- Mental Health
I Beat My Gambling Addiction, Or Did it Beat me?
So... What do you say,
Hi, This is my first Hub.
Okay, what if you don't have any Hobbies, is that normal, their must be something we all like doing,
This is a review of the emotions i went through 17-20, although it was 3-4 years ago, i remember everything like it was yesterday. Give me your opinions...
Three Years ago i was beginning, what was to become " A Compulsive Obsession" through gambling. I didn't realise it at the time, but the amounts i gambled progressed over three years.
In January of 2009 i decided to stop gambling as a few unfortunate events occurred. I did Gamble even before my Obsession started, but i noticed it began to look more like a problem when i hit 18 ( i.e Internet gambling was then available ). Looking back on the whole situation now i can see all my time was taken up feeding this addiction, i never had any money so, as a result i was indoors a lot of the time. It caused so many unbearable problems/moments with my long-term girlfriend ( at the time ) that i didn't know what to do, obviously i was oblivious to what was going on around me. I became scruffy, mean and also a compulsive liar, i cannot describe the feeling i got when i gambled, their certainly was a buzz when i won which i craved for. When i lost everything their was also an empty "What am i going to do now" feeling which i also felt an addiction for, i felt now i had a challenge to make this mess right again anyway i could, but how?
1st of January 2009 hit, i remember getting home, it was very dark at 6pm that day. As i strolled down the garden path, entered my house, i felt a rush of excitement run through my body as i knew i could gamble now, my first thought, is the computer on or not? I knew my partner was home, she didn't matter, nothing did. I Ran up the stairs missings some as i climbed, bursting open the first door i came too.."My room". it was dark, i didn't think for a moment why, i turned the lights on looking for a place to throw my work things and continue to my computer, "This is the Life" i thought. 'Wait' as i stopped thinking about gambling, i looked around my room, it was different, 'something aint right! Focus'. My room was empty, my Girlfriend's things had all gone, she had left me. My honest first impression was amazement she had actually gone through with it, but at the same time i was relieved i could gamble without aggrivation. This was amazing, this is what i wanted to do forever and know i could. Where was she?, i didn't care. The night progressed i had nothing else on my mind, being inconciderate came naturally, i was too used to it. I gambled with out worry, the feeling of winning, nothing could compare, i felt as if i was flying for hours, nobody can make me feel like this. I stayed in this state until it was 4am... by then i had lost every penny i had, 'Karma struck' my body began to heat up, a rush of anger had taken over me, i slammed the laptop and looked around, everyone had gone to sleep, they had work in the morning, but so did i. It hit me harder than anything ever has " What am i doing". The moment i closed the laptop, i left cyber gambling world, the world i craved and thought about every moment, i came quickly back to reality, it all made sense now, what i was doing wasent me, something has taken over, much more powerful, i burst into tears feeling myself crumbling. Was this me realising what i had become, Or was i realising i had no money left so i couldent gamble even if i wanted to... i was lying to myself, any money that came my way, i would turn into that person again. I stood up, my legs aching, the house so quiet, i glanced at myself in a mirror hanging in the hall. I saw a wreck inside, 'i need help, i used to be so observant and carefull, what happened to me' I turned feeling dizzy, almost lifeless climbing the stairs, one step at a time, finding my room. It hit me hard that night, no sleep, full of worry, with nothing but a cold bed.
Three days pass, it was clear my girlfriend wasent coming back anytime soon or even at all. I can't exactly describe how i was feeling or what i did in these 3 days but i know i was in a dark place, emotionally. I start to remember January 4th, it was around midnight, my girlfriend hasent answered her phone in 4 days, this isn't like her, she could never keep away before. Theirs something more to this than i think, would she not just come back if i promise to stop gambling, words didn't mean anything anymore. As i think more into it, i start to remember my girlfriends past and how she suffered a loss in the family due to addiction, Someone she had an uncontrollable love for taken away by his obsession, her dad. It was clear now, anything i have said or done in the past lies with my girlfriend all the lies i kept hidden, eveyone will know. The advice she would be given now did everything but to help me, how can i save this!
I'ts early, 5.30am, i have work, any messages on my phone...No.
My walk to work took around 25mins that morning it felt like 5... I can't do this, i can't stop thinking about her, i thought. What's the time, 8am, She will still be sleeping now, perhaps if i ring her, i will catch her off guard and she will answer. No, still no luck. I reached work, put my stuff in the back room and took a deep breath, just get through today... i thought. "Hey, How are you" i looked around, "Never been better" then laughed. To everyone i looked fine, they had no idea. It comes so easily now to hide any emotion, to keep it all inside, but as soon as i am alone, it strikes. 2.30pm, "just gonna use the bathroom" i rushed of, finding my phone, any messages.... No! Can't she see my missed calls what's going on! I typed her number in, please please please answer, the phone rings and rings, when..."What do you want!!".
After 3 Years, not one day apart, was she happy to hear my voice after 4 days of no hearing from me?
I burst into tears, "Baby, iv missed you, im going mad here", she always said she couldent bear to hear me cry, but it had no effect, why! " Scott, i have to go, please stop calling", what! " Ill stop gambling, i haven't bet anything for 4 days now!, please meet up with me somewhere anywhere ", I couldent control my emotions, my body started to shake. " You haven't gambled for 4 days, is that because you lost all of your mone....." She stopped, "I have to go", is this effecting her at all, i thought she loved me. I know now this was silly, but when your that low i believe you will use anything. "Please don....." The phone went dead, i dropped to my knees, i remember making noises iv never made before as i cried, helpless ones.
