Nav Menu

How Do I Cope With Grief Without Turning Back to Substance Misuse?

Grief is a very complex emotion that is constantly changing and, at times, difficult to understand. It comes in different stages and it affects everyone differently. One day you might feel as if you’re just starting to feel better, only to feel really down the next. While you cope with grief, it is important to understand that your feelings are valid.

Coping with grief after a loss can be overwhelming on its own. However, if you’re coping with grief while trying to maintain your sobriety, you may feel especially vulnerable. You likely have done a lot of work in recovery to learn how to manage different emotions. However, this may be the first time you’re experiencing grief in this way.

It is possible to navigate and process your feelings of grief while still staying sober and avoiding potential triggers. Remember to be accepting of your emotions during this time. Additionally, leaning on your support system can be very helpful as you cope with your grief. Practicing self-care can also make a very positive difference.

Coping with grief while sober can be an emotional process. However, our team at Sage Recovery is here to help.

“No matter how busy you are, it is still essential to make time to care for your mental and emotional health”

Why Is Accepting My Emotions Important While I Cope With Grief?

The process of grief is often broken up into five different stages: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, just because some people may linearly progress through these stages does not mean that there is any right or wrong way to go about this journey. It’s important to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you may be going through in the moment.

A lot of people try to push through grief by forcing themselves to move on before they’re truly ready. They may try to distract themselves by staying as busy as possible so they don’t have to think about the pain they are experiencing. In reality, this can make things more difficult because you’re not allowing yourself time to process how you really feel. While you may be able to push your emotions aside momentarily, they are bound to resurface later on in the future.

Because of this, it is much better to accept your emotions as they come and not try to push them away.

How Will Leaning On My Support System Help Me While I Cope With Grief?

We know that having a good support system is crucial while in recovery from addiction. A support system keeps you on track and also provides encouragement when needed. Having this support system is especially important while you’re coping with grief. Talking to others about how you feel can help you process your emotions and remind you that you’re not alone.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support system and ask for help. They might not know how they can best support you until you tell them. At Sage Recovery, you’ll have access to all the support you need while at our facility. This support can come from our staff and from your peers who you’ll meet through support groups.

grief recovery

Why Is Practicing Self-Care Important While I Cope With Grief?

While coping with the loss of a loved one things may be hectic as you hurry to make arrangements and get things in order. Self-care may be the last thing on your long list of things to do. However, no matter how busy you are, it is still essential to make time to care for your mental and emotional health. Even just taking a small amount of time each day to practice your self-care routine can help you to feel better.

In fact, sticking to your routine as much as possible can aid in your healing journey as you process your grief. Try to keep your sleep schedule on track and stick to usual meal times. Making time for even just a brief workout each day can help relieve your stress and boost your mood.

Part of practicing self-care and sticking to your routine is keeping up with your continued treatment plan. This involves continuing to go to your 12-Step meetings. Consider opening up to your support group about what you’re going through. There are likely other people within your group who can relate to exactly what you’re feeling right now.

Others can share their experiences with grief. They can also provide you with advice on how to navigate the process of grief while also prioritizing your sobriety. Those in your group will be able to relate to you in ways that others in your life who may not be in recovery simply can’t. Being able to discuss how you’re feeling honestly and without fear of judgment through this setting can help you to heal.

Grief can play a role in the reason why some choose to turn to substance use in the first place. The experience of loss can bring about complicated emotions. Instead of being present in the moment and processing your emotions, you may be tempted to numb the pain. While drugs and alcohol may seem like a quick fix, they are going to do more damage than good as you try to process your emotions. When these substances wear off, those feelings with still be there. If you’re currently struggling with substance misuse and are ready to make a change, our team at Sage Recovery is here for you. Give us a call at (512) 306-1394 today to learn more. 

healing through grief