What it takes to overcome gambling addiction....
A long, lonely, uphill battle with plenty of hard work ahead.
"I read that some people use gambling to cope with stress, problems and traumatic experiences in life. It's an escape or coping mechanism whereby the gambler either consciously or subconsciously blocks out the world and uses gambling as a pain killer. Drug addicts do drugs for the same reasons."
"Gambling is a fantastic escape and probably better than drugs. With drugs, you're eventually going to come down and your life is the same. In gambling, there is the possibility for a big win, and part of that escape is the belief a big win will make your life better."
"People with certain types of depression are easily addicted to drugs…and gambling is a drug."
"Gambling, like any addiction, is a distraction because you don't know what to do with your life. The most important resource you're given is time. Determine what you want to do with your life and how to spend your time getting what you want out of life. You have to do this every minute, every hour, every day of your life. If you don't know what you want, you'll end up with a life you don't want. Nothing in life happens by chance. You have to work hard for the things you want."
"Maybe that's the problem! You keep thinking you don't have a problem. That's denial. Denial is the first obstacle a gambling addict faces."
"It took me a long time to realize as addicts, it is never about winning or losing, that is why we blow every cent. All that provides is the electricity to prolong our guilt, anger, and shame."
"You will never find peace of mind as long as the gambling continues and you keep chasing your losses. The money you've lost is gone forever…"
"When you gamble, do drugs, drink, chase women, or even procrastinate, you stop growing emotionally and financially. You'll still be the same person as long as you're engaged in these activities…Anyone can be a critic and most people are. Go out and live your life the way you want to. Do whatever makes you happy, as long as you don't hurt anyone."
"They got me hooked on the motto that if you don't play, you can't win. Now, I know it's 'if you don't play, you can't lose.' "
"I knew there just wasn't enough money in the world to keep me at the casino."
"The paradox with gambling is that if you win, you lose. If you lose, you lose. If you win, the high consumes your mind until you're back in action. If you lose, you crash and chase your losses to regain that high."
"'I had used my savings, my retirement, my inheritance. I used everything I could get a hold of.' That's when Roberta found her third occupation: drug dealer."
"On the outside you look and act normally and you can function normally. You can fake it."
"As gamblers we are trying to change our mood because we are depressed. We have to realize that depression is a key part in the gambling disease we're fighting."
"…gambling makes a mockery of the virtues of hard work."
"We believe in working for our money."
"Every morning I'd wake up and say 'I won't go near the machines'…"
"Gambling addiction is a very serious problem... We create our own problems."
"I do feel better about myself since stopping gambling. I'm now happy in my own skin which has taken a long time to reach."
"Gambling dulls the pain of deeper problems."
"My depression led me to gambling. It was an easy escape."
"You can't escape yourself. Pleasure has a price."
"Who's fault is it that you are broke? Why do you expect me to give you money so you can lose it to a faceless company?"
"Gambling was my drug of choice. We all have our demons."
"Every night that I finished gambling, I'd say, 'That's it. I'm not going to do this anymore. It's gotta stop.' And the next day, I'd be gambling again."
"Face yourself; your shame, guilt, and subconscious aggression. You've made mistakes. Forgive people for what they have done to you. Only then can you forgive yourself. Only by forgiving yourself can you move forward and live a productive life."
"For the first time I have peace of mind…"
"I'm broke. I'm so screwed up. I was doing well and then I went back. Why do I do this?"
"My first bet was when I was 12 years old and it was exhilarating. I continued for the next 27 years because I thought I was still 12 years old. I didn't want to grow up, I was immature, I was escaping and I needed the action. It took me 27 years to figure this out."
"They worry about smoking, this disease is much worse for the community. I have never heard of someone spending a whole paycheck on smokes..."
"I am at the end. I've lost. This is the bottom of bottoms."
"I gamble more than I can afford. I can't understand why it's got a hold on me. I never win. I just keep playing and playing."
"I gambled because I wanted to feel better about me. While gambling I could take off the mask and just be nothing for awhile."
"The initial win got me hooked and retarded my life for 14 years."
"I'm sick. I can't take it anymore. I want back into gambling recovery."
"I have never felt such self loathing because of my loss of control over my gambling problem. What do I do?"
"You can't make an addict do what they don't want to. No one can make a gambler quit. They have to want to do it for themselves."
"It's time to grow up. What are you waiting for?"
"Addiction is continued use despite negative consequences."
"You'll have to come to the realization that you no longer have the answers to your problems."
"Gambling is a fantasy world where the gambler feels challenged, powerful, free, influential and respected. It's la-la land."
"You can't solve your gambling problem unless you first admit you have a problem. And that problem isn't with gambling. It's much deeper than that. Gambling is a symptom of deeper emotional problems."
"I read somewhere that people who become compulsive gamblers are people who are afraid to gamble on their own abilities."
"I was running from my problems but soon realized I had to stop now, or I'll never stop."
"No matter how bad your particular situation is; if you are willing to be open, honest and seek help you can become a better person."
"The scariest thing to do in the world is to face yourself, having to admit your weaknesses, strengths, mistakes, and the wrongs you've done others. But most important of all, the wrongs you've done to yourself. The addict has to face himself or herself in order to move on. It takes a lot of soul searching and courage to be able to face that person in the mirror and accept him or her."
