Once an Addict Always an Addict?

Feb 24, 2013 by

I’m sure that “they” mean well. They are the friends and people around you that look out for you because they know best.

Whenever I say that I’m going on a trip to Las Vegas or Reno they cringe. If I say that I’m going to play Bingo they question me. I talk about an exciting opportunity being a gambling coach and they wonder if it’s a good idea.

How long do I have to be a gambling addict?

My initial reaction is usually pretty bad. I get defensive. My feelings are hurt. Why won’t they let me be ok? Will I ever earn my way out of the label?

I work really hard to make it a teaching opportunity. I have made significant changes that allow me to live a better life. I no longer need to escape into the world of gambling. I enjoy the escape of mindless games like Bejeweled but I don’t crave gambling. It isn’t about the money, it’s about giving my mind a rest.

I don’t obsess over gambling anymore.

Do I still have a problem?

Some say yes, some say no.

Through the years the denial of my disease has been tricky. I am hesitant to definitively say that I don’t have a problem because I have a healthy respect for the games my mind can play.  However, I wonder if there is ever an end in sight.

I have heard that I will always be in recovery. There will never be a point that I won’t have to worry about relapse. I will need to be careful about my triggers for the rest of my life. I shouldn’t be around any type of gambling because I will need to live in fear of compulsively gambling again.

I have also heard that I can get to a point where my habits are changed and that I no longer need to be consumed by my addiction. If I do the work and continue to learn and grow I will be freed from the chains of the slavery. There will come a time when I am able to make wise choices that protect my best interests.

Where am I now?

I feel healthier now. I make better choices and I live a better life. I actually live. I am able to go on a trip to Las Vegas or other places with Indian Casinos and actually enjoy my time. I did notice the last time I went that when I was losing I found that I wanted my money back. It was depressing to lose. Is that addiction? Most people don’t like to lose, right? Isn’t that normal?

I understand that some people can’t ever gamble again because it’s just too tempting and dangerous.

Do I fall into that category? I don’t think so. I have realistic faith in myself. It doesn’t feel like wishful thinking. I believe that I have grown enough to have a deeper understanding of my boundaries. I don’t want to be perfect. I am working on being a whole, healthy person. I continually strive to improve my life by educating myself on better ways of doing things. I may not be great on the action part (yet), but my intentions are in the right place.

So, once an addict always an addict?

My final answer is that it depends on so many variables. It depends on the person. I believe that some people can handle it. It also depends on their addictions. It depends on the ways they have chosen to deal with their issues. It depends on where a person is at in life. When things fall apart we will be far more susceptible to the f**k it attitude.

I believe that caring is the key. When we care about improving our situations and we make it important enough to take action, we can conquer anything.

This I know for sure.

What are your thoughts? Am I off base? How do you feel about it? I’d love to hear from you. You can even leave an anonymous comment if you don’t want to use your name.



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