The recent pandemic has not only affected your life but touched the lives of millions around the world. This has brought about a new context for people comprehending grief. Whether it’s the constant news about thousands of deaths around the world or a loved one who has become ill, your sense of loss is heightened.
Loss is not only troubling but deeply saddening. The effects of collective grieving might cause you to succumb to isolation and forget to look after your well-being. Thankfully, there are ways that you can manage your grief and continue your progress in recovery.
We are all living under different circumstances, many of which have redefined our sense of freedom. Working, shopping, or meeting up with friends may seem like a forgotten dream. But however painful and agonizing this reality may seem, it’s only temporary.
Still, this does not make light of the long-term impact an event like this can have on the rest of your life. You need to acknowledge that how you grieve and the amount of control you have during this new normal are not going to be like they were before. Instead of trying to resist and focusing on what you cannot do, it’s important during this time to understand your grief, cherish the people in your life, and channel your energy into finding peace.
Never Isolate Yourself
During periods of grief, your first instinct might be to isolate yourself. However, your recovery has taught you that isolation is never good. You need to remember that you are here and you are well, and you need to put your recovery and health first.
In the immediate aftermath of grief, it’s understandable if you do not want to talk or reach out to anybody, but this is the time when you need friends the most. Do not think that you can get through this alone. Continue to call friends and family, and create schedules so you will be more accountable.
Talking out your grief and concerns will help you identify and realize your emotions — something that can be especially difficult in times of grief. This pandemic has made an impression on everybody. So if it’s the global grim news that has caused your sense of grief, mourning with others is a healthier way to endure this process. This shared grief will also strengthen bonds.
Grief does not have to spawn from death or sickness — grief can occur when any life-changing event happens. Grief can also stem from anticipating a death or sickness that has not or may not happen. Grief steals away your attention and can also take a lot of energy away from you. If your grief began because you lost your job or because you can no longer connect as often with your support group, try using your grief to take care of what matters.
Don’t ignore grief — rather, figure out what is most important at the moment and use that energy to keep yourself safe and sober. Is it applying for a new job? Starting a new exercise regimen? Trying to attend an online meeting? Understand that there will be moments when you need to sit with your grief and let it flow through you. This is okay — even normal.
But try to use these times to understand your grief and recognize the emotions you are feeling. Use this mourning period to help you do what you can to heal yourself, and to create actions and habits that help heal the world in the aftermath. Believe it or not, your strength and resilience have a ripple effect on those around you. You can make a difference just by maintaining strong morale.
In the aftermath of losing a loved one, it’s easy to replay the moments in your head — when you heard about their death or what you envision happening in those final moments. Instead of focusing on the end of their life, try to remember when they were alive and happy.
Sharing these moments with friends and family promotes positive energy, which in turn leads to happy memories that can help you open up and reminisce about fun times together. Certainly, nothing can replace this person being here, or the ache of their loss. However, these stories can help you remember their lives and find peace and closure in the process.
Whether it is the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of your free will, or the collective loss that the world is sharing, talking through your grief with a therapist might be the best way to help you understand your grief. A therapist will offer you coping skills to help you to track your grief and measure the impact it has over time.
They will also offer guidance and stability in a time when you might be lacking both. Therapists are a neutral party, which means they will not encourage or incite any negative emotions of grief like a friend or family member who is also grieving might. Instead, they will listen and offer you professional advice to combat your grief and continue your recovery.
It is easy to neglect yourself when you are grieving, but you must remember to focus on doing the things that sustain your health. Keep away from things that promote grief, such as a poor diet, being sedentary on the couch, or failing to meet even the easiest of your daily goals (like making the bed). Keep looking ahead and planning for the future.
Track your progress by writing down your feelings in a journal, and keep challenging your mind with new ventures. If it helps, you can also motivate yourself by deciding how you are going to honor the loss of your loved one.
Do not feel guilty for having your health or your sobriety. You have earned and you deserve everything that is good in your life.
Grief is never easy at any point in life. It can overtake your emotions and steal away everything you have worked so hard for. If you are no longer able to see the qualities in your life worth living for, seek immediate help. Your life and your sobriety are important and True Recovery offers 24/7 care to help get you back on the road to recovery. We will find the best care for your individual needs. To learn more, call us at (866) 399-6528.