Many gamblers will state that their addiction has caused them to act in ways that are’ out of character’. Such as making risky, dangerous or illegal decisions around using money they have access to, essentially to gamble with.Recognising your gambling ‘self’ is a way of coming to terms with the influence and power that it has become. It is not about shedding your responsibility for your actions. It is about facing up to home truths and recognising the damage that your gambling ‘self’ is doing to you and those around you.
One of our clients decided to call his gambling self ‘Shame’. Here’s what he had to say about Shame:
"My gambling self is called Shame. He wants to go into the ‘gambling zone’ and he wants to gamble. Shame has unlimited and unfulfilled gambling needs. When in the zone, he is unafraid of the consequences of a gambling binge, in fact he doesn’t care – he is angry, revengeful, and unpredictable, he has no sympathy or remorse. On the outside to others, he can be charming and resourceful; however it is a façade. Shame will think about, plan and secure the resource he needs to enter the gambling zone – money. However, even when there are wins, all there is are empty feelings after. There is always an additional bet or sum of money to win. Where is the finishing line?
It doesn’t even have to be his money to gamble with. He will convince himself that the means justify the end, others don’t need to know, how can they know? Shame uses all sorts of tricks to convince me to enter the zone. He will apply mental, psychology and even physical pressure. Any trigger can be used to justify gambling…an argument, a feeling of stress, a cross word from my manager.Off course, Shame is me; he is my gambling ‘self’- BUT he is only as strong as I let him be, now is the time to address the problems Shame has caused me.’"
Think about your gambling self. You may not want to address him or her in the third person, but start to self assess. What exactly has problematic gambling and addiction done for you and those around you?
It's time to move on…