I was in complete denial, I kept saying “I’ll quit next week, I’ll just have one, its everyone else’s fault for years and then when I entered sobriety I was so angry I couldn’t bare it, sadness, grief, despair, joy, hopelessness and a total lack of anything worthwhile, one minute I was high as a kite, the next I was sobbing into my bed sheets. I guess if I had found a space or a person who could have just listened to me it might have helped. I was facing emotions I hadn’t even banked on and they were terrifying. I had massive surges of energy and then days I was exhausted. I think having a coach would have helped me to make sense of those emotions by helping me to put them in their place.
I didn’t know who I was, it was as if I was in a body I didn’t recognize with thoughts and feelings I didn’t recognize. I felt lost and alone. I couldn’t comprehend a life without drinking because I had so little confidence, everything I ever did like meals out, parties, even cooking revolved around drink and everything I ever felt like happiness, excitement, sadness, anxiety, anger, stress….everything revolved around drink. I could not get my brain around the thought of never having another drink. I just kept thinking “this is so unfair”. If I had had a coach that could help me to work through the mess my brain was in by asking me to look at my own lies, the pain I had caused and the truth of my disease I may have arrived at acceptance quicker.
I had no idea how to look at my future and what to do with it, I was a mess and couldn’t find any clarity in my brain because it felt like a washing machine in there. Sometimes I just wanted someone to talk to, to help me unscramble everything, put it into perspective and help me to see that the future wasn’t as scary as I believed it was.
Coaching an addict in recovery through the 5 stages of grief to a place of acceptance can be effective in assisting them on their path to recovery by creating the safe space, challenging distorted thinking within that space, posing reflection questions, supporting them through pain and helping them to explore themselves and develop a self-awareness that will help them to stay aware of their triggers.
By having a coach that the client trusts, all of the overwhelming thoughts, fears and emotions can be addressed whilst keeping the present and future at the core of the focus.
If the 5 stages of grief are kept at the forefront of the coaching process the coach and client will be more able to gauge where the client is and decide on the most beneficial, productive and pro-active ways to be working together in order to keep the client on a strong road to recovery with goals and strategies being decided upon to enable to client to begin the process of creating the future they desire.
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