What Have I learned About Having A Gambling Addiction

I’m 644 days gamble free 🙂

When I finally quit gambling i did not think for i would be here with this amount of gamble free days under my belt and I feel great about it.

This post isn’t about me congratulating myself although i do believe as gambling addicts we should celebrate our successes on this road of recovery but that’s a subject for another post 😉

It’s about how what i’ve learned about myself and this addiction so far.

What I’ve learned about my personality.

I’m quick to become obsessed with things I become interested in.

This is how I know gambling is not for me, I have the ability to turn my attention and really obsess about that 1 thing which got me into trouble with gambling because It wasn’t a good obsession for me.

I understand my ability to become obsessed I use it to my advantage. I’ve turned my attention to other things I can become obsessed with that will better my life such as reading, health, creating freedom both financially and mentally and learning.

I think everybody has the ability to become obsessed and a lot of people are obsessed with things they don’t realise they’re obsessed with.

What I’ve learned about my friends and family.

If you’ve followed this blog you’ll know I told my parents, girlfriend and best friend about my gambling addiction.

They’ve taught me that they might not always agree with my decisions but If i have the balls to admit I’ve made a mistake and will do everything in my power to rectify it, they will stand by me and offer support.

It was very difficult to come clean to my loved ones and our relationships were awkward for a while as they were both disappointed and angry. They soon realised that it wasn’t about how it made them feel, they became concerned for my wellbeing and understood it would be difficult for me to turn this around.

21 months on and the relationships with my loved ones are better than ever.

What I’ve Learned about my habits.

As a gambler my habits were a mess and gambling had become a daily habit for me. Every chance I was on my phone gambling before I even had given a thought to what i was doing.

Gambling became second nature.

It wasn’t until i decided to fight my addiction that i realised I could control my habits.

I really had to dial down into my actions and find out why I was gambling every spare moment of my time.

The Power Of Habit book taught me there’s 3 parts to a habit the Cue ( Urge ) + Routine ( Gamble) + Reward ( The high i’d get from gambling ). I now understand that I had to break this down if I wanted to control my gambling addiction.

Here’s a link below to a YouTube video that explains the habit cycle briefly but i recommend reading The Power Of Habit book.

How having A Gambling Addiction made me feel.

I felt embarrassed and ashamed because I was being controlled by my addiction.

I was tired all the time. Lack of sleep, always having to make excuses of why i had no money and tired of chasing losses.

Whenever I’d lose money I’d be in a bad mood when I won I’d be in a good mood that would only last until my next loss.

It made me ill I’ve never had so many bouts of tonsillitis, flu’s and colds in a short space of time and I think that’s due to gambling.

Being in debt not knowing how I was going to make it to the next payday made me feel hopeless.

I focus on these whenever I get urges, It allows me time to realise that should I gamble I can expect these feelings and they aren’t worth the short-lived buzz i got from gambling.

What I’ve learned about why I gamble.

This was really difficult to understand and took me a long time to figure out.

I’d been gambling a few years before I started spending more money than i wanted to on gambling around the age of 20.

I wasn’t earning a lot of money in my job and saw gambling as a way to get extra money and as I grew older It seemed that people I went to school with had better paying jobs than me and a clear set out career path.

This was something I always wanted but felt held back as I didn’t get the results from School that I should have and therefore didn’t think I would find the right career.

I thought gambling was my way to get money so I could afford the things I saw my friends buying like cars, holidays and then eventually houses. All things I couldn’t afford.

I started to understand that I was only hurting myself by thinking I needed what others had and I don’t need to compare myself to anybody I just need to focus on what I’m doing and becoming the best version of myself.

Has having a gambling addiction taught you anything you didn’t know about yourself? Tell us your story in the comment box below!

PS: Subscribe to the newsletter below and receive an email when the next blog post in the How to Stop Gambling series is published!