What comes first, the mental health issue or the gambling? I certainly feel depressed with my gambling habit and its effects on everyone I know, but clearly I've had mental health issues for a number of years and this led me to become addicted to gambling.
These go way back, to early adulthood really. How many of us on here would count ourselves as having many close friends? I pushed relationships away for years, feeling that if I made them hate me I'd be able to cope if they left. Like it was at least on my terms, or due to my actions.
I'm making slow progress. No thoughts of gambling, which I'm thankful of.
I really relate to what you have just described. I used to push people away because I was unknowingly at the time protecting myself from feeling the pain of rejection that I so greatly suffered during my development years.
My self worth issues and insecurities definitely came before my addiction and my addiction temporarily distracted me from my feelings but the gambling addiction compounded my self worth issues over time.
Well, you need to deal with the issues at hand surely that must be the answer? If you think that you have pushed people away then work on your people skills. If you don't have friends make some. It is ok realising things but, that can be a self signal for " ok I am only good for gambling" and you are not here for that realisation.
Start by giving yourself some cool positive affirmations in the morning.
"I am who I am and I am alright" Start telling yourself that enough times and you know what?
Good luck in your recovery!