Choosing to make a change and begin to deal with your substance abuse takes a lot of courage. It also means that you will likely experience quite a bit of grief. Perhaps you’ve already had a taste of that before you decided to enter a Phoenix Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation program. Get ready for more grieving. It’s part of the healing process.
How will you grieve? Here are some examples to keep in mind. There’s no defined sequence or length of time that the grief will take to resolve. Fortunately, you will eventually move through each one and be poised for better things.
Grieving for Lost Time
How long has the substance abuse been in control of your life? It’s true that the time is something you can never get back. Once it’s gone, that’s it. The thing to remember as you mourn that lost time is that things don’t have to stay the same way. By choosing rehab over continuing to feed your habit, you won’t have to lose more time. In fact, you may be entering one of the best periods of your life.
Grieving for Lost Relationships
Substance abuse takes a toll on all sorts of relationships. It can mean strained connections to coworkers. It can interfere with your relationship with your kids, siblings, and parents. It certainly has a profound effect on your relationship with a spouse of romantic interest. That’s because the habit becomes more important than any of your relationships.
Going through rehab doesn’t necessary undo all the damage that’s been done. What it could mean is that at least some of those relationships can be healed. Even if things are never quite the same again, there’s the potential to forge a new path and find a way to travel together once again.
Grieving for Lost Potential
During the time that the habit was in control, certain opportunities came your way. Unfortunately, you were in no condition to seize them. There may have been opportunities to advance a career, pursue a life path that was once a passion of yours, or to build a life with someone special. There are no guarantees that those same opportunities will come your way again.
Even so, rehab helps you return to a place where it’s possible to recognize and make the most of any new opportunities that come your way. As your recovery continues and you learn how to control the addiction, there may be options for furthering your career. You may even find a new career path altogether. On a more personal level, you could meet someone who turns out to be the love of your life. Once you move through the grief and focus on regaining control of your life, the possibilities return.
Grieving for Past Mistakes
It’s natural to regret some of the decisions that you made while under the influence. The reality is that you will never truly forget about those decisions. That’s not an entirely bad thing.
Remembering the past is one of the ways that people learn how to avoid making the same mistakes again. Do grieve for what you did, but don’t let it define the rest of your life. Use those events to chart a new course that does not include those same actions. In this way, you gain more control over your past as well as your addiction.
Grieving for Damage to Your Health
Substance abuse does not improve health. It will cause damage that may or may not be easy to reverse. As you begin your rehab, expect to feel some sense of loss for how physically and mentally strong you were back in the day.
As you look at where you are right now, remember that things won’t always be the way they are today. A combination of a healthy diet, exercise, and the right medical treatment will get you back on the right path physically. Given some time, you may begin to feel all or at least most of the vigor that once came so easily.
Grieving during the rehabilitation process is not a waste of time. Allow yourself to mourn and then let go. There will be fewer bad days and many more good ones as your recovery progresses.