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GRIEF RECOVERY ESSENTIAL #4: Deciding to Own My Recovery

You and You Alone are in Charge of your Recovery

 In June, we had the honor of hosting our 100th Grief Recovery Retreat. As most of you know, these retreats are given as a gift. There is no charge for the rooms, food, and materials. Caring, generous people from around the world give to Spark of Life so that we can honor those who are grieving with these retreats. We hope sharing these Grief Recovery essentials, can help us to ‘Live Forward.’

Big Point #1 – Taking "ownership" of my recovery begins with a decision – Not an emotion

To assume ownership of your recovery does not mean that you necessarily "feel" like it. Ownership of your recovery is fundamentally a decision one makes, regardless of one's emotions.

When loss occurs, feelings of despair, hopelessness, and deep sadness are part of the grieving process. Few if any feel confident that they "own" their recovery. In fact, most of us feel powerless.

If all my decisions are based on how I feel at the moment, I might make some really bad decisions.

Our suggestion: When you are overwhelmed with such negative feelings, give yourself permission to have them, to grieve. Find a safe place or person with whom to express those feelings. If you have already made a decision that it is okay for you to recover – permission to live with hope and purpose – then these feelings, as tough as they are, will not derail you from a healthy recovery. You certainly might feel hopeless and powerless, but again that does not mean that there is no hope.

What do we mean by ‘Ownership’?

It means: You are in charge of your own recovery.

It means: You can listen to others and what they have to say, such as what we have to say in this article, but you decide what to do with the information and suggestions.

It means: What works for others might not work for you. No one has walked in your shoes, no one.

It means: You are capable to work through your pain, sadness, and loneliness, at your pace.

It means: You can live forward, with purpose and hope.

It also means: You can question long held beliefs about grief and recovery, and grow in knowledge and perspective, and have what we call a healthy recovery.

Ownership does NOT mean: Isolation, or that you always reject help from others, or that you grieve alone – all the time. We do need help from others, and relationships are important.

Ownership DOES mean that I have the right to ask for help, and I admit that I need help, but ultimately the decisions I make are mine concerning my recovery.

Ownership is important because there is so much out there about grief that is very confusing and often contradictory.  If we let others dictate what we must do, and believe, our recovery might just be characterized by confusion, doubt, and "give up."

You are in charge of your own recovery.

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