Since my estranged father died I’ve become overweight and addicted to gambling

DEAR DEIDRE: SINCE my dad died last year I’ve become overweight and addicted to gambling.

I’m a man of 24. I didn’t know my father for long.

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Mum told me his name when I turned 18. He was an alcoholic so she didn’t want me growing up around him.

I got in contact with him but he wasn’t the dad I desperately wanted. He was more interested in booze.

I thought he’d grow to love me, but then he died. We never got our chance together.

Now I’ve got into the habit of online gambling – a lot.

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I want to get my life back on track and have started seeing a therapist.

But it’s not working. I don’t want to talk about how I’m feeling. I need practical solutions.

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DEIDRE SAYS: You’re grieving for your dad, but also for the lost opportunity of getting to know him. No wonder you’re hurting.

Often when we aren’t ready to deal with painful thoughts we busy ourselves in other destructive behaviours.

It’s really encouraging that you want to kick your gambling habit and are seeing a therapist.

Stick with it. Healing and confronting fears is hard.

In order to overcome your gambling you need to reconcile with your loss. Your therapist can help you do that.

I’m sending my support pack on Counselling which explains more.

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