People have a hard time believing that for those people in recovery this is a lot to grieve. An activity (drinking, sex, drug use, shopping, gambling) that has been a major focus (daily for most) of their lives in now something they can never do again. The main comfort they have had is now gone and their live has to adjust to a new “normal”. This is huge and people feel extremely vulnerable during these early months. Ego strength is low and coping skills few.
Grief, being a universal emotion, can arise any time a person loses someone or something they value. To add to that grief is the knowledge of how much they have lost due to their addiction.
Here are just a few examples of the losses people experience:
Symptoms of grieving which often occur include:
These grief responses are all NATURAL AND NORMAL!
It is important to accept the reality of the loss, to work through the emotions, to adapt to the “new normal” and to find a way to regain a solid sense of self. Recognize that recovery takes time and will not provide instant relief. The process, however, will be rewarding and the fresh start for your life a gift.
“Sobriety is its own reward.” — Anonymous