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Maintaining Sobriety after Losing a Loved One

Maintaining Sobriety after Losing a Loved One

Losing a loved one can be an emotionally distressing and trying time. Many people will fall into self-destructive behaviors while they are coping with a loss, such as failing to eat, eating too much, making snap judgements, or drinking too much. Those who are struggling with an addiction are even more likely to fall back on old (bad) habits and look to drugs or alcohol to help them get through their grief. 

It’s important that you seek Gilbert addiction counseling on an ongoing basis so that you can develop the coping skills to maintain your sobriety during even the hardest times in your life. Here are some of the things you can do to maintain your sobriety while you are going through the grieving process: 

Man giving hand to depressed woman in a counseling group therapy

Know the Stages of Grief

Most people go through phases of grief in a fairly predictable order. Some may go through particular phases faster or slower, and some may go through them in different orders. But knowing what to expect can help you to better prepare, even if your experience does end up varying somewhat. 

The five stages of grief include: 

  • Denial. Many people are unable to accept that their loved one has gone, especially if the death was unexpected and sudden. 
  • Anger. Once you accept that your loved one has gone, you may feel anger or a sense of injustice. 
  • Bargaining. You may start trying to bargain with a higher power for the return of your loved one, or you may blame yourself, with thoughts such as “If only I had ___, this wouldn’t have happened.”
  • Depression. You may fall into a deep sadness or even a depression. You may even feel alone.
  • Acceptance. The final phase of grieving involves accepting that your loved one has passed and coming to a kind of peace about it, moving on with your life but cherishing the memory of your loved one.

Knowing the stages of grief can help you identify what stage you might be in so that you can get the help you need during the worst of it. With the right help, you can prevent a relapse and stay on the road to recovery. 

Identify and Prepare for Triggers

Grieving the death of a loved one is going to be hard on you emotionally, which can make you turn to drugs or alcohol. But there may be certain events in the aftermath of your loved one’s death that will be especially distressful and put you most at risk of relapse. Identifying these potential triggers and planning for them can help you avoid relapse. 

For example, you might know that the funeral will be difficult for you, or that a holiday or birthday coming soon after your loved one’s death will be hard. Prepare for these situations by planning how you will handle them and by bringing a sponsor or another supportive person. You may also want to go to a meeting or additional Gilbert counseling sessions around this time. 

Get Grief Counseling

Everyone will have to go through a lot to process their grief after losing someone they love. As a recovering addict, this process may be especially hard. Getting grief counseling can help you process your feelings so that you can better manage your triggers and maintain your sobriety.

Getting grief counseling in conjunction with  Phoenix addiction counseling will give you the best chances for success during this time. You’ll learn a number of tools that can help you process your feelings in a healthy way and to manage your stresses without turning to drugs or alcohol for help. 

You have had a long road to become sober, and you will face many challenges that can threaten your sobriety. Though losing a loved one can be very hard, it will be even harder on you if you fall back into using drugs or alcohol. Follow these tips and get professional help to ensure that you maintain your sobriety and keep living a healthy lifestyle. 

Corebella Health and Wellness can help. We offer addiction treatment in several Arizona locations, including Tempe, Glendale, and Scottsdale. We offer individual and group counseling, suboxone therapy, and ongoing wellness treatments to promote a healthy lifestyle. Our team is here to help you through every step from addiction to wellness. Call us today to learn more about our services or to make an appointment with an addiction counselor. 

Corebella Health & Wellness

Corebella Health & Wellness

2600 E Southern Ave Suite E-1
Tempe, Arizona 85282

Office: (480) 409-0322
5700 W Olive Ave, Suite 107
Glendale, AZ 85302

Office: (602) 4929595

6565 E Greenway Parkway
Suite 102, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Office: (602) 649-0677

Email: [email protected]
FAX: 877-559-2816



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