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5 of the Most Common, Unhealthy Ways People Cope with Grief and Loss

  1. They turn to external substances/processes to heal their internal pain: Drugs and alcohol are a choice for self-medication to people in any number of circumstances. Quite literally, drugs and alcohol are anesthetics and analgesics. Meaning, many different substances like alcohol and opiates, actually numb pain. Searching for an external way to heal internal pain will always be temporary. It takes internal emotional work to heal emotional pain. Whether it is sex, drugs, gambling, risk taking, thrill seeking, spending, or other forms of self-sabotage, they will only ever temporarily heal the pain.
  2. They don’t give themselves any time to process their emotions: Time heals all wounds, it is said. Grief and loss takes time, which isn’t always linear. There are days of feeling so good people think they are finally “better” than they have been, only to be disappointed by days of difficult and challenging emotions once more. People expect their emotions to run on the demands of their mind. Unfortunately, that’s not how emotions work, especially not grief and loss.
  3. They isolate themselves from others who want to support them: There is a challenge in surrounding oneself by others during time of grief and loss. Initially, everyone is grieving in some way. People who are at the center of loss are often burdened with carrying everyone else’s grief. Rather than be able to heal themselves, they have to focus on consoling others. When months or years have gone by and the grief cycle hasn’t completed, it could be because one has turned to isolation in order to wallow in their grief without resolution.
  4. They stop taking care of themselves: Self-care is important for every phase and occasion of life. Life is full of ups and downs, celebrations and disappointments, gains and losses. Throughout every twist and turn, self-care is a way to stay centered and stable in recovery and in all areas of life. Hygiene, eating, sleeping, health, and wellness must continue to be a priority.
  5. They forget to take grief and loss one day at a time: Grief is a process with many stages that repeat, in no particular order, over and over again. Each day in the process of grieving, sometimes each hour, is an adventure and a process. Everything can change in a short amount of time. For that reason, it is important to take the process of grief just one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, and assess it all as it comes instead of trying to jump ahead. There is a saying used in recovery, stop trying to skip the struggle. Each moment of struggle is full of wisdom you need to move forward toward the next struggles to come.

Your recovery starts with you. Start your recovery with us. Enlightened Solutions offers individualized partial care treatment programs for men and women seeking to recover from drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health issues. Bringing a harmonious blend of holistic, clinical, and 12 step care, our programs transform mind, body, and spirit for a transcendental experience.

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