Hi all. My name is David. I'm a compulsive gambler. Curently 272 days in recovery.
I'm also a journalist and wrote this about how my gambling addiction took me to the brink and almsot ruined my life.
I hope some may find it useful. Much love and strength on your journeys.
That is superbly written David and I read through it a few times.
I cant add much to that and I fully relate to what you say, Its a brutal addiction and Im still coming to terms with how it managed to control me. Forty years I had been at it. I kidded myself that gaps were control until it got so bad in recent years that I was gambling everything I had
I know I can be my own worst enemy but its like I didnt even know myself. How I could gamble to extinction and then repeat the behaviour time and time again. Whatever was in my mind was totally dominating me for its own ends. I know the feeling of gambling so I must have wanted that feeling at all costs. I could never have computed it as an income scheme
I would look at the people in the bars and cafes and for a fleeting moment feel very jealous that they were enjoying their day. I was off to my next machine driven like an addict for a fix. My mind was a myriad of emotions...part of me was thinking I have a purpose, I will get a free coffee and make a little bit of money...just kidding myself what was really going down.
In therapy I had to start facing myself. I was lonely, aimless and empty but it ran extremely deep in that friends and human contact were not giving me the contentment they perhaps should have done...I didnt like people much to be blunt and maybe that's one key reason why I was vunerable.
I was bullied at school because I was a sensitive shy individual with no alpha streak in me. I think things like that shape a person very early. At 12 years of age I was jaded, shy and inward looking....my world was in my head and I was bored, numb and frightened of the outside world...when I saw that first fruit machine I felt alive...totally alive!
The biq question I have sought to answer is why It took a one armed bandit to feel that way
I saw no way of bettering myself but the truths are there is a resigned, pontificating streak in me. Its not so much laziness as a complete lack of focus and direction. I have an all or nothing mindset to life. If I cant have the best I dont want anything sort of thing...women cars etc. My vanity expected life to be handed to me on a plate. When it most often doesn't go my way I feel very depressed and anxious. Ive been depressed since I was born to be honest because I dont see the land of milk and honey without a struggle
Gambling was my drug of choice. I dont like to talk about wins but yes those amounts reinforced a feeling that something was being kind to me.
I ended up gambling to escape and even punish myself. I don't particularly like our capitalist system and have been conditioned so that money defined me. I certainly haven't been protected from it
In that sense this complex addiction is not all my fault. I do take responsibility for my actions though... I have to in order to recover
Best wishes to everyone on the forum