1. Understand and accept that you have a serious problem
You might consider yourself to have had a run of bad luck, or someone who ‘is a little too fond of a flutter’, or perhaps you’re just beginning to become concerned about how often, and how much, you’re gambling. Whether you’re all of those, or consider yourself to be a ‘problem gambler’, or a ‘compulsive gambler’, the truth is, you’re a gambling addict. You accepted that the moment you started looking for help. The great news is, that regardless of how you’ve fared in the past when you tried to quit, there is an easy and painless way of doing so. Accept that you have an issue, decide that you’re going to sort it out, and choose the best method to do so.
2. You can’t escape the fact, you’ve hurt people, most of all yourself. Get over it;
it’s time to accept what you’ve done, caused tremendous distress, emotional pain, upset, and that you have inflicted awful trauma on your loved ones, putting their home, stability, and family wellbeing at risk because of your gambling issue. Like you, they’re long suffering and probably feel utterly helpless. Look after yourself, your finances, and your own mental health first. You’ve been through an awful lot and confiding in someone is important. Before you can help your loved ones you first need to look after yourself.
3. Accept that you have a gambling problem & confide in your nearest and dearest if you can;
It’s extraordinary how low a gambling addict can can drag their loved ones, friends, and colleagues before they are prepared to even consider that they have a problem. Even in the face of repeated financial catastrophes leading to ever-accumulating life-long debts, some will still maintain that they’re not addicted. You’re out of control, whether you consider yourself a compulsive gambler, a problem gambler or, a gambling addict – it amounts to the same; you’re an addict. If you weren’t you’d have no reason to be reading these words right now.
4. Straight talking prepares the ground;
if you confide in a loved one don’t expect a pat on the back. Quite the reverse, although deep down they’ve suspected for a long time that you have a problem, suddenly confronting them with the facts is quite likely to provoke an out-pouring of anger. Take it on the chin and don’t allow it to feed your self-pity. You deserve their anger and if you’re very, very lucky, after a period, they’ll calm down and begin to appreciate that you’re addressing the issue.
5. Get help now;
Although there seems like there’s lots of help for problem gamblers and gambling addicts it’s actually very difficult to find someone to help in the first instance. It only takes one disappointing phone call to a stranger on the end of a phone at Gamblers Anonymous to deter an addict and have them fall at the first hurdle. Look for a method that is easy to access, inexpensive, and quick. Read on, you’ll be relieved to know that such support does exist, provided by the world’s leading authority on addiction.
6. Don’t be disheartened;
If it happens it isn’t your fault – it takes huge courage to reach out to an organisation for help and if their first contact is less then great – it can cause huge disappointment. Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Gambling book and on-demand seminar can help. They are standalone programmes that don’t rely on strangers at the end of the phone, and are entirely anonymous and private. It’s a completely shame-free, empowering, and positive programme that sets and addict free rather than has them attempt to fight a battle against the addiction.
7. Allow trust to build between you and your loved ones;
Don’t react badly if you notice them looking over their shoulder. If they are wise then they should already have insulated themselves from you. Not just from a mental health point of view but from a financial point of view also. Don’t take this personally – they need to safeguard themselves. The more relaxed you can be about them protecting themselves and needing to reassure themselves by checking on you – the better. It’s a small price to pay for getting things straight.
8. If your loved ones are willing to listen and you want to talk, then talk;
They may want to process what you’ve put them through and what you’ve been through, but be prepared for repeated moments of upset. When it dawns on them what they’ve gone without in order to fund your gambling addiction it can lead to anger. Understand that it is far better for them to get it off their chest than store it up. The more you talk, the greater chance there is of you rebuilding trust and relations. It can seem hard, but it’s worth it.