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“Nationals October 2019

Dealing with grief without drugs

| January 30, 2020, 01:26 PM

Rams Head

One of the toughest times for any recovering addict is when grief comes their way. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the death of a dream or an unexpected tragedy, grief comes in all shapes and sizes. Even with the strongest motivation, it can be hard to stay the course when you find yourself overwhelmed by grief. There are many healthy ways to understand and deal with your grief that don’t involve relapsing.

The path of addiction recovery is a tough one and presupposes many challenges that put a person out of commission. Grief is one of such hurdles and one of the widespread reasons for relapses among the addicts. Today, it is getting easier to get some quality service and drug rehabilitation in no cost facilities. If a person is undergoing some painful period of life and experiences grief, he should know about the best local rehabilitation centers and also how to get rehab for free (in case if private centers are not affordable). Grief can break even the most energetic spirits; therefore, one should listen to his own heart, notice the signs of looming relapse, and take measures.

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Rams Head

Signs of Grief

People react to grief differently; however, you can conveniently classify these people into a group of more expressive people and a group of those who are more introverted. Grieving is accompanied by anxious thoughts, and such feelings as shame, panic, fear, and nostalgia. Note that a person who suffers from grief will experience not only physical but also emotional distress that is characterized by the following signs:

  • Numbness
  • Depressed condition
  • Tiredness
  • Craving to crying
  • Sleeping problem
  • Eating habits changes
  • Lack of concentration
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, personal life, family

Five Stages of Grieving

Many people heard about the five grieving stages, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — these five stages of grief will be familiar to many. Sure, each person undergoes specific moments, and the nature of mourning will be different for everyone. Nevertheless, the stages are typical in terms of what people experience during these steps.

One who is on his way towards full recovery or is already a former addict is more vulnerable than a person who has not had any addiction. Depression and even anger only add to this vulnerability. As a result, one finds it extremely hard to stand against a desire to turn off the feelings and dive into substance abuse. Nonetheless, there is always, at least, one way out. In the case of grief-related relapse, there is more than one solution. Below, one will see what drug-free ways are there to cope with grief.

The Link Between Grief and Relapse

Grief is a natural reaction of a person to some painful event such as the loss of a close friend or trauma. Even though it is a natural reaction, many people, however, often try to numb the growing force of pain inside as it hurts physically and emotionally. In the case of a former addict, this can be a real problem, as people who once suffered from addiction will return to substance use.

The key idea of such destructive behavior is to mute all the painful emotions; however, the soothing effect will not last long and, what is worse, will cause a relapse. Many recovery plans include the point that deals with the connection between grief and addiction. Critical life-changing events are among some of the most common relapse warning signs; any trauma, grief, or loss may trigger addictive thinking and, as a result, behavior. The problem with returning to an addictive lifestyle is that it increases anxiety, guilt, and pain. Eventually, one craves for more substances, and the addictive cycle starts all over again.

Drug-free Ways to Cope With Grief

It is incredible how people can be stuck not knowing what to do and that there are many options to cope with the problem. Here, one will see only some solutions that will help to cope with grief without using drugs so that no relapse happens.

  • Construct your support system. Some people are afraid of bothering their close friends or relatives when they desperately need some help. The truth is that one should let others help him to start creating this support system. Diverse free rehab centers offer specific recovery plans that will be a useful supplement for one.
  • A healthy diet and enough sleep are critical. Recovery comes from the inside. So, one should revise one’s regime and stick to the foods that benefit one’s health. Sleep time is essential for the proper functionality of a person’s brain. A well-thought regime and quality sleep are the cornerstones and basis for well-being.
  • One should visit meetings regularly. Whether one chooses some free drug and alcohol classes or free substance abuse programs, one should periodically attend these. Besides, the rehab centers organize the meetings for both former and current addicts. Here, one can find people who are experiencing the same issue and talk about the issue.
  • Creativity is an excellent way to let one’s steam off. One should resuscitate some creative hobby or find a new one. Consider drawing comics, pottery, playing a musical instrument, or writing. Any creative activity helps in one way or another. Besides, it has a meditative effect on a person.
  • One should detect one’s triggers and avoid them. Temptations are everywhere, and if a person is an addict, these become incredibly seductive. For that reason, analyze your triggers to prevent these further: mind everything starting from people and up to the locations. Create a list of peaceful places that favor your well-being.
  • There is no need to dam up one’s feelings. One should realize that grief is nothing terrible, and one is not a robot, so it is reasonable to spend some time mourning. Nevertheless, grieving is natural if one does not numb it with some drugs or alcohol. So, in cases when a sad event happens, one is better to find someone or something that will not undermine one’s mental and physical health.

These are some of the ways out to help one deal with grief without using any substances. Relapse is a number one threat for a struggling addict; therefore, it is always good if a person learns about the signs and triggers of relapse and also about the measures that work well for them.

Rams Head

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Fahie

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages. She can usually be found on a baseball field!

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