I just read tpeden's post and it really hit home. I quit gambling for almost 3 years. I was just 3 weeks away from 3 years when I went out again. There are a lot of motivating factors to why this occurred, but I dont want to make excuses. The thing is, and Im sure you know it -Its worse the second time around. If you have been in any 12 step programs (double winner, here) you know that it is always said -Your addiction is always just dormant, getting stronger. That when you go back out, you pick up as if you never stopped. The progressive nature of out illness wins out, for sure.Sure, it is crazy. The whole definition of insanity that weve all heard dozens of times. Heres the thing- Our sickness doesnt care! We want what we want, and that is to do damage to ourselves, all the while that we love gambling. Seeking out the high highs, and devastatingly low lows. We become numb to the thrill, yet still, we seek it. Hour after hour only wanting to win back what you may have already lostand then ABRACADABRA! You do. And then -hey! Your luck has changed. You cant leave now! Maybe you can get back what you lost LAST night! Soooo, you keep on playing. Because thats what we do. We are compulsive gamblers. Without the ability to resist what is good for us. With this driving NEED, and yes, it is a need, to go to the casino and be with our people. You go in there, and with rare exception, no one is smiling. The sick thing is -you feel at homeThis is where I belong. Why fight it? Yet, that is what all of this 12 step and GA stuff is about. WE GET EACH OTHER. No one else can understand. That is why it works. I dont kid myself. I know I am deep in the throes of a lethal addiction. This is a vent and a cautionary tale. If you are managing to be abstinent and using a one day at a time approach. Kudos! Dont give up, dont give inBecause, -like most monsters, -our disease is lurking in the dark, just waiting for you to let it out of its cage. Heres the thing -you are the one with the key and what mad person would uncage the beast? None other than -me. I let it out and now it is roaming voraciously. If any of this sounds familiar to you, know -you are not alone! There are people RIGHT HERE who will help you. Love and peace, ~atticus
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