I told myself I wasn’t going to do it. Re-assured myself I wasn’t going to do it. Told myself you’d know what would happen and still ended up gambling away a bunch of money I know I couldn’t blow. I don’t understand.

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It’s your addiction ~ you can’t change what’s happened, only what happens next. Here if you need to talk

likehelpful

I know you don't know me, but I am here if you need to talk. Maybe just give your money to a family member to manage it for you.

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This used to be me when I drank. When I was able to stop drinking only through the help of AA, my gambling was able to cease too. I also know that if I would start drinking again, I would be gambling, smoking, you name it like that. So I keep going to AA and I haven’t needed to do any of that for some time now.

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People, Place and Things.
Kuddos for first of all acknowledging there is an issue/problem.
Seek a safe place away from those tempting behaviors.
Seek safe supports that will not enable and tell you what you want to hear.
Don’t engage in War Stories. That big hit or win you did is now no more!
Your Luck isn’t on, you don’t feel lucky. 💜 I’m here.

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If the only thing between you and another gambling spree is you, then you’re in trouble. My life changed for the better when I just surrendered and got into a 12-step program.

At first I thought I was “too good” for something like that, or “it wasn’t that bad”, or that “others would judge me”. Turns out it doesn’t matter who I am, how I got there, what my disease looked like, and what anyone else looked like; I couldn’t deny that I acted the way these others had acted and I certainly felt how they felt (“incomprehensible demoralization”). They told me if I wanted to recover like they had recovered, then I had to do what they did.

I had to remove my brain from the equation and let other trusted people in recovery (and the 12-step program) do my thinking, until sanity had returned.

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Thank you all

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You have an illness. You will only understand once you can look back on this from a position of recovery. What’s done is done, today is a new day. Find a meeting and just listen. You are not alone.

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Please don’t beat yourself up. You’re healing, grieving, trying. You fell. You’ll get back up and the why will be clearer when your road is less bumpy.

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I posted this on another thread recently, so sorry if anyone already read it. I first got sober in 2022. The last 20 years were filled with some very long stretches of sobriety and some long relapses. The start of the relapses were premeditated, as I convinced myself I was healed and could drink like a gentleman. However the days within the relapses sounded a lot like your experience. Swearing off my addiction (alcohol) late at night when I am drunk and waking up hungover as hell with a strong conviction to not drink again. After staring at my screen all day, doing less than the bear minimum and feeling like death, I would pour a glass of whiskey mid afternoon and immediately feel alive again. I would proceed to drink whisky until a blackout, and start the routine again. This literally went on every day for countless days. That is the insanity of addiction.

For me the only answer is an admission that I am powerless over alcohol, which is a tough pill for my ego to swallow.

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I recommend taking steps, during sobriety, to make it less convenient for you to relapse and more convenient for you to stay sober. The idea that any of us should be “strong enough” to not engage in addictive behavior or survive on willpower alone is a recipe for failure & self-loathing. It isn’t realistic. It asks the wrong questions.

Alongside setting yourself up in concrete, structural, and small ways to have the path of least resistance align with the behaviors you want to engage in (while making those you don’t want to engage in less convenient to do), I highly recommend investigating the root causes of your addiction. Gambling is a manifestation of the self-soothing tendency within addiction, as well as an avenue through which it sounds like you are able to simultaneously perpetuate cycles of self-abuse (blaming yourself for your self-harming behavior), but it is not the root cause. An addict who does not deal with the root cause(s) for their addition will simply, eventually, replace one with another. All addiction is downstream of depression, anxiety, trauma, and pain. Dealing with that is where the long-term work resides.

I also want to second what everyone else here seems to be saying: please accept that you can’t do anything to change what you’ve already done, please be kind to yourself (being mean to yourself, even if it’s in the name of honesty, only feeds & strengthens the addiction), and please focus on what you choose to do next. The process of dealing with addiction is ongoing; it doesn’t end, even when it changes. Every day is an opportunity to choose to live the life you want to live in small steps that are filled with meaning.

Finally, I’d like to again (as I did in another thread) highly recommend the work on Johann Hari. Lost Connections - which focused on the root causes of anxiety and depression - not only changed my life, but saved my life. The ways in which it helped me see myself with empathy and without judgment let me drill down on those root causes in ways that are helping me manage my addictive tendencies and behaviors. Chasing the Scream is another book of his that focuses directly on the war on drugs (as well as the war for drugs) and on addiction itself; it was written before Lost Connections, but still has a lot of useful & relevant information in it. And even his most recent book, Stolen Focus (which I’m only partway through), has helped me better understand how structural, cultural, and technological elements of our lives push us deliberately toward alienating & self-harming behavior. As addicts, we need to take deliberate and sustained actions to create & maintain meaningful connections in our lives. We all need community, love, and meaning - even (maybe especially) in a world currently tuned to push us away from all of that and toward its opposite.

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It’s addiction. Believing/ thinking you’re stronger than it is the beginning of the end. This changed for me when I surrendered and recognized my triggers. I’m an alcoholic. I also cannot gamble or be in front of a cupboard full of oreos and pop tarts.

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