" Reading this now just reminds me of so much, i can't believe this is what an addiction does to you, i always said i never had an addiction, but clearly i did and it ruled my every thought "
Throughout all this mess i made the best choice of my life, somehow. I joined a class full of strangers all with gambling problems. As i entered, it was a small room, with ten tables, in a C shape all placed neatly together. I felt extremely nervous, looking around, there was around 20 Guys.. all looking at me. " Hi Can we help? " an old man spoke, sat in the centre of the room. " Im looking for the gamblers annonymous room", He pointed to a chair, and i sat. We would stand and talk about our situations on how gambling has effected all of our lives and try to keep each other motivated. Roughly 20 Men appeared week after week until on the fith week Hanne Started, the first girl i had seen here. I was intrested to hear her story i couldent take my eyes off her. I listened with interest and showed interest as she spoke, I knew at that moment, maybe going to that class wasent such a bad idea. As the class to an end that day i made sure i left the room first and began to walk slowly down the road, searching for my headphones, thinking about what Hanne had spoken about. I felt i already knew her, everything she had spoken about i could relate to after all i was an addicted gambler just like she was. Why was i thinking about her already, was I desperate for someone as i felt lonely at that point...? I found my Headphones at the back of my pocket, I slowly began to un-tangle the wires and place them in my ears until i heard footsteps behind me, "Hey, are you walking this way"... it was Hanne! It didn't matter at that point where she was going or which way i was going, " Yeah, so what you learn today?"
We walked and walked and it rained, she told me how she felt to be the only girl in the room and how awkward it was th speak in front of strangers, i could understand, i still felt very awkward. As we drew closer to her home, the topic changed to her addiction, Hanne gave me an in-sight to how bad this addiction got too and the things she had done to feed her addiction, i could understand everything. " Well im here now" I looked at her as serious as i could, She made me feel warm inside. Normally after my class i'd walk home with my head down thinking about ways i could make everything better, but that didn't matter now. Now i was in control!
After that day, we became closer and closer, talking on the phone throughout the day, we were both doing very well, gambling felt a thing of the past, things were really looking up. As we talked more and more, she began to tell me more about her personal life, that's when i found out she had a little girl, but that didn't phase me, She made me feel great.
March arrived, Saturday, i felt great! Any messages? Oooh 1, " Scott iv been really thinking about this, but i want you to come round to my house, but im afraid of letting you meet my daughter" I guess i could of took that the wrong way, but instead i decided to surprise her and just turn up. I knocked on her door and waited, Hanne opened i could see the excitement in her eyes, she tried to hide it. "Hey, fancy a trip to town" She smiled, "Lucy, go put your coat on for me, were going out to get some food", I heard little footsteps running around, then Lucy appeared. At first i had no idea what to say to her, but as we started walking, it became easier. She told me all her favourite cartoons, her favourite foods and how mummy can't cook. Things were going great, we got some food, then went to the beach.
I felt i had changed in the space of a few months, we grew closer and closer, as i saw her everyday. I told her i wanted us to be different to my last relationship, she agreed. Three months flew by, at that point almost everyday was better than the last, she showed me who i wanted to be, and it came oh so natural!
"At home i was just Scott the middle child, but here i was the man of the house, i felt i had responsibilities, she saw me as a mature adult who could give advice on things i knew nothing about, i can't fully explain, but it meant everything to me."
You Found Me, Buzz
April was coming to an end, a typical Wednesday morning at work, nothing really happening. I try to just get my head down and work, the day always seems to fly by so much faster that way.
"Scott" Who was that? "What's up" "Phone!". Humm, looking a the time it must be Hanne.
"Hey, It's me, are you okay to talk?
Holy crap it was my Ex! I had no idea how to handle this, but feeling my heart race as she spoke, i thought it best to remain quiet.
"One of my friends saw you out with another girl, i can't tell you how it made me feel, but i think you should know that im also seeing someone"
I thought for a second, still unable to speak incase i sounded emotional. Why would she phone me after so long to tell me she is seeing someone! I reacted calmly, my heart still beating hard, "Okay...i don't really need to know"
" I hate the fact you have been with someone else, me and Liam haven't done anything together yet, and i don't want to either, i just wanted to tell you, if you finish with Hanne, i want to give me and you another shot, I love you.
This hit me harder than anything before, as i thought about it, everyting we had done in the past came back, how happy i had been, the places and things we had been through. The night i met her, her 19th birthday how amazing she looked. I couldent remember any of the bad moments we had, How could i say no?
That's when Hanne jumped into my head, she had done nothing wrong yet show me something iv never known, the person i wanted to be.
Wait! what if i did get back with my Ex and she left me like she did the first time and by then Hanne would already hate me for leaving! i can't go through the heart-ache of having nobody, Not again!
I began to shake, Adrenaline started to pump, As i thought about seeing them both at the same time, this feeling took over! It felt great, i knew what i was about to do was so very wrong, but the Buzz had already taken control.
I know this feeling! Iv felt you someplace before!
Although this was around 2 years ago, i resent doing what i did, but can now share this experience with you, for my next hub, im going to write about what happened next. But only if this one proves to be good for you. It shows my addictive behaviour towards gambling never really left, but showed in other areas that messed me up!