How I Stayed Sober Through a Heartbreaking Funeral

by Olivia Pennelle on 2 August 2017 in Health and Wellness, Life in Recovery, Love and Family Relationships | updated on 1 August 2017

Last year, I had over four years of sobriety under my belt. I was working full-time, developing a business, and planning a move from the UK to America – on top of actively maintaining my recovery.

My plate was beyond full – but manageable – until an unexpected blow turned my world upside down.

When Tragedy Strikes

I received news that my brother had taken his own life. He lived in Australia; I had to travel there and back in five days – a round trip of nearly 30,000 miles.

I knew the next several days were going to be hard and I might want to seek solace in drugs or alcohol. With that in mind, I called my sponsor and together we made a plan to safeguard my sobriety.

Our strategy included daily check-ins and finding local meetings. I knew I had to practice self-awareness and remain vigilant if I wanted to avoid relapse.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the flood of emotions that paralyzed me. Grief hit me like a tsunami. The pain of his loss was almost to much to bear, but somehow I managed to get through it with the help of my support system.

A Solid Foundation

With the help of my support system, I was able to be a source of comfort for my family at the funeral – the most difficult event of my life. But I knew I had friends on standby and a meetings list handy, just in case I needed a safe space.

While it was a thoroughly heartbreaking and overwhelming experience, I learned you can get through anything in life and stay sober…with the right support system in place.




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