Moving past a Major Life Event Safely and Successfully

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We all will face some sort of major life event or change eventually. Whether good or bad, sometimes that event can trigger a stress response that can cause a behavioral reaction. This could be in the form of drug or alcohol use or some type of emotional strain. It depends on several factors, including the mental state and overall sensitivity of an individual. Here are a few major life events and techniques that will help you move past them in a safe and successful manner.

Job Loss

Suffering from a sudden job loss can weigh heavily on the mind and trigger a stress reaction that can be hard to pull out of. If you’re unable to work due to illness, disability, or you were fired unexpectedly, being unable to get right back to work can be devastating emotionally and trigger a financial blow to your lifestyle.

It can also set the stage for more destructive personal behavior like drinking. If you’ve found you are drinking a lot more since your job loss, you may have a problem that requires professional assistance. A treatment center that offers a multifaceted approach to care is a good choice. You don’t necessarily have to travel to get the help you  need. For example, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, choosing an outpatient program in Seattle is the best way to get a proper diagnosis, medical evaluation and proper treatment plan to help you move forward. Having the proper coping skills in place will make dealing with alcohol triggers a whole lot easier as you move forward with a new career and new job.


Divorce is a very emotional and stressful life event. There are just over 800,000 divorces granted annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a staggering number and seems to be growing as more people are also getting married each year. If you’ve been caught in a divorce and you’re trying to cope with the stress and uncertainty of the future, one thing you may have thought about was using drugs to help you cope with the pain and anguish. While it may numb the pain at the moment, the long-term effects can be devastating to your life. Not only can it cause problems with your interpersonal relationships, it can affect your job and financial lifestyle. A major concern is the side effects of using and withdrawal. If you are severely addicted to drugs and unable to stop on your own, you may need medical intervention. Getting professional help for your drug problem is recommended at any phase, whether you are new user or have been using drugs for many years. A pro can diagnose you properly and give you the right tools for a successful outcome.

Loss of a Parent

Saying goodbye to a parent is one of the hardest things that most people have to experience. If it’s something that you’re dealing with right now or will be facing soon, dealing with your emotions is important. Depression can easily take over and make it hard for you to function and cope with daily life. If you notice any signs of depression, it’s time to seek help. Some things to look for:

  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Isolation
  • Thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
  • Overeating or not eating enough

With all of the stress involved with making final arrangements and sorting through personal belongings, now is the time to ask for help. Rely on the support of others at this time to help you get through the tough times.

Losing Touch with a Best Friend

If you’ve had a good friend that you’ve shared a lot of memories with, you were probably thinking things could go on like that forever. But because people change, so do relationships—even close ones. While your best friend may have been someone that you depended on for emotional support, it can be hard to deal with a breakup. No longer having those long phone calls or personal talks over coffee can make you feel very lonely. If this triggers a change in your behavior that leads to signs of anorexia or bulimia, getting professional help is important in order to get back on track with your health.

Taking care of yourself throughout the ebbs and flows of life is vital to success. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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