Overcoming Loss in Recovery

Experiencing loss in early recovery.

Nowhere in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous does it explain what steps to take when a loved one passes away. Losing a loved one in sobriety is undeniably one of the most difficult experiences to undergo, seeing as what we once turned to in order to take the pain and suffering of grief and loss away is no longer at our disposal. We once used alcohol to drown the feelings we were not familiar with or able to cope with – we used drugs to clear our minds of everything, difficult and otherwise. When our chemical substances are taken away, we are left with raw emotions and a massive lack of experience feeling them. When we lose someone or something, the feeling of grief that overwhelms us may cause us to want nothing more than to stay in bed all day, buried under the covers and away from the smiling world that we feel cannot possibly understand our agony.

Experiencing Loss In Recovery Is Extremely Painful

The truth of the matter is, isolating is indefinitely one of the most self-destructive actions one who has recently experienced loss can take. While it is expected to want to spend time alone, spending too much time away from friends and supports can be hugely detrimental. For one who is in recovery, especially early recovery, attending 12-step meetings and sharing about uncomfortable and painful emotions is essential. While opening up to a group of people can be immensely difficult, it is guaranteed that at least several others in the room have been through a similar experience at some point in their lives. Talking through your hardships is not the only effective step towards healing you can take. Here are several others:

Tools For Coping With Loss

  • If you are not already, begin to see a therapist who has experience in assisting people deal with loss. Having an unbiased individual to talk to can be exceptionally healing, and he or she will offer further suggestions as to how to effectively continue with the grieving process.
  • Read books on emotional healing after a traumatic loss. There are many options available, including Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman and Room For Change: Practical Ideas for Reviving After Loss by Susan W. Reynolds.
  • Seek out a support group for other men and women who have recently suffered a similar experience. Having likeminded individuals surrounding you can be very healing, and support groups will allow you a safe place to discuss your feelings.

Experiencing loss of any kind is an undeniably difficult and prolonged process, though healing can be assisted with the help of others and an acute avoidance of extended periods of isolation. If you have recently suffered a loss and do not know where to turn, our representatives are available 24-hours a day to assist you in any way they can.

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