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How Do You Deal with Grief Without Drugs or Alcohol?

How Do You Deal with Grief Without Drugs or Alcohol?

Allow time to heal when dealing with grief

Grief is without a doubt one of the most painful experiences we must go through in life. It leads us to endure emotions we are unfamiliar with, and life just is not the same for a period of time. These discomforts lead many people to abuse drugs or alcohol. However, by allowing themselves time to heal and express their emotions, Des Moines residents can deal with grief without these substances.

Allow Yourself Time to Heal

One of the biggest mistakes that people make in times of grief is trying to move on too quickly. After a week or two of persistent sadness and heartache, it is understandable to want to be finished with the grieving process. However, most people experience grief for several months or even years. It is essential that you allow yourself as much time as needed to work through your grief.

Just as you must provide yourself the time to heal from grief, you must also allow yourself to experience the wide range of emotions that may accompany grief. Many people experience shifts between denial, depression, anger, guilt, and fear. Those with calm temperaments may be uncomfortable with the anger they feel, and they may try to suppress those feelings. However, it is important to understand that these emotions are healthy and normal in times of grief.

Expressing Your Emotions

Those who turn to drugs and alcohol during times of grief typically do so as a way of avoiding uncomfortable emotions. They may believe that covering up their sadness or guilt with substance abuse is the only way to overcome such feelings. In the end, all of these emotions are pressed down underneath a temporary high, only to resurface when the euphoria wears off. This type of coping is neither healthy nor conducive to healing from grief. A better alternative is to find ways to express those deep and uncomfortable feelings so that they can be worked through.

A healthy way to express your emotions in a time of grief is with a therapist. Therapists are trained to listen to what you are feeling and guide you through your emotions when needed. They will work with you to pinpoint and process trends and triggers in your grief experience. Therapists are also helpful in that they may be able to recognize the signs of complicated grief or other underlying mental health issues.

However, when it is not possible to meet with a therapist, confiding in a close friend or family member may be a good alternative. It may be helpful to find a loved one who shares in your grief, so that you can both provide support for one another.

Journaling is another helpful way to express your feelings during times of grief. It is an especially beneficial form of expression, as you can state your thoughts without having to worry about what others will think. Many people find that it is helpful to do daily journaling in addition to speaking with a therapist or friend.

Get Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Adding substance abuse to a time of grief is unhealthy and will only make things worse in the long run. If you or a loved one in Des Moines has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for drug or alcohol addiction.