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If there is one thing that is certain in life it is that change will continue to happen. When the change is not your choice or preference, however, and when it causes a shift that you are not prepared to make, grief is a natural response. Loss of a loved one, extreme financial distress through job loss or bankruptcy, divorce, or diagnosis of a chronic illness – any of these can cause extreme grief.
In recovery, this can be a time to rededicate oneself to sobriety in order to protect against relapse, while managing grief positively in the following ways:
It is important to note that use of alcohol and/or other substances to manage the feelings associated with grief is common, and you may be offered a drink repeatedly or consider drinking or getting high. As much as it may seem like a way to escape, there are better ways to manage acute feelings of stress and sadness. For those in recovery, even one drink could precipitate a downward slide back into active addiction, which will only worsen the situation.
How do you avoid relapse and work through unexpected change?