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Old 10-18-2009, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Grieving while sober


My Mom passed away about 2 weeks ago. She was comfortable and peaceful, and died with family (including me) by her side. My previous experience with grieving is get a bottle and drink it, talk about the lost one, and then move on. Since I am sober, this is how should I say, "different." I don't have my usual escape hatch. I'm all over the place, lots of feelings coming at me from all different places. Conflicting feelings, irrational feelings, anger, sadness, confusion, helplessness, regret, comparing my process/experience to other people's. I'm trying not to judge my feelings and just let them happen. To let them move through me. I know the healthiest thing is to just feel them damn it, but I have no patience sometimes, and get annoyed and pissed off that they come at the most inopportune times. Same way I get annoyed that I am a member of the alcoholics club that no one wants to belong to. I'm overwhelmed with sobriety, with grief, with this thing called life.

This weekend was a lost weekend. Crying one minute, fine the next, barely eating, staying in my pajamas till almost evening, completely emotionally and physically exhausted. I'm grateful I had the luxury to take the time to just be, painful as it was. And I know it's normal.

I'm trying to be gentle with myself, patient with the process, and still do all the things I need to do for my sobriety. I know I'm not the first person to deal with the loss of a loved one while trying to stay sober, that's for sure. Looking for some perspective from those who've been where I have. Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hi Ginger -

So very sorry about your loss.

But I have to congratulate you
because you haven't had to drink over it.
IT's okay to feel bad.
It's okay to be unhappy in recovery
it's okay to be angry.

learning that We aren't our feelings
is one of the most important teachings
we receive in early sobriety.
For so many of us
drinking was all about the oblivion.

And you're feeling.
That is a GOOD thing.
Just let it hurt until it doesn't hurt anymore.
The pain will move to it's appropriate place
in your mind and your heart
when it's time to move on.

I'm sorry I don't come here often enough these days
to know if you're in a program of recovery
butr if you are -
this is the time that sponsors are good to lean on.
And they're great for letting you know
when it's time to get back into the game.

*prayers of peace and comfort*
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dear Ginger, Please accept my condolences on your loss. Grief is a very difficult thing to deal with. I could say that as time passes, the grief will ease, but those words are of little meaning at this point. I had a loved one pass away several tears ago and I wasn't strong enough to deal with the immeasurable grief that besieged me. I took solace in the bottle after 10 years of sobriety. It did nothing to assuage my feelings, but rather made life even more unbearable.

I think you're processing your feelings in a very constructive way by facing up to them rather than running away. I wish I had had the strength to do so. They say that pain is what helps us to grow, and I sincerely hope you find this to be true. Years from now you can look back with pride that you handled your grief as a rational human being rather than running to hide from your pain by drinking. Some threads on SR are indeed an inspiration. Yours is up there with the best of them.
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss, Ginger. Since I'm newly sober, I have no good advice on this so I'll leave that up to the people with some experience. Warm wishes to you.

Laura
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry for your loss. Try to focus on the good things and remind yourself that this is part of life and your not alone.

God Bless your family
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ginger, I am so sorry you lost your mother. I lost my father years ago, and at the time I was drinking heavily - so of course I only increased the amount I was drinking when that happened. I made a fool of myself all during the funeral arrangements, funeral, and aftermath. I wish I had been clear headed and grieved properly - the way you are.

What you're going through is so painful, but it must be gone through - no way to avoid it. You should be so proud of yourself for handling things this way - everything you're experiencing is a perfectly normal and healthy reaction. You'll find that one day the intensity of the pain will lessen. (Your mom would not want to be the cause of your sadness. Maybe you could think of it that way.) I'm glad you shared this with us.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm very sorry for your loss Ginger.

Chris
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother suddenly last summer. I was perfectly sober for all hospital visits and funeral visits. But when they were done I spent nights on the computer crying and then passing out either on the computer or the floor. It solved absolutely nothing. This went on for a few months. Be glad you aren't drinking and can handle the situation much better sober.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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LovesToTravel - I'm sorry for what you had to go through too. "It solved absolutely nothing" - words of wisdom.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i offer my sincere prayers & support during your grieving process.

i've gone through alot of situations, both internal & external, while clean and sober. Situations that i had often used as an excuse in my active addiction/alcoholism. i've gotten through them and have grown in the process because of working a 12 Step program of recovery. At times, my emotions and thoughts have been all over the place, bouncing around inside me like a giant superball in a concrete room. Looking outside of myself for the love & support of a Higher Power has helped me to slow down and take a breath.

i hope that you are finding what works for you to keep you strong.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey Ginger. I'm sorry about the loss of your mother.

I think you're doing great. While for years we covered up all of our feelings by numbing them "feeling" is and can be so overwhelming. All I have for you is to be good to yourself. If you want to sit in your PJ's and cry all day, do it. Don't worry about what others think, don't compare, your feelings are yours and you're entitled to them.

Time really does help heal some of the pain. The problem is time, sometimes it can be a while. Hang in there, lean on us here. My heart goes out to you. :ghug3
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Ginger,

So sorry to hear of your loss. When my father died, someone gave my mother a very important piece of advice that helped her get through: They said you can try to go around the pain, or under the pain, or over the pain, but eventually you will have to go through the pain in order to feel better.

Alcohol only helps you avoid the pain. Going through it will be hard, but use all your resources to get through it.

Best,
PL
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi Ginger,

I am sorry about the loss of your mother. And, you're doing great in dealing with all the emotions that come with such a loss. I think the mother-daughter relationship is one of the most complex relationships we have in our lives.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Probably the hardest thing for me to get used to living sober was having to 'feel' all my feelings without numbing myself with alcohol. But drinking won't alleviate the pain, it will just prolong it, put it off til later. I'm glad you're sober to deal with the loss of your mother. Drinking doesn't help any situation, only fogs it up and makes it harder to deal with.

(((Hugs))) to you for staying sober to deal with the loss of your mother.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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In July 2000, I lost my best friend. After his passing, I drank heavily to numb my emotions. It took around 6 months until I started to feel better, to accept the loss.

In February 2007, I lost my father. I did not drink but instead focused on helping & leaning on other family members. I broke down often but the clouds started lifting after 10 days.

We all grieve in our own way but we do reach that day when we accept our loss & can then move on, grateful for the privilege of having good people in our lives even if they must leave us. Lot's of good memories!

So sorry for your loss.
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