Running from Grief

Person in a tunnel

Everyone in this world loses loved ones. It is part of being human and living in this world. Loss can be devastating. After someone we love passes away, life, and especially holidays, are never quite the same. Even seemingly unimportant details of a birthday or Christmas celebration, such as an empty seat at the dinner table or one less gift to buy or make, can be startling reminders of how drastically our lives have changed. How we deal with the loss of a loved one will set the course of how we continue our journey and move forward in life.

My personal experience was the loss of my father. He was the first person in my life I had ever lost. I was seventeen. My father was in an accident. He was trying to stop an altercation between his friend and a group of men. The men began to beat my father with a stick. The incident broke his lower back and resulted in many surgeries. This one act set in motion a downward spiral of pain pill addiction due to the extensive damage.

My father overdosed on November 11, 2005. I found him. He had overdosed in his bed during the night. I had school the next day. I never dealt with his death properly. I was blindsided by grief. All anyone could tell me was I "would get over it in time" or "I am sorry for your loss," thinking this would make me feel better.

I refused to talk to anyone about it. So, I decided to go to the doctor as this was the only thing I knew people did in these situations. I was prescribed Xanax, and it worked, too well. Before, I was struggling with grief, but Xanax made me not feel any more emotion; I forgot everything I had ever felt. Almost like autopilot, I was going through the motions. The problem lies in the next day when the medicine wears off, all the emotions you left behind the day before it returns—they all come flooding back in full force. You end up back at square one. This led me to want to take it immediately and take more to erase everything once more. There began the vicious cycle of forgetting everything I had witnessed.

Then, I was open to trying more and other drugs. My mindset was if this allowed me to forget my problems, other drugs along with it would be even better. I began to lose friends because of the self-destruction that was plain as day.

The solution to all of this was facing my feelings. I had to confront what I had witnessed and what I was feeling. Running from problems and feelings will fester like an open wound and consume you. Turning to drugs as a solution to grief only prolongs the natural grief process we all must go through.

M.G. Narconon Graduate


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.