Dealing with Death in Recovery

The last couple of days have been difficult. Yesterday a fellow traveler in recovery died, and today I found out that my father has passed away. One of these deaths took me by surprise and had me thinking about my own mortality; the other has just left me feeling numb. Once these events would have seen me running to the bottle for solace; recovery though means having to sit with these feelings. The worst thing is that I don’t really knowing how to feel.

My father had a massive heart attack two years ago and during the episode he suffered significant brain damage. He was only sixty and had lots of things to look forward to. When he was in ICU we were told that he wasn’t going to make it but somehow he pulled through. He was never the same though; his personality died. I went to visit him in Ireland the last time I was home and it was just so painful to see him the way he was; it would not have been something that he ever wanted. It is difficult grieving the loss of somebody when they are still here with us – it’s like being stuck in limbo.

I don’t know how I feel about my father’s death; he was such an important part of my life. I have to remind myself though that there is no right way that I should feel. It is easy to forget that death is around us all the time, and everyone we have ever loved will be lost to us – at least for a time. Being sober means having to deal with these things and keep on living and doing our best. Maybe there will be some grief because of what has happened, but I know that I don’t need to get drunk because of it.

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5 thoughts on “Dealing with Death in Recovery

  1. Hey man
    Sorry to hear about your Dad passing away. It’s the deepest feeling of hurt and loss I ever felt when mine died and I just hope you keep your head up and keep creating.
    I turned to the bottle for solace after his passing and it was a very hard time. In the end my girlfriend at the time had to leave me and my life pretty much fell apart. The only thing I had to keep it together was football and for that I am entirely greatful. Of course family share your pain, but it became very difficult to talk about so we all just moved around the subject.

    Keep your passions high and write voraciously to keep your spirits up.
    Good luck man

    Sober Paddy

    1. Thanks Sober Paddy, the first thing that I wanted to do when I heard the news was write. For a few minutes a part of me wondered if that was such a good idea – especially publishing my thoughts to the blog. Maybe some things are meant to be kept private. I decided though, that it is just how I cope with things these days – it is a lot healthier than how I dealt with things in the past.

  2. My sincerest condolences on your loss, Paul. Like Sober Paddy said, keep writing and processing openly. It’s the only way to stay sober in times like these. Sending you lots of good energy.


  3. I just stumbled on your site today, and I can tell that you are a strong individual and you are gaining back your strength every day.

    I am sorry for your loss, and just wanted you to know that in your time of grief, be kind to yourself and don’t stop writing and doing the things that you love. There’s healing in living and seeking out the hidden as well as small blessings in life, and you know deep down what your dad would want for you in the here and now and for your future. So don’t give up, stay the good fight and stay true to you.

    All the best,

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