When we are grieving, we may go through an array of emotions. We might get angry, cry, lash out on others, or become depressed.
Everybody grieves differently, there is no one right way to deal with emotional trauma. Spending time with people you have healthy relationships with such as family members, friends, counsellors, therapists, or spending a little time alone to reflect can be helpful.
However, it’s important not to completely isolate ourselves when we are grieving. Sometimes our pain is so overwhelming, we just want to curl up into a ball and be alone. This is normal, as long as we come out of our isolation, talk to others how we’re feeling, and don’t turn back to substances.
Grieving while in recovery can be dangerous. We feel there’s an empty hole inside of us, and we want to fill it with something, many of us want to turn back to drugs or alcohol. We want to fill the void, and numb our pain. We might feel scared, sad, guilty, hopeless, and frustrated.
In times of extreme emotion, people in recovery may want to turn back to what they know best, drugs or alcohol. It’s a way to escape reality so they won’t feel emotions. If you have these thoughts, remember why you stopped using in the first place. The pain will still be waiting for you when you sober up. Plus, there will be even more pain to deal with.
In addition to your grief, you will feel badly about relapsing. You might do something irrational or dangerous while you’re under the influence. You could cause more pain to friends and family.
In recovery, it’s important for you to know you're not alone in your sorrows. Some of us might be in denial about our sadness, fall into depression, become irrational, or think that no one understands what we are going through. Others might not want to voice their feelings because they don’t want to burden other people.
Many times it’s hard for recovering addicts to be honest about the help we need. We might feel we should have a handle on life because we are not using anymore. This line of thought is not true, everyone needs help and support sometimes. Being honest with people so we can get the support we need is a wise idea. We can lean on others when we’re not ready to stand alone.
Leaning on others in the fellowship of AA is an excellent choice. Many people in AA have gone through enormous traumas, obstacles, and changes in their lives. There is a tremendous amount of support in the rooms of AA, if you share honestly, you will not be alone. People will relate to your story, because they have walked a similar road.
Grief is the hardest thing people have to go through, and it’s especially difficult for people in recovery. Checking into a certified drug and alcohol treatment center is a life-saving choice if you’re in need of help. The staff at rehab centers will teach you tools to deal with all situations in life.