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Coping With Loss in Recovery

Recovery from alcohol and other drugs is a wonderful life experience. Learning to cease destructive behaviors along with substance abuse can lead to a seemingly endless bounty of rewards. Living a life without feeling controlled by self-defeating behaviors allows us to become our best selves.

However, being in recovery doesn’t protect us from life’s challenges. We are all susceptible to chaotic events that happen every day. Unfortunately, part of recovery is learning how to overcome hardships. One of these major hardships is the loss of a loved one.

Losing Those We Love

As life is temporary, we all face losing someone close to us. One of the major conditions of life is that it must come to an end. When a death occurs, even the most enlightened of us struggle to heal from it. Losing someone is painful. When they go, they leave a void in our lives where their energy once dwelt. In addition, we may feel empty and listless because we don’t know what to do with the hole left behind in their absence.

The burdens of sorrow and grief are exactly the type of hardships that can put us at risk of relapse. Substance abuse has reduced our ability to process emotions properly. Instead of allowing ourselves to feel in our lives before, we tried to numb emotional responses with substances.

Naturally, when the excruciating pain of loss strikes, it is a tremendous temptation to return to old habits. After all, learning to process loss without the substances we used to rely on can be challenging. Fortunately, studies show that it’s not as impossible as it may seem.

Processing Loss in Recovery

Regardless of where you are in your recovery, feeling your feelings is necessary. This is especially true when it comes to grief. Although the excruciating pain of loss may seem unbearable, it is there for a reason. Pain is a reminder that we need to allow ourselves to heal. We need to rest and tend to our emotional wounds while they are still fresh.

Yes, this may result in some missed days at work or school. It may involve far less activity than we would prefer. Still, it is necessary. Our bodies and minds are designed to protect themselves. Emotional pain deserves the same amount of nurturing and respect that we give our physical pain. No matter what, we shouldn’t try to stifle or ignore it.

In addition to allowing ourselves to feel, it is essential that we acknowledge that we do not have to feel these things alone. Family and friends can be wonderful sources of support. Additionally, people we are not intimately close with can provide greater relief and insight. Individual therapy or group support can be crucial elements in processing loss or grief. Not only is the insight we can glean from others invaluable, but it can also be soothing. Regardless of your support system, you can heal from grief and loss in recovery.

Choosing a life of recovery is choosing the best life you can live. Even though life will still have its challenges and setbacks, you are at your best when you are free from the effects of substance abuse or behavioral addictions. Loss is a painful experience, and it can test your resolve while you are in recovery. But you don’t have to go through it alone. In fact, it’s best that you don’t. The Guest House can help. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 for more information.