Addiction Recovery

A Journey Through Grief: Gentle, Specific Help to Get You by Alla Renee Bozarth Ph.D

By Alla Renee Bozarth Ph.D

For these people operating throughout the heartbreak of grief, writer Bozarth bargains clever and comforting recommendation.

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Additional info for A Journey Through Grief: Gentle, Specific Help to Get You Through the Most Difficult Stages of Grieving

Example text

To treat the symptom of pain by the distractions of frantic busyness, compulsive drinking, overeating, or other dulling, self-destructive behavior, is only a way of prolonging the healing process. We really hurt more when we compulsively try to hurt less. Still, activities that do heal us are certainly worth pursuing and there are ways to work through pain by grieving well rather than through the tail-spinning, destructive hurting of avoidance and denial. Page 12 This constructive kind of hurting is what we feel when we lance an infected wound, or pour iodine over a cut, or force ourselves to get up and walk, no matter how stiff we might feel.

If you descend far down into your deep or old pain, you will need someone physically present to help bring you back up to reconnect. A skilled therapist or an understanding friend can be a blessed companion on a journey deep into an intensely felt loss. Facing your loss can be a death-like experience. You must provide sources of new life for yourself. When you come out the other side, you will be as fresh and perhaps as fragile as a newborn infant. Talking and crying are fundamental means of self-expression.

At the very beginning of the grief process, become aware of ways in which you unnecessarily hurt yourself more. For instance, when you hold yourself in, choking back tears, tightening facial and throat muscles, swallowing down surging emotions, or suffocating feelings, it hurts and it doesn't hurt good-it hurts bad. It hurts in the way a physical wound would hurt if, instead of responding to the pain and bleeding, you ignored it or allowed dirt and gravel to get into it and then, even worse, if you actually ground the dirt and gravel down deep into the wound.

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