How do I cope with Grief and Addiction?

Grief is a normal part of life that everyone experiences at some point, but the effects can linger for longer than expected. Everyone handles grief differently, which can determine how long it takes to heal and accept the pain. Unfortunately, grief can also lead to unhealthy habits and addictions as a way to feel numb.

If your addiction developed out of grief, it could be easy to feel overwhelmed and controlled by your pain and your dependency on drugs or alcohol. You may not know how to overcome the addiction or find relief for your pain. It can be easy to have a lack hope and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with grief and addiction to ensure you can move on and regain control of your life.

Seek Professional Help

When you’re dealing with grief, seeking professional help from a counselor or therapist is crucial to obtain help from someone that can help you process your emotions. Talking to someone about the trauma you’ve experienced can make it easier to move forward and accept the pain. A mental health professional can help you to have a different perspective and process the events that triggered your grief. Having a safe place to be vulnerable can allow you to start the process of healing.

You can talk to someone who has your best interest in mind without worrying about being judged. The resources and tools they provide you with can equip you to move forward and understand why your grief has caused you to develop an addiction. You can learn new ways of coping with your hurt and pain instead of restoring to using substances. This can allow you to feel more empowered and remain sober long-term.

Practice Mindfulness

One of the best ways to take control of your emotions and thoughts is by practicing mindfulness each day. Get into the habit of praying and spending time in silence as a way to slow down your thoughts and prevent your mind from racing. When you’re in the middle of grieving and feel overwhelmed, sitting in silence can bring a sense of calm and help you to take a step back from your situation. As you pray, you can also release control of your grief and hand it over to God. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit and meditate. Close your eyes, slow your breathing, and focus on your senses while imagining yourself releasing the hold and control of your grief.

Find a Support Group

The effects of grief are a lot easier to work through when you have a strong support system. Consider having a few people in your circle who you trust and who understand your pain. It’s important to have friends or family members you rely on to help you cope and can help console you. You can also consider joining a support group in the local area to talk about your grief with people who have had similarly experienced.

Opening up to other people and also hearing their stories can allow you to feel heard and understood. The facilitator of the group can also discuss important lessons and offer insight to help turn the grief into a learning lesson.

Know Your Triggers

Start by recognizing your triggers, which may be what leads to your addiction. It may be when you pass by a specific part of town or when you talk to someone who has hurt you. Once you recognize what your triggers are, it’ll be easier to be prepared when you can’t always avoid certain situations or circumstances. Have a plan in place when you’re triggered to feel the grief again or return to drugs or alcohol.

There should be someone in your life you can reach out to for support and guidance. Professionals can also teach you effective coping lessons that can allow you to work through the moment and avoid feeling stuck in what you’re experiencing. When you know you’re prepared for your triggers, it’ll help you to feel more in control of yourself and will reduce the risk of relapse. If you want to learn more about how to cope with grief and addiction, feel free to contact us today at 772-934-6580 for more information.

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Essentials mission is to renew lives impacted by addiction through personalized and complete behavioral healthcare. Our main purpose is to provide services and education to the client and family that will support long lasting recovery of mind, body, and spirit.