On a seemingly uneventful Sunday, the entire world was stunned with the news that 41-year old sports superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter were among those killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Many people thought that it was fake news and they could not believe that this horrific accident was, in fact, real. When the news was confirmed, millions of people around the world mourned the loss of the basketball great with thoughts and prayers also being offered to Kobe’s wife and family.
The death of a loved one is always a difficult situation and the heartbreak can be unimaginable. There will be times when you’ll feel that you yourself cannot go on living. This painful experience can lead to depression, anger, and trauma. This is also the reason why many people struggling with substance abuse issues start to drink or do drugs. They want to numb the pain or forget about what they are going through.
If you have lost a loved one recently, you might be looking for advice on how to deal with your pain without alcohol or drugs. Here are some tips that could help.
Recognize that your pain is valid and it doesn’t make you weak
If your heart is breaking and you are overwhelmed with pain, it’s normal for you to feel this way. Don’t ever think that you’re weak or helpless because of this. If you need to cry or be angry for a little while – then that’s okay. If you feel that you have to take a day off or two, don’t pressure yourself to go back to work or to do your daily tasks. Give yourself time to process the pain instead of holding it all in.
Think of all the positive and happy moments
When you lose a loved one, it is typical to focus on the final moments and how that person passed on, which can bring a lot of sadness and grief. To help you get over your grief, start thinking of all the joyful moments and how that person affected your life. Be thankful for having had the opportunity to share your life with your loved one.
Spend time with friends and family
When you’re grieving, don’t isolate yourself. If you do so, there is a possibility that your relationships with your other friends and family members will suffer as well. They’ve also already lost a loved one so don’t make them lose you too. Spending time with family and friends will give you the support you need to move on. This will hopefully help you realize that there’s more reason to move on with life.
Find a new hobby
After losing a loved one, it can be difficult to forget the pain and sadness and this is the reason why many people either drink or do drugs. To distract yourself, find a new hobby. Engage in a new sport, learn how to paint, or enroll in a cooking school. Occupying yourself with a new hobby can be a great way to slowly heal and be productive at the same time.
Travel or move to a new place
There will be instances that the memories will be too hard to bear. Sometimes, just a simple reminder can be too painful. To break away from the depression, you can try to travel to a new place to have a change of environment. Discovering new things and places can help you broaden your horizons and meet new people.
If you used to live with the person you lost, consider moving to a new house. For many people, moving can jumpstart their letting go journey. Take this opportunity to declutter your stuff and only keep things that are significant to you.
Remember that your lost loved one wants you to be happy
Yes, it’s okay to feel sad or depressed following your loss, however, it’s not okay to be consumed with your depression to the point that it’s already affecting your life, your career, and the other people around you. Going back to your normal routine does not mean that you’re forgetting your loved one.
Find a reason to laugh again and be happy. If all else fails, watch a comedy show on TV. Don’t be guilty of smiling again because your lost loved one wouldn’t want you to spend your entire life grieving.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center.