-7800. All you have to do is dial the number and we will guide you the rest of the way.