Grief in Recovery- IT HURTS YA'LL

2 and a half years clean and sober here, feeling all the feelings through losing my dear cousin Doug to a fatal car crash earlier this week.

Right after I found out I cried through an AA study meeting on the 3rd step with one of my sponsees, just bawled right through my share. First time I have ever cried in a meeting even through losing 2 beloved pets and a nasty breakup earlier in recovery. My sponsee and I had just finished a workout at my gym when I got the phone call and we were on the way to the meeting already. It was about as good a time to get terrible news as I can think of. I called my sponsor after the meeting for solace and followed her advise to wait on any funeral travel plans for 24hrs and not to act on my emotions.

Tonight I journaled my emotions and listened to Enya and cried on the phone with my mom. I did not once crave alcohol or benzos. I am not emotionally constipated or numbed so I have a chance to grieve in the healthy way my cuz deserves. I am doing extra meetings this week and sharing about Doug and have 2 planned tomorrow with a newcomer woman and my sponsor family. My understanding of my belonging and value in my community today seems to have replaced the hopelessness and suicidal ideation that was my former kneejerk reaction to tragedy and trauma.

I would appreciate hearing about what others in recovery have experienced with loss and healthy grieving, working through survivors guilt, etc.

Thank you all for being here for me.


As a newly sober person (100 days/alcohol), I haven’t yet had to face the agony of what you are going through now (which I am deeply sorry to hear about and offer my condolences). So I don’t think I know how to offer great advice. Though I would like to say that I hope it makes you feel better in some small way that you have laid a beautiful path here for dealing with one of my biggest relapse fears - how I would handle the death of a loved one. I hear strength and resilience in your voice, in spite of the immediacy of your pain, and I aspire to be who you are. Your post is the reason I come here every single day, and the way you are handling this, from my newly sober perspective, seems perfect, as hard as it is for you. I wish you and your family strength and serenity during this time.


I lost my mom only days before i had 10 months sober. I wanted to drink so bad. My brothers snd father were all drinking and I wanted so badly to be able to numb the pain i was in. But I knew how disappointed she would be. So i have been honouring her memory by staying sober.


In my sobriety lost many friends and family my two brothers passed away 2017 .i went to a meeting and shared my grief and some people there had went through the same , life goes on Doug would be proud of you on your journey wish you well


Great perspective. Truly the last thing my family needs right now is another tragedy, and I don’t know how to drink/drug without risking being the next loss or killing someone else. Thank you for the reminder.

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It is good to hear from someone else who has learned to live with grief in healthy ways. I will keep going to meetings and sharing about it so that other folks like you can talk with me after the meeting about their experience, strength and hope with grief. I have yet to be let down by my AA community. My service sponsor called me at 8am this morning (after a total crap night of sleep for me) to discuss how we could help three suffering home group members. What a great wake up call to start the day with my head out of my rear end :slight_smile:


I know exactly how youre feeling, i lost one of my best friends a month ago and a cousin back in november, be thankful you’ve got that much sobriety under your belt to help you approach the situation properly. Like u said, its okay to be sad and greive for him. We need to process those feelings and emotions to stay healthy and drinking or getting high would just stuff it all back down in our minds only to have it jump back out at us when we come back down and prolong the hurting while we continue to hurt ourselves. I lost another good friend and 2 grandparents back in 2016 & 2017 when i was still in active addiction and it was an entirely different story, i drank and got high trying to push it away and all it got me was thoughts about what i should have done or said and how i should have went to see them more often til it got me locked up one time and landed me in the hospital another. I didnt really begin to process my grief for them until i came out of the withdraws last year and the things ive learned since then have made these last 2 no less painful but they have been considerably easier to process, that pain hasnt consumed me the way it did b4. Im so sorry for your loss, keep your head up, it sounds like youre doin exactly what u need to do to handle it and hearing u say what you have just reaffirmed my faith in my own sobriety, thank you for sharing. :slightly_smiling_face:


So last night around midnight, I posted my above reply, unknowing that intense grief was imminent for me as well. Today, at exactly 10:45 am, I received a call from my best friend’s daughter (I was best man at his wedding and am her godfather), and through intense wailing, she let me know that he had been killed in a snowmobile accident early this morning, while out riding with his his son. We have had a deep friendship for 35 years. Today has been filled with grief, tears, and overwhelming despair. I don’t know what to do quite honestly. But I do know that sobriety will not be tested here, no way. While alcohol is on my mind constantly, obsessively, today, all I keep thinking is that if I were to drink, these emotions will get out of hand fast. Fuck.


I am so sorry for your loss. I am going through the grief with you and we can both find a way to honor our departed loved ones with our continued sobriety. I believe in you and I am hurting with you. Hang in there and keep sharing about the pain. My experience is that it never goes away but it does get better and manageable. Letting myself cry on the phone with family who knew my cousin as well as alone has helped, and writing him a letter.
Much love.

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I’m dealing with delayed grief caused by drink/drugs. My partner died a few years ago. He was 25. My daughter died 3 years ago. She was 2 1/2 years old. She was poorly, died of sepsis amongst other things and had many operations. Her sister and i found her dead :pensive:. Any advice please?
Im 8 months sober today. Thank you :purple_heart:


I also made sure to attend more AA meetings, and really allowed myself to grieve. I am not used to just “feeling” what I am going through. But there us something empowering about being able to come out on the other side if it, still sober.


I am sorry Tom. Let me know of there is anything I can do.

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Oh man. I’m terribly sorry to hear about your loss Tom.

If you need to talk hit me up.

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Ah Tom - there are no words for this kind of loss. I’m so very sorry. Know that we are here for you as you need us…

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Likewise, Tom. Saw this earlier on the check in and really just didn’t know what to say. You clearly know what won’t help, and frankly I dunno what does.

All my love to ya, buddy. Have all the feels. I’m here for you. :heart:

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@Toniai realise that your post is a few months old but I have just come across it.
How are you doing, in so sorry for the loss of your partner and daughter and hope that your are doing ok :slightly_smiling_face: