Grief is incredibly difficult to process. Depending on the situations and experiences that led to such feelings of grief, it can continue to have profound effects on the lives and sobriety of alumni. For many, addressing grief in recovery is paramount as grief may have even initially informed the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping strategy. However, graduating from one of Hawaii Island Recovery’s programs at our Hawaii depression treatment center does not mean that a person’s journey overcoming grief is over, and continuing to address these feelings and challenges is crucial for sustained sobriety. Thankfully, there are always new strategies to explore for alumni managing both grief and their daily sober life. 

The Effects of Grief on Sobriety

Grief has many profound emotional effects, informing each person’s emotions, ideas, beliefs, and behaviors. Some of the effects of grief include:

  • Depression
  • Self-doubt
  • Feelings of isolation or social withdrawal
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Physical and emotional fatigue
  • Difficulty finding purpose or tending to daily routines
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Apathy
  • Use of drugs or alcohol

Each of these can continue to impact an individual until addressed, with the use of drugs or alcohol even being common to push down these emotions or “forget” about these emotional challenges, despite the intense negative ramifications of their use. Hawaii Island Recovery’s trauma-informed treatment is crucial in addressing the effects of grief and its connection to the use of drugs or alcohol. However, continuing to address grief after graduating from a dedicated treatment facility is necessary for a sustainable sober life. 

Supporting Alumni for a Healthy Future
Supporting Alumni for a Healthy Future

Continuing to support alumni is a crucial part of sustained sobriety. Learn how our Hawaii recovery centers can help by calling us today at (866) 390-5070.

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While alcohol or drugs may have been used to address these feelings in the past and overcoming the use of such substances should be celebrated, replacing these self-destructive substances with new strategies is paramount to continue to address the effects of grief in recovery. 

Creating a Plan to Address Grief in Recovery

Each individual will have their own best collection of coping strategies to deal with grief and substance use. While each person’s time at Hawaii Island Recovery and the programs therein can be wholly personalized to address grief and sobriety in tandem, it is still important to continue developing and adjusting these strategies as an alumnus to prevent feelings of grief from affecting a person’s perspective or behaviors outside of the treatment facility. This can help to mitigate the chances of relapse throughout long-term recovery.

Engaging in Continued Support

Graduating from a dedicated treatment program to address substance use disorder (SUD) and feelings of grief is a great accomplishment. However, continuing to engage in outpatient care and communities is essential. For some, this means continuing to attend outpatient substance use treatment, while others may find local support groups to address grief and share their personal stories while meeting others in similar situations. Ensuring there is some kind of continuing professional care is paramount for maintaining the strategies developed at Hawaii Island Recovery. 

Don’t Deny Grieving Emotions

Denying difficult emotions can have destructive ramifications, and having an outlet to acknowledge them safely is paramount. Grief comes with an array of powerful emotions, and developing new outlets to process these feelings as an alumnus is important. For some, journaling can be a great way to acknowledge these feelings without having them compile or inform self-destructive thoughts or behaviors. 

Journaling can help you in addiction recovery

Others may look to develop open channels of communication with supports to discuss these feelings when they inevitably manifest. Grief can inform the thoughts and emotions of a person for the rest of their lives, and having a place to acknowledge these emotions is necessary for sustainable sobriety and a healthy emotional state. 

Self-Care Outlets for Processing Grief in Recovery

Engaging in effective self-care practices is crucial for all kinds of recovery journeys, and at every stage of recovery. For some, translating effective self-care practices instilled at Hawaii Island Recovery to at-home practices can be a great place to begin, with yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices, nature-based hobbies, or other outlets first explored through Hawaii Island Recovery’s experiential therapies introducing potential outlets to be used outside a dedicated treatment facility. 

However, exploring new hobby groups, getting involved in local communities or activities, or continuing to explore spiritual outlets and practices can all be ways to tend to personal needs. Effective and regular use of self-care outlets can contextualize difficult feelings and empower those in recovery to utilize other effective recovery techniques. 

Honor the Grieved

Grief in recovery is complicated, and having a consistent outlet or memorial dedicated to those lost or such feelings of loss can be a great way to continue processing grief while maintaining sobriety. For some, this means having a picture of a loved one on their person in a wallet or purse, while others may have a few decorations throughout their house as reminders of the positive influence that these people had. While this can bring up complicated feelings, it can also empower alumni to acknowledge these complicated feelings, rather than hide from them. 

Maintaining Self-Care Routines as an Alumnus
Maintaining Self-Care Routines as an Alumnus

Our Hawaii recovery center can help you manage your sobriety and self-care outlets as an alumnus. For more information, call us today at (866) 390-5070.

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Daily Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness is a crucial skill for both navigating grief in recovery as well as managing sobriety. Effective mindfulness practices empower people to live in the present moment, rather than feeling trapped by past emotions or challenges. Breathing strategies, focusing on physical feelings or sensations, or even paying attention to a person’s own heartbeat during a morning routine can all help situate an individual in the present to best stave off urges and cravings, and identify when challenging feelings of grief may be manifesting. 

There is nothing simple about overcoming grief or its connection to substance use, and we at Hawaii Island Recovery are prepared to support you through your continued journey overcoming the effects of grief in daily life. Our comprehensive approach to recovery at our Hawaii depression treatment center incorporates strategies to address substance use and grief in tandem, with trauma-informed care and mental health healing all part of a truly holistic and transformative recovery journey. We also champion the opportunity to support alumni through all stages of their recovery, and we are always one call away to help you overcome the effects of grief while navigating urges, cravings, and other challenges. For more information, call us today at (866) 390-5070.