Dealing With Grief in Recovery

dealing with grief

Grief is a complex emotion that can sideline even the healthiest, best-adjusted people. In recovery, mourning a loss is especially challenging if you struggle to come to terms with the pain and adapt to the changes in your life. When drugs and alcohol have been your only coping mechanism for so long, you may feel overwhelmed at the idea of processing a bereavement without them. Changing your go-to response to sadness can help ease your burdens and prevent a relapse. Here are some tips to help you deal with grief in recovery.

1. Exercise

During times of emotional upheaval, you might start slipping out of the healthy routine you’ve worked so hard to establish. Depleted energy, physical aches and pains, a weakened immune system and exhaustion can all accompany grief. You may feel you lack the enthusiasm to exercise and eat nutritious meals. Still, neglecting your overall health isn’t conducive to your recovery goals. Try incorporating some gentle activities that aren’t too taxing, such as yoga and walking.

2. Be Mindful

Grief is a heavy weight to carry, and can feel overpowering at times. Through techniques like praying and meditating, you can quiet your mind and bring yourself inner peace. Whether you’ve established a relationship with a higher power by working through a 12-step program or learned how to be more present by meditating, mindfulness can be beneficial when you’re in mourning.  

3. Allow Yourself to Have Feelings

The waves of raw emotion brought on by grief can seem inescapable if you’ve become accustomed to numbing your feelings by drinking or using drugs. However, it’s normal and necessary to cycle through emotions like anger, denial and regret as part of the grieving process. Instead of trying to run from them, accept that they are your brain’s way of understanding and working through loss.

4. Reach out for Support

Though grief can make you want to hide from the world, isolation is unhealthy for people recovering from substance use disorders. Surrounding yourself with understanding people can make a world of difference when you are in the depths of despair.

If you reach a low point where you are in too much turmoil to fulfill your daily responsibilities or feel you might be close to relapsing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A therapist or support group can help you protect your recovery. You might even want to consider enrolling in a treatment facility where you can get the structured support you need.

The 12-Step Approach to Sustained Recovery

Still Waters differs from many traditional treatment programs because we offer a fully immersive 12-step experience. We’ve staffed our men’s and women’s campuses with fellow people in recovery who can share their wisdom and experience with you. Our thriving alumni community is a testament to the success of our approach. To learn more about retreating to an environment where you can focus on the spiritual aspect of healing, contact our team today.

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