The Grieving of an Alcoholic

 The process of grief is not only about losing a loved one to death. You can grieve any perceived loss in your life. A job, a relationship, and opportunity, a house……an addiction. Yes, it is true alcoholics can and many do, go through the grieving process when it comes time to say goodbye to the active alcoholic life. Alcoholics develop a true relationship with their booze. Their drinking becomes something they look forward to, they think about and they carefully plan to do. Their alcohol is their confidant, their best friend and is always available. Many alcoholics reach a point in their life where the alcohol is the only thing they believe they can depend or rely on. It is through the progression of the disease that this relationship turns abusive and it is time to say goodbye. Alcohol eventually turns and betrays the alcoholic no longer giving them the promises they once believed. The unfortunate part is that for some that day does not ever come and they end up dying at the hands of the disease, leaving all of their loved ones to do the grieving. There are five stages of grief, each necessary to ultimately get to a place where the loss is not so much forgotten, but rather better understood and accepted. If you examine these stages, you can see how they can apply to the relationship between the alcoholic and their alcohol. DENIAL – During this stage the alcoholic simply lives in their own fantasy world –“I don’t think there is a problem, so there is not a problem”. This stage is where the...