It is amazing, isn’t it! Just how many people kept their secrets hidden when it comes to addictions. Something that people often see as wrong and weak and that makes people hide what they are doing for so long.
I have had the same questions come up in many conversations from people who think they may have a gambling addiction.
- That is how did you feel when you gambled?
- What was your mind like when you gambled?
- What made you realize you were addicted?
Now I am willing to share my experience and delve deeper into these areas if it could possibly help someone identify if they have an addiction or just get carried away!
That is the issue here! Some people still believe gambling can’t be an addiction and that we just get carried away and can not stop ourselves! When does it become an addiction? When does it become an addiction so bad it ruins your life? And when will people realize gambling can be an addiction!
Look at it this way! Someone who drinks and gets totally wasted after not having a night out in a year more than likely just got carried away and are not an alcholic.
Now someone who every time they drink does this they most certainly would be perceived as an alcoholic!
So to answer your first question. How did I feel when I gambled?
In the start I felt relaxed, I enjoyed it and got a buzz I didn’t feel anxious or stressed or like I was destroying my life. I felt like I was having fun and relaxing! Towards the end well let’s take the relaxed out of there! And put in more anxiousness and more stressed.
I would get the buzz when I won however that would soon turn to annoyance and anxiousness when I couldn’t keep winning and lost! Followed by depression, sadness and a feeling of been lost and unable to control myself!
Question 2 What was my mind like when I gambled?
Again in the beginning it was relaxed but hyped up waiting to see if I would win. If I lost the £20 £30 I put on my mind wouldn’t be so bothered I would walk away still feeling good yes I lost some money but only £20! I knew I wouldn’t gamble again for a week or so.
Now when it was towards the end! My mind was a mess it is the only way to really describe it! I would put £20 on lose and it yet my mind just pushed and pushed till I put another £20 on. My mind would say to me you can win that £20 back if you keep pushing the game to pay out. The game sometimes would pay out £80-£300 unlike the beginning when I would take it and run or keep playing if I won £300 and had £18 left I would play with that £18 then withdraw.
The end, however, I wouldn’t I would keep hitting that button my mind telling me you can do it you can get another big win. Down to £250, Telling myself I should withdraw while my mind played tricks telling me no no keep going your close to a win. Down to £200 and again trying to convince my mind I had to withdraw this £200 but no my mind wouldn’t it kept fighting back saying keep going there has to be a big win soon.
This would go on and one until my balance reached 0 At that point my mind would pipe up you won that much and lost over £500 including winnings deposit again your due a big win! Telling my mind no didn’t work it did what it wanted I couldn’t fight it!
Again If while trying to win more I did get another big win would I withdraw? No! My mind would keep pushing at one point I had £700 it got down to £20 and knowing that was all I had left I forced myself to take it even though my mind was telling me to keep going!
Call it weak or addiction call it what ever you want to! It is like an alcoholic saying just one more because that is what their mind says to them!
Something that is hard to answer is what made you realize you were addicted?
I kind of knew deep down I was before I said anything but my opportunity to overcome the mind was not there. You see while I knew I was addicted if I tried to push through the just one more bet wouldn’t work my mind wouldn’t give in it did not want me to admit it out loud! Why? because if I did my mind would lose the control and grip on me! People do not realize how amazing and powerful the mind really is! But that is the point it is that powerful it can stop you speaking up about been addicted because it doesn’t want to let you go.
So that night I did speak up well let’s just say I hit rock bottom! I spent all my money that week on gambling rent was sat there and I spent that! Gone over £1000 in just 2 hours. Realization hit I couldn’t hide it anymore my mind at that point was like go on gamble again you can win it back. But as my emotions were totally a mess and I had a break down that is what let me get it out there!
The first step was to make sure I would tell someone so I messaged someone I knew online I knew however she was busy so tried calling my sister who didn’t answer! I knew I had little time to say it before my mind told me everything would work out and stop me. So my friend online called me and I broke down on the phone crying explaining what was happening. It felt like a huge burden had been lifted off me I felt like I was finally beating my mind at its tricks! Then I called my sister and again broke down on the phone crying explaining it to her. At first she though I just spent the rent money until I explained no I have an addiction I have lost over £3000 in 4 weeks!
At this point, my mind tried taking back control telling me it would be ok and to try again to win back my losses. So I decided no I won’t let my mind win! Login into facebook I hit the live button and explained I had a gambling addiction! And that I would beat it! Now some people say it took courage which it did but to me, that was my way of beating my mind more! I was so confident I would beat this disease I spoke outloud on a facebook live telling the whole world or those who seen it! It was public so anyone could see!
You see to say it is as simple as just stopping or we just get carried away is wrong! Gambling addiction is like any other the mind takes control! Who would have though your mind could do that! But it really can that just 1 more bet turns into £1000 gone!
Think about your gambling do you see signs of addiction? You are best to say something quickly as soon as the mind is quiet usually after you have just lost all your money available it will stop because it can not tell you just one more bet. At that point, you need to fight your mind and say it out loud so others hear and beat this disease!
Today is day 73 of no gambling for me! And I will continue to keep fighting my mind and take back control of my life!