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Dealing with Loss/Trauma In Recovery
Dealing with Loss/Trauma In Recovery

Dealing with Trauma/Loss in Recovery



Usually for the real deal addict/alcoholic, things have to get real bad before they see the truth and see how much help/change they really need to apply in their life. I’ve not only had this happen to myself, but have met many others where a traumatic experience, such as a death or an overdose or maybe a life threatening car accident was the first thing to truly wake that individual up and allow them to completely reflect on their lives. Once we have the traumatic experience and are actually willing to change and get help, what should we do? What should we practice? I only have my own experience to share with others. My story involves losing my father to a heart attack two months before I got sober. I was already having major trouble dealing with my addiction.  I was 26 and he was 60. He was my best friend and when he had passed I was already at a low bottom in terms of my addiction. Once he was gone, life became a living hell and I really did not think an existence without him was possible but here I am today, nearly 4 years later, sober after having hope restored and alive to tell the tale. He are some things I had practiced that saved my life.



Be Grateful for the Memories.

 

As soon as I lost my father, naturally I started to look back on the times we had shared, the good ones of course and there were so many. It became apparent to me how incredibly important those memories had become now that he was gone. I remember the first person I told about my father passing when I found out about it, he had been raised in foster homes his whole life and never knew his father. It was something that made me look at the positive instantly and I am grateful for that. Of course what had just happened was awful, but at least I had a father for 26 years who told me how much he loved me very regularly and had done a lot of fun things with me. I still hang on to those memories to this day, if anything it helps even more now than it did then. Remember, there is a silver lining in everything that happens, you just need to find it.



Honor Those You Had Lost

 

It was so hard to find any type of motivation or inspiration after my dad’s death. Like I said, I was already at a low point when this occurred, I spent months doing next to nothing with myself before he passed so when it happened I plummeted to a new low I never thought was possible. I remember the day I asked for and received help, about 2 months after, that I had this one very powerful, clear thought. I wanted to make my dad proud. He had spent so much  of his life trying to teach me his morals and beliefs, he made it clear all that mattered to him in life was that me and my brother were doing well, everything else was nowhere near as important. I made the connection that I had to honor him very early on in my recovery, the last thing I wanted in my life was for his time spent with me to be a waste. This truly sparked me into motivation after months of being lifeless, it’s the most powerful thing I have ever felt. Within a few months of entering treatment I was more focused and determined than I had ever been.

 

Talk About It

 

This may seem simple, but if you’re like me you like to pretend that nothing really gets to you and put on the front that you are a strong willed individual. Most of my life involved me very rarely opening up to others because I didn’t want to seem vulnerable and weak. I felt immense guilt and shame when my father passed away, I truly thought it was my fault. I had been fired from his company 6 or 7 months prior to him dying and I felt that the heartbreak I had caused him was the reason he passed. It weighed on me very hard. It wasn’t until I sat down with someone I trusted and told them this that they pointed out that I nor anyone in the world is powerful enough to take someone’s life emotionally like that. There were other things I was told and it truly helped me come to peace with the guilt for the most part. A few months later my family was told that my Dad had some major health complications that he never disclosed to us and that was what did him in. It didn’t exactly make things better but the fleeting thoughts I had left that it was my fault walked away. Transparency is so important when we deal with something traumatic, we need someone to talk to. Not just anybody but someone you feel a connection with, we all have those special people out there, they are invaluable.



I still have days where I get very emotional about not having a dad around anymore. I seem to miss him more as time goes by, the difference now is I have tools. Tools that I had to be taught and practice, even when my mind told me the things i was taught would never help, I had nothing else to lose. Please, if you are dealing with something life changing and have no sought help or opened up to someone, make the first move today, it is possible to survive absolutely anything and not only come to peace from it, but grow from it.



God Bless



Daniel Wittler is a writer in recovery and outreach coordinator for Stodzy Internet Marketing 

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Recovery, Recovery, Trauma, Trauma, Death, Death,

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