Someone far handier than me with a calculator once worked out that the chances of any of us existing anywhere in the cosmos are one in 400 trillion. That’s the kind of odds that, by comparison, make winning the state lottery seem as easy as buying a ticket.
What about the odds of being struck by lightning? Are they any better than springing into existence after 4 billion years? The answer is yes. The chances of you being struck by lightning in the US in any given year are 1 in 500,000.
Now, what do you think the odds are of becoming addicted to gambling? They are, in fact, much less than you probably think. There are 10 million gambling addicts in the US alone. That’s roughly one in thirty of us.
The statistics are impressive, but as a confessed gambling addict myself, the only statistic I care about right now, at least, is the odds of recovery. I can’t say what the figure is exactly. What I know from experience is that the chances of an addict returning to the everyday world they left behind when your condition took hold are far, far better than a doctor having to write ‘lightning bolt’ as the cause-of-death on your death certificate.
Whatever the chances were in my case, group therapy improved my odds of beating a condition that afflicts so many of us. I was skeptical of group therapy at first. The idea of baring my soul in front of a room full of strangers terrified me. I would take any excuse not to go. Doing dishes and tidying the house suddenly seemed so much more interesting and appealing. I had zero interest in going to group therapy, but I didn’t want to lose my partner.
I am glad I went there. For the first time, I found myself in the company of like-minded people. People with similar lives, similar fears and with the same financial issues as I had. I felt I belonged, after such a long time feeling that I didn’t. And that made all the difference to my recovery. We were from different walks of life, but we all had one thing in common – an addiction.
It’s been now almost year since I escaped from this hell. As each day goes by, my belief that I can’t actually never gamble again becomes more and more solid. I feel I can beat the odds and not to fall back in gambling trap. I know it’s too early to say that I won the war, but I can tell for sure that I won the battle. I found myself often doubting, then I look at the progress that I’ve made in these past year and it’s amazing. Okay maybe not amazing, because the huge debt is still there. But I’m slowly whittling that down.
I’m learning about the value of money again. I even took Jen Sincero suggestion to write a letter to my money. Writing this letter to my money I realized how much I was actually abusing money. Maybe correct word would be “not respecting” it. Time after time I do feel regret when I think f the money I lost. Most my friends have mortgage to pay and I have my huge debt as my mortgage. They will at least have a property and I have nothing.
I’ll always feel behind where I should be, but I stopped making things worse. It’s a better life without gambling. I see things more clearly now. There are still long way to go and who knows, I might be debt free one day again. My next coal would be another year without gambling. Hopefully with support of my partner I can achieve it.
I had support. My partner stood by me. Sure, she insisted I tell her every single thing that was going on in my life. I agreed to show her my bank accounts. I consented to telling her when I had urges to gamble. She hasn’t left—not yet anyway—though I sense her struggle. I don’t know how much longer she will stay, but at least I know I am doing what she needs to build trust back into our relationship slowly.
If you have a gambling problem, take it from me, you can beat the odds. The first step is to reach out for help. Contact Gamblers Anaonymous today and take the first step to get well again.
Gambling ruined 4 years of my life. However my recovery has been slow and I am still learning more about my real true self every day. For this purpose, I have developed a platform, https://gambling-addictions.com/, where you can find sincere advice from ex-addicts and also share your story to reach out for help.