Losing someone is hard.
You had them in your life one minute and then the next minute they’re gone. You likely see signs of them everywhere.
You hear their favorite song. You see their favorite shirt in the closet, or you want to cook their favorite meal. Those small signs remind you of their absence and they can triggers, reminding you of how painful it is to lose them. For some people, those triggers are too hard to cope with and they may turn to drinking or drug use instead. And they may continue to use substances as a way to push it all away.
Grieving, Grief and Loss Treatment
As you can imagine, the use of substances is not the best way to manage grief. The best way to allow yourself to heal after loss is to – as much as possible – let yourself express the emotions you’re feeling. In fact, when grief remains unexpressed, that is, when you keep your emotions to yourself or stuff them, you’re more likely to continue to experience the pain of the loss. You’re more likely to dwell in the absence of your loved one.
Although it might be hard, the best way to heal from a loss is to seek out grief and loss treatment. This kind of mental health treatment is specific for losing someone and a clinician is aware of the challenging feelings and experiences that come with loss. A therapist can give you an opportunity to express your anger, sadness, frustration, emotional pain, and even your denial. Grief and loss treatment is meant to facilitate finally accepting the loss. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’re going to forget about your loved one, but instead, it means that you’re able to go on living your life while holding your loved one close to your heard. Grief and loss treatment is meant to help you get back to your life.
It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes grieving has other complicated issues associated with it. For instance, if you feel guilt with the loss or if you felt the death was unfair. Sometimes, people lose people too unexpectedly or because of a violent crime. And in other cases, a person might feel responsible for the death. When there are other emotional issues related to losing someone, it might be harder to get over the loss. In these cases, grief and loss treatment is particularly important. It might be easier to drown yourself in alcohol, to lose yourself in the high of cocaine or meth, but without facing and expressing your emotions, grieving may last longer and be more difficult.
It can be incredibly difficult to face emotions that are painful. And this is another reason to participate in grief and loss treatment. A therapist can gently facilitate an exploration of those feelings. And with someone to talk to about the way you feel, you might find that you’re getting closer to accepting the loss and moving on with your life.
Although drinking and drug use might sound tempting when you lose someone, grief and loss treatment can help you avoid the dangers, health concerns, and addiction that can come with substance use. To begin grief and loss treatment, contact a mental health provider in your neighborhood.
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