"I felt like a helpless victim at the blackjack tables…They kept taking my money and I couldn't do anything about it. I kept increasing my bets giving them the opportunity to take all my money."
"We are not addicted to gambling but we gamble due to emotional issues within ourselves. If gambling didn't exist we would be addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, eating, smoking, or something else. Gambling is not the problem. We choose gambling as an ANSWER to our problems."
"Look in the mirror and that's where the gambling problem is. Our gambling problem is reflected in ourselves…our beliefs, values and character. With hard work and perseverance you can change who you are. The question is, do you want to change and become a productive member of society?"
Inspirational LIFE Quotes
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the fortitude of the strong." --Ghandi
"A grudge is the heaviest thing to carry in life." --Author?
"As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might." --Author?
"Every man's life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain." -- Marcus Aurelius
"The empires of the futures are the empires of the minds." --Sir Winston Churchill
"Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. What your character it will become your destiny." --Frank Outlaw
"It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life that those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest people." --Brutus Hamiltion
"The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live." --Leo F. Buscaglia
"There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance. Strength is the lot of but a few privileged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time." --Goethe
"It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, though checkered with failure, than to take rank with those poor souls, who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." --Author?
"Of all the traps and pitfalls in life, self-disesteem is the deadliest, and the hardest to overcome, for it is a pit designed and dug by our own hands, summed up in the phrase, "It's no use-I can't do it." --Maxwell Maltz
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." --W.W. Ziege?
"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--which is: Try to please everybody." -- Herbert Bayard Swope
"Try not to become a man of success but a man of value." -- Albert Einstein
"A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience." --Elbert Hubbard
"The devil finds work for idle hands." --Henry Thoreau
"Success is sweet, but its secret is sweat." --Author?
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." --Thomas Alva Edison
"I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt." --Charles Horace Mayo
"The reason why worry kills more people than works is that more people worry than work." --Robert Frost
"To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy." --Bette Davis
"Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings." --Author?
"If you do not believe in yourself... chances are that nobody else will." --Author?
"In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past." --Author?
"I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." --Author?
The Lord's Prayer
Our father who Art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy will be done
On Earth as it is In Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive us for our debts us we have also have forgiven our debtors
Do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from Evil
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
~ Rudyard Kipling ~
Support and encouragement
"Admin, I have been meaning to ask - why did you start this site?"
"I started this site because at one point I had lost everything gambling. For the longest time I didn't know why I continued to gamble despite devastating emotional and financial losses. For 13 years I had gone through so much pain and suffering. If I can help one person stop gambling because of something they've learned from this site, I could live my life in peace knowing I have done some good in this world."
"…and what a gift it is. Thank you so much Admin for having the insight to know that self-help is all some of us can do and getting to meeting is not an option for some. And... all the in between times when we just need more support. Someday soon, I'll report to you that I am through this crisis, then it will be one more notch on your belt. You rock!"
"Needed and have wanted to express for some time now my thanks not only for your support and advice, but for being a foundation for recovery for me and for many."
"Between my weekly Gamblers Anonymous meetings this site has been a godsend. Whenever the feelings about my gambling past overtakes me - I find a lot of comfort, solace, and understanding here. Without it I think I would just want to crawl in a hole and die."
"One thing is that this site is always here when I feel the need…I think that I am relying more on this website than anything."
"You said you want to understand, and to stand by your husband. This site will help you to understand, and I can tell you that it is possible for a person to quit."
"Thank-you Admin. You have done good!"
Gambling and the Bible
Gambling brings poverty, not wealth.
Prov 28:22 (cp. Prov 22:16)
"He that hastens to be rich hath
an evil eye, and considers not
that poverty shall come upon him."
You are supposed to work for what you get. Proverbs 13:11 "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."
- A form of covetousness, gambling violates the tenth commandment. Gambling destroys contentment.
- Societally. Gambling destroys families and communities. Gambling robs money from the family, for which parents have a responsibility to provide.
- Gambling distorts our love for our neighbor, exploiting the most vulnerable members of society: the poor.
- Gambling is a bad example to others.
- Gambling encourages stealing, which increases court costs; stresses out marital relationships by burdening finances ("He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house..." Prov 15:27); and forces reliance upon public assistance, bankruptcy, etc.
- Personally. Gambling is self-destructive.
- Gambling destroys our work ethic.
- Gambling is rooted in greed, the love and craving for money, which is "the root of all evil."
- Gambling is addicting. God wants us to be free!
- Greed (covetousness) that motivates individuals to gamble is sin.
True riches are spiritual and eternal.
"I've been going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings because I have a gambling problem. I've lost over $100,000 gambling."
"You don't have a gambling problem! You're just a bad gambler!"
"Poker is alot like sex, everyone thinks they are the best, but most don't have a clue what they are doing!"
"Blackjack is a game whereby the casino consistently gives you $8 and takes $10."
Do we gamble to escape reality? Reality is for people who can't handle gambling.
Do we really need Gamblers Anonymous and rehab? Rehab is for quitters.
Are you taking any action to quit gambling? For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Do you think you'll be successful in your recovery? "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." - George W. Bush
When we get scared half to death twice about our losses, what happens?
"Hey, I'm quitting gambling. I'll give you five to one, I quit."