What Happens When You Lose a Loved One During Recovery?
The loss of a loved one is difficult at any time. Experiencing the loss of a loved while recovering from alcohol or drug addiction can be an especially trying time. There are many emotions that one can experience from anger, sadness, and denial. When a loss occurs, everyone will experience it differently. Many will go into shock or deny that it occurred. There are those who will drink alcohol or take prescription meds to cope with the loss; however, if a person is in recovery, this is not an option.
The first thing a person in recovery should do is stay close to loved ones and reach out for support from them. The alternative is to retreat within and isolate yourself from others. This is not a good idea in recovery. Staying close during the early stages of grief will help you to be strong and to not be vulnerable to triggers.
When emotions are overwhelming, it is a good idea to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Express your feelings of sadness or anger with others. This will allow you to heal as well as help you move through the grieving process. You can also share with others how you are feeling about your recent loss in relation to your recovery. If you are feeling vulnerable, talk about it with someone else. Attend a 12-step meeting when you are ready to share and ask for support from the group.
You can also connect to your higher power through prayer or meditation to process the loss and to find strength during this difficult time in your recovery. You might want to attend a religious service to continue the connection to your higher power. If you find that dealing with the grief process on your own is too much to handle, talk to a minister or priest for some spiritual counseling. Engaging with an individual therapist can also help with grief, loss, and recovery.
While there are no single answers to dealing with grief during recovery, understand that there are people and resources available to help you during this difficult time. Losing a loved one during recovery may be the most challenging experience you go through. Stay focused on your recovery and ask for help.