In other words; survivor’s guilt is a tragic, hopeless feeling that’s beset by self-blame, powerlessness and remorse. Whether you lost a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend, addiction-related fatalities are extremely tragic and heart breaking. After a loved one surrenders to their addiction, family and friends usually grapple with a damaging inner dialogue of self-blame. What could I have done? Why couldn’t I help? What did I do wrong to trigger this?
Losing a Loved One to Addiction
Even though these questions are unreasonable, they’re an essential part of the natural human reaction when a death seems both purposeless and, perhaps, preventable. Spawned by emotions of self-blame and regret, these impossible questions are a result of survivor’s guilt.
Though nothing may truly repair the loss of a loved one, the following four suggestions can be useful when maneuvering through the distress of survivor’s guilt. Northlake Recovery has a few tips to help you overcome your loss.
Tip # 1 Talk to Someone
Talking to a professional grief counselor or therapist can be extremely helpful. A trained therapist will question your irrational feelings of guilt and provide a more precise understanding to the circumstance. Although looking for a professional is recommended, talking to a close friend or family member can also be helpful. Survivor’s guilt leads many to withdraw from others, but talking freely to someone will decrease feelings of seclusion and vulnerability.
Tip # 2 Recover a Sense of Normality
Although this may take some time, it is important to return to typical everyday activities after the grieving period. This consists of work, hobbies, exercise regimens, recreation and other day-to-day endeavors. Initially, “normal life” may seem difficult and you may not find the usual happiness that follows these ventures. However, returning to a normal program will sidetrack you from unreasonable guilt and fight feelings of impotence.
Tip # 3 Communicate with Assistance Networks
Whether it’s friends, family, your place of worship or work colleagues, it’s important to swiftly reconnect with your support systems. This is particularly true if those close to you are experiencing the same loss. For example, if you’ve lost a partner to drugs, connecting with your children makes for the ideal support system. On the flip side, if you’ve lost a child, connecting with your spouse brings appreciated satisfaction. You are their encouragement and vice versa. Attending grief support groups within the area may also be highly useful.
Tip # 4 Provide a Guiding Hand
By guiding others in similar scenarios, you will start to lose the sensation of inability, and desirable activities can give meaning to a relatively meaningless disaster. Whether it’s volunteering within the recovery environment or simply sharing your experience, assisting others may be key to conquering survivor’s guilt.
Over time, it is feasible to convert guilt into strength, which may be extremely useful and motivating to others.
Handling Your Emotions
Without concern, losing a loved one is the most challenging journey in life. When an addiction-related death happens, it’s tough not to feel remorse, regret and an enormous amount of guilt. Nevertheless, it’s essential not to succumb to an irrational feeling of responsibility.
By freely expressing yourself, recovering a normal regimen, looking for support and actively assisting others, you can gradually change your attention from the tragedy of the past to the durability of the present.
If you do try to answer the undeniable questions of survivor’s guilt, try to do so honestly. Most likely, there were many circumstances you succeeded in protecting safety, health, love and life within your close circle of friends and family. If not, it’s never too late to start.
Finding Addiction Help You Can Trust
There are no genuine answers to true disasters. But Northlake Recovery can help you get started. Call our Addiction Helpline at (561)-770-6616 anytime.