Roll of the Dice

| August 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

Dear Chanel,

I have a gambling problem. I have been cautioned by relatives to watch myself when I go on vacations but now Maryland is going to have their own casinos. I am nervous to what my next move may be. I have kept myself away from Atlantic City and Vegas for over a year now. I do the occasional poker night with the guys but I still feel the urge to go play! Please take into consideration I have not gambled away my bank accounts or any possessions. It’s mainly time and borrowed money that I have taken advantage of and wasted.

– Drowning

 

Dear Drowning,

Most habits or addictions arise from a personality or environment that calls for the need of instant gratification or satisfaction. This can range from smoking to drinking to sexual habits to shopping. It’s great to hear that you have not taken to the course of losing possessions or putting yourself/money/family in danger.

I have a close relative who struggled with a gambling addiction. This relative lost nearly everything – including a marriage, child and their home. Unfortunately – ended up losing 2 of the 3.  To this day – the addiction still rides inside of my relative and is trapping his every movement. He is constantly trying to blow money just to say he can. It’s a scary thing to go through. You lose the trust of those around you who have tried to help – either by lending money or helping you overcome the addiction.

Sit down with yourself – and list why you enjoy gambling. Next to it – list why you find it upsetting/not worth it. Flip the sheet over – make a list of what makes you really happy [hobbies, people, foods, places, etc]. Do any of those favorites make you feel as bad as gambling? Probably not.

Give yourself the opportunity to change. Avoid traveling to places that include gambling for a couple more months – even years, if needed. Schedule yourself to see friends and family in fun environments.  Addictions are tough but battling them alone is even worse. If family/friends aren’t willing to listen anymore – then seek out a local help group. If you aren’t quite ready for public healing – there’s plenty of self help books.

At the end of this – don’t look down on yourself. Look at this as an opportunity and second change to become the person you love and want to be! I’m with you all the way!

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