It doesn’t matter your socio-economic background, race or religion – losing a loved one is a painful human experience. Dealing with all of the grief surrounding death is brutal and for those in addiction recovery, grief can trigger a major relapse. Grief-related sadness, anger, and pain can cloud our ability to think clearly, and those in recovery may want to revert to their old ways of dealing with heavy emotions – by numbing it with drugs and alcohol. But relapse does not have to happen and it is never the answer. There are things you can do to help ease the pain of dealing with the death of a loved one while staying sober.

Recognize and validate your emotions

Grief can often spark a range of emotions that can trigger a relapse. With the help of your support system and the tools learned in recovery, give yourself permission to experience profound periods of emotions such as anger, guilt, and sadness. This will help you slowly move through your grief and eventually come to terms with the loss.

Support Is everything

The support of friends, family and those in recovery will be the best tool you can have during this time of loss. You can not work through grief alone and will need the biggest amount of support during the times when your cravings are at their greatest. 

Go to meetings

When you are dealing with grief attend recovery meetings every day if you can. Surrounding yourself with people who understand addiction can serve as a reminder of the pain that addiction brings – helping you keep your sobriety a priority during this time.

Channel your grief

Engaging in activities such as painting, writing, sports, or whatever serves as a healthy release can help you acknowledge and channel your emotions, helping you work through your pain. 

Get counseling

Getting counseling from a trained health professional who deals with grief as well as addiction can help apply all of the strategies listed as well as deal with intense feelings of hopelessness or severe cravings. Sometimes depression and even thoughts of suicide can occur after losing a loved one, and if this happens, seek immediate help from a professional.

Treatment for Addiction

Those in recovery are incredibly strong individuals, but grief can derail even the toughest of people. The road to recovery can be a difficult journey, but you are not alone. If you or a loved one have a substance use or alcohol problem, contact us today. While there is no cure for addiction, recovery is possible.

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself, again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

If you’re ready to begin taking great strides towards your health and wellbeing, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today. Mental illness should be taken seriously and, if not treated early on, more severe conditions can arise. The best way to promote happiness and health is to seek help – and to begin using effective interventions for treating the problematic symptoms a person is experiencing. Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need. Please call Alta Loma today – and you’ll be surrounded by a healthcare team who truly cares about your recovery. 866-457-3843