Avoiding the Temptation of Alcohol
The truth is, there’s no roadmap for navigating the stages of grief. You won’t be handed a manual that explains the best ways to cope with the loss of a loved one. That’s why when we deal with such a traumatic loss, the temptation to escape can be overwhelming. It’s important to make sure that you don’t rely on drugs, alcohol and other substances to ease your grief or numb the pain. As much as you may want to find moments of peace and calm, there are better, healthier and more effective ways to cope with the loss, and at every age, there are different ways to heal after the death of a parent.
Working through grief can make you more vulnerable to turning to substances, which is dangerous even if sporadic at first. That’s because the more you avoid dealing with the pain, the more you risk developing an abuse problem. We all make our way through our feelings of loss in our own time, which means we may be tempted turn to alcohol or drugs at any time. While trying to cope with substances may temporarily relieve your grief-stricken pain, it can cause more severe problems in the long run.
Deep down you know that self-medicating with drugs or alcohol won’t take away the pain of your parent’s death. However, how we access this truth can depend on several factors, like if the death was drawn out or sudden, or how old we are when we lose a parent.