How do you stop gambling? That is the question I had years ago.
As I dove deeper into the topic, I learned a lot in the process. Here are 5 things you should know about your battle with gambling.
1. You’re not the only one with a gambling addiction
You’re not alone there are thousands of people who have a gambling addiction in the UK alone and battle with them daily but there’s plenty of help out there.
Gamcare, GA, Aquarius, Step Change and Citizens Advice Bureau just to name a few and who all offer free services to deal with your gambling addiction mentally and financially.
2. Stop beating yourself up about your gambling addiction
After months of feeling sorry for myself it finally hit me that beating myself up got me no further in my recovery, reduced my debt or rebuilt my relationships. I had to accept my situation once and for all in order to move forward.
The sooner you accept the situation you’re in and only you can truly get yourself out of this the better.
3.There’s life after this gambling addiction
It took me a while to realise this and that I won’t be feeling crap about myself forever because I discovered I could create a life that I’ll be happy with, one where I’m not under financial pressure due to gambling debt or being controlled by an addiction.
Below is an article about a guy who lost everything and got himself in 70k worth of debt but he managed to turn it around in 1 year and is now helping others with addictions.
You’re unable to change what you’ve done in the past but you can work towards creating a better future.
4. Yes there will be bad days and you will miss gambling at times
Everybody has bad days people with other harmful addictions and people without harmful addictions.
Yes as addicts our bad days seem terrible and they very well could be but It helps to put things into perspective not all days will be bad days celebrate the good days and ride out the bad ones and remember they’re only as bad as you let them be.
Tip: When things are going your way like you’re in a good mood or feeling good about yourself, write down what you’re doing or what’s happened that could be making you feel good also write down what’s happening when you’re in a bad mood or not feeling very good about yourself. It’s important that we do this so we can do more of what makes us feel good and avoid what doesn’t.
Remember to be grateful
We are so quick to think about what we don’t have or what’s not working in our lives that we forget to appreciate the things we do have and probably take for granted. I’m guilty of this to this day but I’m working on it!
When I had just told my parents and my partner that I’d gotten myself into serious debt because of gambling there was a lot of uncertainty about how I was going to afford to live, if I could ever regain their trust and if they actually believed I was ready to put gambling behind me.
As you can imagine the following months were difficult with lack of funds it was awkward with the people I’d told about my problem as they were still getting their heads around it but I got through it because I was grateful that they stayed and supported me so I focused on this and chose to focus on the positive rather than the negative.
You probably will miss gambling.
If you are like I was when gambling i was doing it whenever and wherever i could. So for sure I was going to miss it as i spent so much time doing it.
Do I miss it now? Yes and no. Yes because i did enjoy it before it became a problem for me and No because I know how it made me feel and what I put loved ones through. I know myself enough to understand that i won’t be able to gamble again as it doesn’t mix with my personality
5. Quitting on your own is hard, get support.
I found a statistic on the link below that states “The vast majority of people who could be classed as ‘problem gamblers’ do not seek help for their addiction. In fact, NHS statistics show that only around 5 percent of people seek help and only 1 percent get treatment for their gambling problem.”
I often hear that people say they’re strong enough to tackle this addiction on their own which may be true but there’s help available so you don’t need to do it on your own. Yes it may be a psychological blow to not do it on your own but you can increase your chances of beating your gambling addiction by utilising the help out there.
When i came clean about my addiction to my family I made sure i had enough before around me in the know so I could speak to someone in times of need no matter who it was. I knew there would be times where i didn’t want to tell my girlfriend my concerns incase she would worry about me so i could tell my parents or friend. So I’d recommend telling someone you know you can talk to about everything.
Do you have any advice on how to stop gambling? Tell us your tips and story in the comments below!
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