Surviving the Death of a Loved One

Staying sober when you get home from intensive inpatient treatment for addiction, or even after an outpatient detox center is an incredible amount of work, and it takes a lot of resilience and determination. In order to succeed in your sober living, you plan. You think about and plan for all of the hard parts of life. You think about how you will deal with a scheduling conflict, traffic jams, bad attitudes – yours and other people’s too.

 

Depression and Sobriety

You know all of these difficult everyday things can add up to create a big ball of overwhelming depression that can snowball you right into addiction again. You may even plan for the loss of a job, how you’re planning on staying sane through financial stress. But did you consider planning for how to stay sober through the worst, the loss of someone close to you? The death of one of your allies, your back up, one of your safety net can be a hard blow. Not only do you feel alone, scared, hurt, you’re heart is also breaking for the loss of someone you loved, apart from their support, you will miss their presence in your lives and the lives around you.

So how do you survive this? The answer is, bit by bit. You do what your loved one would want you to do and you keep breathing. They loved you and they would want you to honor the work you have put into your sobriety so far. They were proud of you and how much courage it has taken you to get this far. When you lose someone who supported you it can trigger some lonely feelings that can, in turn, trigger a craving for a drink. Or a hit.

 

Remembering the Good

When you feel that come, try your best to focus on your loved one. Take deep breaths and remember laughing with them. Remember their smile, the way their eyes looked when they talked. Remember that their love is still within you. They would want you to take care of yourself and to still feel their love for you even while you can’t be with them the way you used to. You can still succeed at sober living as they would want you to. One step at a time, with them close in your memory.

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