Wake up and smell the abstinence; a blog post for addicted gamblers

When you swore you would not gamble again….and then what the heck happened???  

You have been doing your rounds in the family and with friends ‘that’s it now’ ‘I will never do this again’ ‘cannot believe I didn’t see what I was doing, thank goodness I woke up in time’. You have also been taking a number of serious steps to recover- not because you were trying to prove yourself to others-  it is actually how you felt at the time.  

But one fine day, there you are yet again … right there in the casino/bookmakers/on your Ipad (or whatever gambling route you may favour). What on earth happened there…? You are well aware of standing here now – but the last few minutes/hours feel like a daze…like a hi-jacking of the brain that caused you to robotically carry out the gambling. And now you suddenly have so much to answer to. ‘How on earth is my wife/Mum/Dad/friends going to feel now (and that is if I can even bring myself to tell them)’.

 You realise you have no choice but to tell, as they are going to find out anyway – but for each attempt you make to explain yourself, you soon stand to realise that people no longer believe what you have to say. They’ve lost trust in you. Your words have become empty and you know, just as well as they do,  that the only salvage would be to consistently show that your actions match your words i.e., not gambling over a long period of time.  But at the present minute you are just so sucked in.  Some minutes you feel so remorseful and sick you don’t know how you can live in your own skin another minute. But the next minute another ‘hi-jack’ scenario takes place again, and all you can think of once again is the lure of just another bet. Have I gone nuts? Is this a case of split personality? .. many a gambler have asked themselves.    And more importantly – how can there be hope for me when I have turned into a person who is kind and caring one day yet act callous and unempathetic the next?   The emotional pain is growing by the minute, but the idea of facing this beast of addiction may just feel less and less likely.

Where do I go from here?    Surely if I am now aware and accept I have a problem that’s when I should start seeing an improvement in my addiction right?  

This is often a desperate stage for any person with addiction problems.  You know you have a problem. There was perhaps a time when you thought that awareness and acceptance that you have this problem are enough to fix the problem out. But having had more relapses than you can count- it is time to understand there is something a bit more complex going on.   And that we need more than just willpower and good intentions to conquer the gambling problem… we need thorough understanding and a range of solid strategies.

 

Recovery is not sleepwalking; it is ACTIVELY & CONSCIOUSLY staying away from something that is causing you harm ..

 

Many people will remember starting a new job. One of the criteria to begin your employment would be a compulsory fire drill. This drill would have probably involved an understanding of the symptoms, signs, risk factors AS WELL as a laid out plan for how and where to exit the building, where to gather, what to do next etc.    What it probably did not look like was you and the other new employees being aware and accepting of the fact there is a risk of fire. And that was that. You need great awareness AND A PLAN for how to combat this problem; so shall we start working on one?

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Annika