5 Ways to Stay Sober When You're Dealing With Grief
The latest statistics reveal that almost 15 million people over the age of 12 have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). AUD takes a heavy physical and emotional toll.
Are you working on a sober lifestyle? Sobriety may feel elusive, especially if you're dealing with a difficult situation.
Grief is tough even for the most emotionally healthy among us. How do you stay sober when you're dealing with grief over the loss of a loved one?
In this article, we'll discuss five ways to stay sober when you're dealing with grief.
1. Remember You Don't "Get Over" Grief
It's important to remember that the grieving process is slow and cyclical. It's not a straight line from grieving to feeling better. Most people never get over or fully process the loss of a loved one.
For most people, you'll have triggers that propel you back to square one in the grief cycle. Those same triggers may also make sobriety difficult. For this reason, focus on non-numbing strategies for dealing with loss.
Try treating yourself to a massage or making your favorite dinner. Don't avoid the grief, but don't wallow in it either.
2. Work Your Treatment Program
Don't use grief as an excuse to stop working on your treatment program. Continue with AA attendance or, if you haven't yet, join an Alcoholics Anonymous group.
Most of all, be consistent with your program. Don't forget to keep up healthy eating, exercise, and sleeping routines.
3. Turn to Your Support System
If you're attending regular AA meetings and working on a sober lifestyle, you'll have a good network of like-minded people you can turn to for help. Avoid isolating yourself at home. Attending a grief support group along with AA attendance is a big help.
Are you tempted to drink? Don't be afraid to reach out to a sober friend or sponsor for help.
4. Find Your Inner Creative Child
Creativity is a great outlet for helping you process grief. Art and music are good outlets for getting you out of your head and in touch with your creative side.
Journaling is another great creative outlet for helping you process your feelings. Write down everything you're feeling about the event and the person.
Do you have any feelings of guilt? Guilt is a normal response for many people after the loss of a loved one. You may even recognize that your guilt isn't rational but you need to process it anyway.
Guilt takes many forms and they all need processing. The act of writing helps you move through these difficult feelings.
5. Become a Volunteer
Volunteer opportunities boost your own sense of self-worth and move you forward into a positive mindset. If you're feeling down, spend a little time volunteering to make someone else's life a little better.
There are so many avenues for volunteering and when you give back, you feel better. Volunteering is a great activity for sober grieving.
Stay Sober Through the Grieving Process
Stay sober through the grieving process with the above five tips. Don't let grief derail your sobriety. Face your grief and give yourself time to heal instead of numbing yourself and prolonging the process.
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