Grief and Loss in Recovery

by Daniel · 0 comments

Grief and loss can be especially difficult to navigate when in recovery from alcohol or other drugs, especially the loss of a parent. Many individuals recovering from addiction have that “love/hate” relationship with a parent. In my case, it was my dad. He was a great man however, addiction did not always allow me to see that. In fact, one issue came from the recovery and therapy community itself. The need to always find the “why!” Why am I an addict?  Often we are looking to blame someone or something, the generation of “Adult Children of Alcoholics” or “The Child Within” blame led straight back to mom and dad! In reality, that is not what these concepts promote, but it is certainly a conclusion drawn when you are in early recovery. My poor father took the brunt of it at times. When he passed, he was my friend, he was proud of me, and I loved him dearly!

Back to the point, the death of someone special in your life can trigger feelings of intense sadness, anger, guilt, and even despair. It can also lead to a relapse if not properly addressed. However, there are ways to cope with these emotions and continue on the path to recovery. First and foremost, it is important to acknowledge and accept your grief. Denying or suppressing your emotions will only prolong the healing process. It is normal to feel a range of emotions, including anger, guilt, and sadness. Allow yourself to feel these emotions and talk about them with a therapist, support group, or trusted friend.

It is also important to take care of yourself physically during this time. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and staying active can help alleviate some of the symptoms of grief. Engaging in self-care activities such as yoga, meditation, or journaling can also be beneficial. It is crucial to have and utilize your support system. Being enmeshed in your mutual support group will provide a sense of community and understanding. Talking to a therapist or counselor can also be helpful in managing the emotional toll of grief.

It is important to remember that everyone grieves differently, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. There may be times when you feel stuck or overwhelmed, but know that with time and support, these feelings will pass. It is important to be patient and kind to yourself during this difficult time. It is also essential to honor the memory of the person who has passed while still maintaining sobriety. You can create a memory box, plant a tree, or volunteer in their honor. These actions can help you feel connected to the person you have lost and provide a sense of purpose.

The death of someone special in your life can be a challenging time, especially when in recovery from alcohol or other drugs. However, by acknowledging and accepting your grief, taking care of yourself, and building a support system, it is possible to navigate this difficult time while maintaining your sobriety. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and to honor the memory of the person you have lost in a way that is meaningful to you.

Rest in Peace, Pop!


Love always!



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