Grieving a Substance

For an alcoholic or an addict, getting clean and sober is about a lot more than just stopping drinking or using. Clearly, doing so is a necessary step to begin recovery, but beyond the physical craving is something much deeper. Psychologically, many of us have shaped our identities around our drug of choice. For instance, a woman may pride herself on being able to drink the men under the table, or a man brag about the fact that he can “hold his liquor” and still function somewhat at work. Addiction didn’t happen overnight, and with time, we began associating ourselves with the drink or the drug. Most of us became inseparable.

It can be a little shocking for someone coming to treatment and hearing for the first time that they can’t drink or use again. Some just want to come in, get sober so they can fix what’s wrong in their life, and then go back to what they were doing before. Learning that you are the problem, and that drugs and alcohol are making that problem worse is tough to hear. Many go out and drink or use again, only to find out how much worse the problem can get. The lucky ones make it back to recovery, and the ones that don’t either die or live their lives chained to the bottle or their drug of choice. If you can accept that you have no control over your life if you pick up a drink or a drug, you can begin the healing process.

Many of us lived our lives for years with our old faithful by our side. Old faithful may have been booze, opiates, cocaine, meth, pills, pot, or anything else we thought was our friend. We came to find out that our “friend” was destroying our lives, and if we didn’t put it down, it wouldn’t turn out well for us. It makes sense that we would grieve the loss of our drug, even though it was hurting us. People hurt other people, and they still grieve those relationships, so why wouldn’t we? It’s okay to be upset that the relationship you had with your drug or alcohol is coming to an end. Try writing a goodbye letter. In the end, we have to take care of ourselves first, and sometimes that means letting go.




If you are struggling with addiction, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center. We know this isn’t easy, and we can help. You don’t have to live your life addicted to what you thought was an old friend. We have the solution. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at (877) 762-3707. Your life can change, and you can recover. Call now.


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