It’s normal for people to feel down about themselves from time to time. When these feelings became part of a person’s daily routine it can be an indication of low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem are often critical and focus on their negatives and disregard any positives or accomplishments. Comparing yourself to others also affects self-esteem potentially causing depression.
But remember you can build on your self esteem - here is an example of someone who has struggled with their self esteem while struggling with their gambling and how they built it back up!
Those with gambling problems can have low self-esteem, when they act out of character to obtain money or waste money in the quest of an unattainable financial dream.
Initially gambling can feel like it eases the burden of low self-esteem, allowing people to engage in a fantasy world of imagined wins, financial success and social acceptance. But once the money is gone the persons self-esteem takes a tumble and they feel more ashamed.
Sam* described how disappointed he felt with himself and his ongoing gambling:
I just could not stop gambling it was a really strong compulsion. I really believed I would win big one day and fix all the problems and debts I had caused my family. I just had to keep trying I did this for years but it was terrible with ups and downs constantly draining me of all my energy.
Eventually I let go of this hope. I finally realised gambling was not the answer but it took a long time. Letting go of this dream meant I had no way of getting out of my troubles. I thought I was a bad person, these thoughts caused me much shame and my self-esteem was minimal. I could not imagine I could ever get my life back and provide for my family like my friends.
Sam admits this was a very dark time in his life. However, when he sought help from a gambling counsellor, he started to challenge his negative thinking and realised he was not a bad man. He could see he just wanted to provide a good life for his family.
Eventually he found that the pokies no longer had a hold on him. He began to feel pride when he walked past his old gambling venue and did not gamble. With help from his financial counsellor, his money began to have value again, he started to pay off his bills and his savings eventually grew.
With support Sam worked hard and eventually got his life back. He is glad he challenged the voice inside him that said “you will never get on top of this problem”
Imagine if you could walk past your gambling venue and keep walking without gambling. Each time your self-esteem increases and your determination becomes stronger. People would be proud of you, and you will be proud of yourself.
With work this can be a reality – why not chat with one of our counsellors on how to do this – you can get started.
Addressing your self-esteem is just one component of effective long-term recovery – but it’s a very important one. Continually build on our small successes increase our self-esteem in the process.
Here are some tips and strategies to try:
- Connect with people who give you a sense of acceptance, don’t associate with people who make you feel bad about yourself.
- Beware of negative thoughts and challenge them. If you keep telling yourself that you’re no good, you might just start to believe it even though it’s not true.
- Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake, be kind to yourself and learn from it .
- Focus on the things you can change ……why not ask for help?
- Start exercising it helps to improve your mood.
- Everyone is great at something - what are your strengths?
- Schedule some fun time every day, you could do a puzzle or watch a TV show you enjoy.
- Surround yourself with supportive people who don’t gamble.
- It’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust, like a friend or family member.
Developing your self-esteem can be the foundation for your recovery. Chat to one of our Gambling counsellors today it’s easy to get started.