Working Through Grief When Losing Someone To Addiction
Addiction is a deadly disease. Without help or treatment, it can claim a life in a flash. Overdose is now a more common cause of death in America than car crashes and gun violence. Accidental deaths due to alcohol abuse is common. Drugs and alcohol kill people every single day.
Recovery can be a lifelong trend. Relapse does not have to be part of your story once you decide to get sober. Unfortunately, for many people, it is. Relapse is dangerous not just because you go back out to drugs and alcohol, but because there is no guarantee you will come back. When you have been in treatment and recovery for even a few weeks, you start to understand the magnitude of staying sober. One by one, you will witness people decide that sobriety is too much for them and that they would rather go back out and use their substances of choice. Some of them will come back eventually. Many of them will die. Problematically, most people think that after detoxing their body and spending weeks sober, they can return to drinking and using the way they did before getting sober. Their bodies are not equipped to handle the toxicity of the drugs and alcohol. Overdose happens more quickly than it would have before. Coping with grief and loss is a sad part of being in recovery. Tragically, learning to cope with the grief of losing a friend in recovery is a necessary skill.
Reflect On Your Relationship
Friendships have varying degrees in recovery, but that never makes the reality of the loss any less devastating. Each day sober is a gift which should be cherished. Watching a friend die to relapse is a reminder of the seriousness of the disease. Some friends are acquaintances you knew by name from meetings. Others are people you hang out with on a regular basis. Even more can be close friends and confidants. Reflect on your relationship with them and what they meant to you, your recovery, and your experience in sobriety.
Find Gratitude For Your Recovery
Your relationship to your recovery is one of the most important things to focus on when grieving a friend who has passed away due to addiction and alcoholism. Though your life might not look the way you want it to and things are difficult, you are sober today and that is crucial to your survival.
Take Time To Grieve
Grieving is a process. After learning the news of a friend’s passing, there is no need to hide the wealth of emotions you will be experiencing. Take the time you need to cry, feel afraid, feel sorrow, and call a friend. These are healthy emotions you need to let out in a safe and structured way.
You don’t have to lose your life to addiction. You can gain your life through recovery. Enlightened Solutions is here to bring compassion back into your life through integrative treatment and healing. For more information on our programs, call 833-801-5483.