Goodbye to Gambling Letter

Nov 1, 2010 by

Part of my recovery from Compulsive Gambling was to write a letter saying Goodbye to Gambling. This was one of the first heartwork projects my outpatient group had to take on when we first entered into the program. The letter was designed to help us see the reality of our gambling addictions so we could let go of our insatiable cravings to play.

I learned that capturing thoughts about the pain that gambling is causing in your life is important because we have a tendency to forget how bad it really feels. It helps us get in touch with reality and actually think about our gambling problem instead of blissfully turning our head the other way.

Looking back on my experience, I remember that I wasn’t even sure how to put my feelings into words. I had been numbing out for so long that it was difficult for me to be aware of what I was feeling. Putting the words down on paper or typing them into the computer adds power to your intention to say goodbye.

At the time I didn’t necessarily understand the depth and purpose of a Goodbye Letter, but I was ready and willing to get my life back and change my old patterns, so I gave it a shot.

This is what I wrote:

October 9, 2006

Dear Gambling,

I was going through a really rough time in life a few years ago and you came through for me. You eased my pain and dried my tears. But then somehow things turned ugly. You began taking away my pain in certain areas, but creating new struggles and aches in other areas. I began to feel like an idiot. I felt stupid and guilty and helpless. My enjoyment didn’t last for very long and I lost the ability to have much of a say in my playing habits. You were slowly draining all of my energy and taking my life away from me. Well I’m here to say that I want it back. I am ready to live – and that includes feeling my feelings instead of running away from them. I am ready to leave you behind so I can become a person I am proud of. I want to hold my head high instead of being ashamed. I choose me!

So long loser –


On October 16, 2006 I read that letter to my outpatient group. Four years later it still affects me. I have the proof on a piece of paper that says, in effect, that gambling ruined my life. Today, I have the proof in my life that gambling didn’t conquer me. In the end, I’m the one with the true win.

Next post I’m going to share some tips on writing your own Goodbye Letter so be sure to subscribe to this blog for the updates.

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