Losing a loved one is never easy. But, for those in recovery from mental health issues like eating disorders or addiction, it’s not just hard to lose a loved one – it’s also dangerous. Dealing with grief can bring about a different person in anyone who deals with it. And, unfortunately, this alternative grieving person isn’t always the best version of oneself. For those in recovery, coping with grief can be even more challenging because it may bring about triggers and cravings to use addictive substances or revert back to past, negative behaviors. To protect sobriety and/or recovery, it’s important for individuals to find out how to cope with grief without putting their recovery at risk. In this article, we discuss how people in recovery can cope with grief so they can prevent relapse and protect their recovery journey.
Allow Yourself to go Through the Grieving Process
The best thing anyone can do who is dealing with grief due to the loss of a loved one is to allow oneself to grieve. While it’s painful, grief is a fierce emotion that needs to be processed in order for it to move on. Rather than trying to avoid these feelings or push them deep down, feel them. Allow them to consume you. Cry, be angry, feel sadness – it’s all a natural and necessary part of the grieving process. Without allowing yourself to experience these emotions, they will build up inside you until they burst. And, are likely to lead to the portrayal of less-than-desirable actions, including a physical relapse.
Coping With Grief While Avoiding Relapse Triggers
Going through the grieving process, you may run into relapse triggers along the way. During treatment, you should have identified your personal relapse triggers, whether they be people, places, or certain scenarios. While it’s always important to be aware of personal relapse triggers and avoid them at all costs, it’s especially important to do so while experiencing grief. So, make an extra effort to avoid anything that may tempt you to use past, self-medicating behaviors.
Seek the Support of Your Loved Ones
You may not feel like getting out of bed. You may not feel like talking to anyone or doing anything. But, while you’re coping with grief, you need to make an effort to get out and be around people who love you. You’re not the only one experiencing pain. And, coming together with others who experience the same pain and grief as you can help you along with managing emotions. So, make an effort to get outside, contact your loved ones, and form a solid group of support that you can lean on during the worst of times.
Ask for Help if You Need It
One of the most important things to take away from this article is that, if you’re grieving and feel that you may be at risk for relapsing, GET HELP RIGHT AWAY. While it’s important to work through your grief, it’s also important to protect your recovery at all costs. Remember, your passed loved one would want you to be healthy and happy and not to give up all of your hard work! So, if you feel that you aren’t coping well with your grief or just simply need someone to talk to, reach out and get help from a professional counselor or therapist.
Coping with Grief With Help from Willow Place for Women
Are you in recovery from addiction, trauma, or an eating disorder? Are you coping with grief but feeling like your recovery may be in jeopardy? If so, get help at Willow Place for Women. Here, we help women struggling with all types of mental health issues gain the healing they need to have lives of wellbeing. This includes women struggling with grief, addiction, trauma, and eating disorders.
If you’re ready to talk to a professional about protecting your recovery, going back to treatment, or starting treatment, contact us today.