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Is It Possible To Grieve Something Other Than A Loved One?

Entry Date: August 12th, 2023

Lately, I’ve been feeling this great deal of emptiness and loneliness, almost as if someone close to me had just passed away. Now that I am sober, I am actually feeling my feelings this is very new to me, it’s as if I’m having to relearn my emotions. So, I am trying to sit in my feelings and reflect, rather than running and avoiding the discomfort of these feelings. So, I decided to dig deeper and try to explore why I’m feeling a deep sense of sorrow. Yes, I have lost many people I love but not recently. I was puzzled as to where these feelings were coming from. So, I sat and thought about what have I had to let go of recently. That is when it occurred to me, that I am grieving my addiction. I know this sounds absolutely CRAZY. Why would anyone miss something so terrible? That’s when I realized that when I made the choice to commit to sobriety, I did NOT just say goodbye to the drug. I was saying goodbye to my social circle, my home, my town, my daily routine, and my toxic relationships. Although these are all that are extremely important to let go of, in order to maintain my sobriety, it means I am letting go of my whole identity.

Saying goodbye to the drugs and social circle means I now need to find a new social circle, a healthier circle and this is scary to me because the life of drugs caused me to lose my self-worth. So, meeting new people brings me extreme anxiety. Causing me to avoid meeting new people because the fear that they will reject and judge me is absolutely paralyzing. When quitting drugs, I also moved away from my old social circle. The closer and deeper I dig, I can see that I am experiencing all 5 stages of GRIEF: Denial, Anger, Bargaining/Blame, Depression, and Acceptance.

Now that I’ve been able to identify why I’m feeling so lonely and empty, I am able to work on finding healthy ways to cope with my grief, because if I want to stay sober, it’s important that I do not avoid these feelings. It’s important that I step out of my comfort zone and find new ways to cope with these feelings of grief because what I’m used to doing is not working.

So, I have decided to reach out and share with the staff at SafeHope Home that I believe I’m experiencing grief and that I would like any type of help that they can offer. It was suggested that even though it’s challenging for me to socialize, I should try and attend support/group meetings with a peer by my side for moral support. So that evening, I took the advice and attended the meeting. To my surprise, I ended up feeling comfortable enough to share with the group that I was struggling with the fact I hate my addiction, but I really miss it, and to my surprise, several other women were also experiencing the same thing. I’m so happy that I took the time to reflect on my emotions and where they were coming from, gaining insight allowed me to communicate and ask for help once I took the advice, I noticed that my feelings of loss were slowly being replaced with feelings of joy and accomplishment.

Who would have thought a person could grieve something as bad as addiction? It blows me away but at the same time, I’m happy to be letting go of my identity as an addict and learning, growing, welcoming, and embracing all the great things that come with sobriety. It is fun being able to transform my life and identity.



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