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Navigating through the death of a loved one during addiction recovery

Navigating through the death of a loved one during addiction recovery

Amy and her family were elated beyond measure when they discovered that after a long and strenuous hormonal treatment, Amy could finally conceive. This happened almost after a decade of her wedding. However, as luck would have it, the child was born premature and could not survive beyond two days. Undeniably, no grief in the world can compare the loss of a child and that too for those who had to tread the path of an arduous journey of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Gradually, Amy’s husband resumed his office and would keep a check on her every now and then, since she had recovered from alcohol addiction and on a sabbatical. However, he was forever worried that Amy might relapse.

Like Amy, millions of people across the globe are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. While some are resilient enough to tide over these difficult phases, others feel so defenseless that they seek respite in alcohol and drugs, thus starting on a journey toward addiction. Even the strongest of people who have successfully maintained sobriety for years might also fall into the abyss of a relapse if coping with grief becomes overwhelming.

However, it is important to remember that overcoming an addiction is an act of immense courage and self-control. A person should realize that he or she does possess coping skills and strength to navigate through any rough phases of life. Listed below are some strategies that can help a person stay strong and sober during the loss of a loved one. These steps are particularly critical for people close to the aggrieved as that they can be instrumental in preventing an addiction or a relapse.

Helping an individual in accepting the situation and associated grief

Grief can be debilitating if a person does not get an outlet to expel it from his or her system. Therefore, friends and family must encourage the individual to acknowledge emotions and express shock, anger, resentment, sadness, etc., since bottling up does not help. Once a person acknowledges and expresses these emotions, the acceptance follows.

Encouraging the sufferer to get back to sobriety meetings

During a recovery, a person tends to get complacent, thinking that now that they were sober, they would not need any help. This attitude can be devastating, especially during the rough phases when a person might become susceptible to a relapse. Therefore, one must continue attending recovery meetings regularly. These meetings have members who can empathize with them and offer unconditional support.

Encouraging mindfulness and alternate therapies

During a phase of intense grief, practicing mindfulness can help one realize that nothing lasts forever, neither grief nor joy, and that life is a journey in which nothing remains constant. Yoga, breathing exercises and meditation can also come handy in restoring mental peace and in coming to terms with the loss.

Reaching out for support

Sometimes, regardless of the efforts of friends and family, one finds it difficult to come out of the heartache and also feels incapacitated to such an extent that one’s quality of life might start getting affected. In such a scenario, one must reach out for professional support so that, along with addiction, its trigger in the form of mental distress is also managed.

If you or someone you know is struggling with co-occurring disorders, help is there. Contact the Florida Dual Diagnosis Helpline by calling at our 24/7 helpline number 866-337-7631 or chatting online with our experts to get the details about the finest dual diagnosis treatment facilities in Florida. Our experts will help you find the best rehab programs in Florida where such problems are managed through holistic treatment plans.

Also read:

Depression and the road to substance abuse

Ways to manage emotional stress to stop substance abuse

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