Grieving Over Addiction: It’s Normal to Mourn the Loss of Your Addiction

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Grieving Over Addiction: It’s Normal to Mourn the Loss of Your Addiction

Grieving Over Addiction: It’s Normal to Mourn the Loss of Your Addiction

In 2015, poet Sue Wallingford wrote a poem titled, “Life Goes On”. She wrote it as a form of art therapy, in remembrance of her addiction, as she was in recovery. Here is a small excerpt from her poem:

“Your power to make me feel stronger slipped away gradually, almost

Without notice.

But in your wake you left your mark of betrayal and heartache.

You tried to take everything away.

But life goes on you see,

New generations are on the horizon,

And we’ll be ok.”

Recovery means leaving behind destructive patterns of the past. It means growing, changing, and transforming into a better version of yourself; a version that places health, self-care, vitality and life fulfillment at the top of the priority list. Of course, necessary changes take lots of time and dedication. As humans, we’re not always excited about these steps because, well, it’s change – and change can be quite devastating. If you’re at a moment in your journey to recovery where you’re really missing aspects of your addiction, it’s okay to mourn this loss. Doing so can help you move on and embrace this journey that’s for the better.

A 2017 study published by The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry emphasized that addiction has many overlapping qualities to falling in love; both entail arousal, euphoria, and increasing preoccupation with the person or drug. When these have progressed into more serious stages, “leaving” the person or drug can lead to a sense of loss, dysphoria, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and more. Additionally, as with falling in love, addiction can involve social attachment, as many people who abuse substances due so around others. Recovery essentially involves not only quitting the object of your addiction but cutting out those in your life whom you have used with as well.

Allow yourself to genuinely feel the pain of letting your past go. Utilize your tools from therapy and acknowledge the pain it’s caused you in life. Once you’ve allowed yourself to grieve you can begin focusing on building a social support network in your treatment program; over time, you will develop a new social circle, new ways of living – and you will be much happier and healthier.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 855-668-9094 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

References

https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1521/pdps.2017.45.4.451

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