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Coping Without Addiction

Coping Without Addiction

We all have our struggles. Parents of special needs children and caregivers have more than most. Looking for a crutch is tempting. A little something to lean on sounds like such a relief. There is no easy fix to your problems and leaning on addictive substances like painkillers, alcohol, or other drugs has consequences. These things may make you feel better in the short term, but long term it’ll sink you.

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Depression, Grief’s Last Stand

The grief stage, depression, is always the most difficult for me. It already saps a ton of energy going through all of the other stages. It’s cruel, in a way, the last stage is the one which completely demotivates you. I should mention, not all types of grief are exactly the same. When dealing with a chronic condition, any bad news starts a new grief cycle. It’s frequent enough, there’s a part of you which feels like an outsider watching a train wreck. It’s obvious what’s coming, you don’t want to watch, but you can’t prevent it or look away.

All the things you normally do to relax and unwind are no longer interesting. If you’re prone to an addiction (food, smoking, alcohol) then the need for a fix is overwhelming. The fatigue is overwhelming, and most things just don’t seem important anymore. To anyone else it looks like something is terribly wrong, but it’s completely normal to feel like this for a little while; if the depression in this type of grief goes on for more than a week or two it may be time to become concerned. There are other types where stages may take months or years depending on the loss.

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