The mind is pretty incredible at coming up with ways to deal with what life throws at you. The body is also good at it, but sometimes it feels pretty horrible. Withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is like that. The mind and body are not big fans of all this stuff floating around your body so when it disappears for a short time, it works hard to get rid of it. Grief is also like that, where it can be felt in the mind and body. Sadness and depression are difficult emotions to face, but it can turn people towards drugs and alcohol to cope sometimes. It may also come out of drinking or using drugs due to isolation, fear, anxiety, and other issues. Grief looks a lot like what it is supposed to look like for you-you just may not know it yet.
Projecting an Image
Here is what grief is not – projecting an image for others to see. What we want the world to see and the face of what we think should be grief. Regardless of what people see, there is always more under the surface. Grief is about holding open hands to experience all that is out there for us rather than holding it in and letting it eat away at the mind and body. Too often, grief looks like ‘holding it together,’ when it is perfectly okay to fall apart as much as is needed.
Grief can look like gratitude for the journey of pain and loss that turns into healing. For people with addiction, it can be very painful to think about all the stuff that has happened that a person grieves. Recovery can teach people to let it go and be grateful for what it has taught. This includes the loss but the impact of it is felt far and wide, including ripples of goodness rather than sorrow and loss. Even if the pain is still there, it can be a positive force in recovery to find healing and hope for the days to come.
Grief is Individual
The story of grief is going to look unique for each person. Every loss is going to have its own story, its own tale to tell. What grief looks like now will shift in a year, two years, even five years down the road. It looks different ways because it changes along with you. With grief comes a personal understanding and knowledge that is focused on learning more about yourself in the process. Some of the ways individuals find healing in grief recovery:
- Psychiatric support or medication
- Addiction and mental health support services
- Support groups
- Friends network
- Spirituality connections
There are myriad ways to cope with the grief that help people navigate the journey forward rather than look back. What grief looks like is not a checklist, but a series of decisions that help you grow and heal so you can find hope in recovery from the pain of your past and seek hope for tomorrow.
A Step in the Right Direction helps you heal from addiction. We are here to support your journey through grief towards hope and healing. If you are struggling with addiction, mental health issues, grief, or other things you want help with, our support services can guide you to a path of healing and redemption. For more information, sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.