Handling Grief in Gambling Addiction Recovery

Gambling addict holding his hands in his face sitting at a table with a glass of alcohol

Grieving can be a very difficult time to get through for any person.  For those in recovery it will be a process that will need to be learned.  When a person comes into recovery they might be grieving the loss of their addiction (i.e. not gambling anymore).  As well, they certainly will experience sorrow over other more common situations such as the loss of a loved one.  No matter what the circumstances are it will be important to work through these challenges to prevent a relapse.

Stages of Grief in Gambling Addiction Recovery

So, let’s discuss the stages of the grieving process.  We will use the diagnosis of inoperable cancer as an example of what a person might go through.  The first thing a person might be thinking is that this diagnosis can’t be happening to me.  The doctor must have the wrong chart and the person has difficulty wrapping their brain around the fact of such a diagnosis.  Thus, the first stage of the grieving process is denial.  The second stage a person might experience is the anger stage.  In this instance, a person might feel very angry and wonder why this is happening to them and not someone else more deserving in their eyes.

Then, the person might enter the next stage of grieving in which he or she feels very sad or depressed about their cancer diagnosis.  Finally, one experiences the acceptance stage.  During this time the person may not be doing back flips but they realize that everyone has to die at some point.  The person might tell everyone in their lives how much he or she loves them.

Everyone Grieves Differently

The example we discussed can also be applied to the disease of addiction, the loss of a home, or even a job.  But it is important to remember that everyone grieves differently and may not experience all the stages described above or in any particular order.  In addition, some people grieve alone and some need to talk about it.  While others might find writing an effective way to deal with a loss.  Grief is a terrible thing to have to go through but if you choose healthy ways it will make you a stronger person.  On the other hand, relapsing over life’s challenges will not prove to be beneficial. If you are struggling, Williamsville Wellness is here to help.

-Courtney Judd