When we first lose someone to drugs or alcohol it can be hard to see how we will ever feel better.
Those of us who have had the same experience know that grief never really fades, and we are never “over it”.
But in time we can start to feel that it is possible to live on, and even find moments of happiness, after the devastation that bereavement brings.
The grief we feel when someone we love dies can be overwhelming. It can be very difficult to see how we will ever feel better.
We may not even want to feel better, if we think it means forgetting the person or what they meant to us.
The complications which come with a drug or alcohol related death can make it even more difficult to reach a place of resolution.
If we have not come to terms with someon’s death it can be difficult to find a meaning in thier life, and keep a connection to them, or their memory alive.
We may never come fully to terms with what has happened, or be able to shake off all of our guilt and anger, or accept the unfairness of a life cut short.
The pain of grief may not lessen over time – it never goes away but it changes.
It can start to feel less intense, or overwhelm us less often.
Slowly the bearable days start to outnumber those when we feel we can’t go on.
“It never goes away, but it’s different”
It is not possible to experience a challenge as great as a bereavement following drug or alcohol use and expect to “get over it” and be the same as the same person you were before.
We are fundamentally changed.
But we know from our own experiences, and from talking to many others who have been bereaved through drugs or alcohol, that people can learn to cope and carry on, even after the most terrible tragedies.
- We can find small ways to keep going [1.12] hour by hour, and day by day.
- We can find reasons to carry on, perhaps for our other friends and family, or perhaps finding ways to share our experiences and help others.
- We can find that eventually it is possible to smile, and laugh, even though we will never forget our grief.
You can read more about grief and about how others have coped, on other pages in this section [grieving].
You can also find out more about practical issues [practicalities] or how to get support [get support].