Loss (of any kind, death, job, etc) and drinking - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Loss (of any kind, death, job, etc) and drinking


How do you deal with loss sober? Loss of a job, a friend, a lover, a pet... How do you deal???
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am still in early recovery myself at 8 days.

But I am learning how to deal with my stressful job and personal financial problems. How?

I workout
Eat healthy
Medidate and listen to relaxing music
I count my blessings instead of looking at what I don't have
Walk my dog
Play with my 7 year old son
Post on SR like crazy

For now the above is working well, but dealing with something major as you stated might be another story.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I cry and take care of myself however I can, no matter how seemingly trivial, take a shower, sweep the floor, make a sandwich, pay a bill, take a nap, go for a walk, call a friend, just keep breathing. The feelings of grief, pain, and loss need to be experienced in order to heal just like the physical pain after surgery. Loss is a part of life, it helps us to appreciate the joy that we experience.

It's hard but I know that drinking will inhibit the healing process of my grieving and draw it out endlessly and that is the last thing I want.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know how to deal with loss.

When I lost my father I was sober for some months.

I just got depressed for some years, sober and depressed. Didn't know how to deal.

Then I started drinking/ smoking again, and depression got even worse of course.

As the time went by, did some therapy, learned some things in life, now I'm better.

Best way I know to deal with loss is spiritual beliefs.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I let the emotions wash through me, soak me. I feel them. Sometimes I just wallow in them. Other times I try to distract myself to no avail.

I think at the heart of addiction is my past inability to suffer. And on top of that I think addicts have an extremely low frustration tolerance level.

Loss and pain defined me from an early age, through suicide attempts of my mother beginning when I was four, to her successful suicide when I was 20, to the devastating loss experienced in divorce, to personal losses that continue to pile up after 3 1/2 years of sobriety.

How do I deal with them? I don't. I feel them, knowing that drinking or drugging will do nothing to alleviate the pain but rather simply mask it and in so doing drag out the suffering, or dampen the effects of the trauma and allow it to morph into some delusional thinking that infects my every breath, thought and sense of being.

I have come to realize I would rather experience the intense pain now in hopes that it will ease -- and it does inevitably ease if allowed to to peak instead of medicating it --and grasping a thin ray of hope that the next minute or hour or day or week or month or year will get better.

I have found if I don't experience the trauma in full force, if I dull it with booze or drugs, the cathartic experience isn't allowed to take its beautifully ugly journey and I suffer for years instead of days.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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We must have no reservations if we are to get and stay sober. But we just take it one day at a time. We gather tools for staying sober. Like using the phone, calling others in recovery, talking out our pain instead of numbing it. We come to SR and post a new thread asking for help. Lean on God and our church.

We go to AA or NA meetings or any other source of group support or counseling. I have never lost anyone close to me in recovery. My parents are both in their 80's. They will die one day and I have to be prepared for that.

Picking up a drink again would be like adding tragedy to tragedy. The I relapsed back in 1992 after 2.5 years sober I was out there for about 22 years adding more horrendous things to my story.

There is no guarantee that I will make it back if I pick up. I no longer want to be chained to alcohol. I don't want it to be the reason I live or the reason I want to die.


Alcohol is not the solution, it is the problem to another problem.

I hope you find the support here at SR, AA etc.

We do not have to do this alone. I try not to think of what can happen. I think about today.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It was the terminal illness of my mom and her death that sent me over the cliff with drinking and a relapse on opiates. That was how I dealt with saddness and loss...before I got sober.

I had to learn it's okay to feel the loss. I knew that grieving wasn't fun, or easy. But what I had to learn was that the process has to be gone through. Not run from, nor escaped by drugs or drinking. I had to learn that it is OK to feel bad about stuff, that it was normal for loss to cause us grief.

People all over the world, every minute of the day, absord terrible loss without trying to "escape" it, without drinking, without drugs. I had to accept that I could do it too.

I hope you can too. That what learning to live sober means. Not sober through the easy times. Sober through the worse of times.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The thought that I will be forever vulnerable to my addictive behaviours when difficulty, tragedy, adversity hits has troubled me on a number of occasions. So far I have not put together much emotional muscle whether that be sobriety from alcohol, nicotine, emotional eating, procrastination etc.
Life will always throw curveballs..sometimes terrible or tragic ones and it is sobriety where we actually face those things rather than trying to ineffectively escape them. We deal and hopefully with time...our addiction is no longer the knee jerk first response when hardship hits. We learn new coping mechanisms. We lean on friends. We hit the gym. We cry. We feel our feelings and move through them successfully...

This is my hope anyway...
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. Food for thought as I wade through my pain
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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deeker your avatar reminds me of this.
I guess it also fits in this thread.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm thinking of bring this up at my next AA meeting
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Sometimes not very well. I have found bad things are just as much a part of life as the good. What real choice do i have but to accept them and deal with them sober. I cry, am angry, overwhelmed. I share my grief and reach out to others. I try to stay out of my head and realize one part of my life is bad but many parts are good. I allow myself happiness and try not to stay on the pity pot for to long.

There are a million people who have experienced profound loss and sadness sober. I am just the latest member to the club
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I guess I do not have the problems with loss as others do. I believe in God and with the loss of my pet and my father, they were both at the time in their lives when I knew it would be time for them to go. If someone or a pet has lived their allotted time in life, I do not have an issue with letting them go. I know my pet and my Dad especially are in a great place. If God is love and if my Dad is with God, how could he not be o.k.? I know he is.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You have to allow yourself compete and total permission to FEEL IT.

Sitting with pain and gut wretching discomfort, allowing it to come up and through you, and immersing yourself in it, is the only way.

I used to have to drink over my emotional pain. I thought by stuffing it down, it would somehow dissipate and just go away. Turns out, it festers.

And becomes more and more necrotic until it DEMANDS TO BE NOTICED.
Manifesting in a myriad of disfunction and phobias.

Feel your feelings. Weep for your beloved pet. Sob. Pound your fists and scream into a pillow. Get it out. Snot bubbles and all. For as long as it takes.

I promise, you won't stay stuck in the pain.

If you give yourself the chance to truly embrace it.

XO AO
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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some great advice here SFMS.

it's ok to feel sad - for years I was scared of emotional pain - now I know it comes, we process it, it passes, and we move on.

hugs to you

D
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The way I dealt with the loss of my dogs three years ago was to get another dog. I felt I was honoring my dogs by giving a good life to another dog, the same way I gave a good life to my dogs whom I had lost. It's painful, but it helps me a lot just by giving my home and my love to another dog who needs a loving home.


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Old 05-01-2014, 04:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If I have to go find somewhere that no one can see me and cry like a baby I do it. I've learned that I held on to pain and grief much longer when I was drinking. I would ride that grief to the max. Although the emotion is much more raw now allowing myself to feel it helps to get back to some sense of normalcy much more quickly.

Hang in there. My heart breaks for you.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I also don't know how to process grief. I went into self destruct mode when my twin died. There are very wise suggestions here and when the next time comes, I hope I'll be better prepared. Thanks to all.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone...
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