May 23, 2012

Is it possible to stop gambling?

This is a serious question and not meant to be taken lightly. Gambling is an insidious disease. It robs you of common sense and when you are in the grip of the disease it can be very hard to stop. If you are really prepared to change, go to Gamblers Anonymous (G.A.) and join the group. If you fear a backlash by friends, don’t concern yourself about it and stick to your guns. We all have carbuncles in our closet; some of us need help.

Why you should attend Gamblers Anonymous if you want to stop

They have regular weekly meetings which you can attend, at different locations, on a Tuesday night. Get a counselor who can support you and on whom you can call if you are struggling. The group works with a twelve-step program and you should join so that you are with people who meet on a regular basis and have the same objective in mind. You will receive a booklet and regular attendance and a strong will are necessary to be successful. Remember, stopping the addiction starts in the head. Don't put it off any longer.

Observe the following:

• Do not hang around with the people you have gambled with before. They are toxic and will entice you to gamble on and on until you have lost all your money.

• Gamblers are liars and will do anything to continue their habit. Go to all the G.A. meetings in your neighborhood.

• Take a family member who is reliable and trustworthy into your confidence and let that person keep your money until all your bills are paid.

• If you are traveling by car to drop someone off at the airport, don’t let it be an excuse for you to go gambling and take a detour and travel a different route so you are not tempted to pop in at the casino.

• Take care of your spiritual life and keep God in your prayers. You need all the help you can get.

• Stop all forms of gambling, even going to the races or buying lottery tickets.

• Don’t be tempted to stray from your objective and tell people who are looking for someone to go gambling with that you are not in the game anymore and stay away from them.

• Instead of wasting your money on raffle tickets or gambling, take your family out to the skating rink or the movies and encourage family outings.

• If nothing works, step up your progress with the twelve steps and tell your counselor that you are about to relapse and you need help. Remember misery likes company and you don’t want your life to be a life of misery.

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