This blog article first appeared on Counsellor Sam and has been republished with full permission.
Reading this article (and others like it) can be one of the many ways you can help yourself to stop gambling. But how you may ask?
Research shows that recognising that you have a gambling problem, and committing to change is a really important step in your recovery process. You are here because you want to change and by seeking out articles like this, one you are reaffirming that you want to change, so well done for getting to this step!
A commitment to change can come in many forms, some ways can include:
- Calling a friend instead of gambling
- Choosing a different way home from work, so you don’t go past a venue
- Leaving your bank cards at home so that you can’t withdraw any money
- Reading a blog like this one that helps you reappraise your gambling and ways you can cope.
Even just putting off your gambling one day at a time can be a great approach to getting yourself further along in the recovery process.
For example Manda, a recovering gambler said ‘I would take it one day at a time – I’d say, I won’t go today but I’ll go tomorrow. And then, when I made it to tomorrow, I’d see if I could make it another day’.
This might sound quite minor, but all change begins with a small step. Making a commitment not to gamble even for one day is a great start!
Research also suggests that it helps to understand that relapse is a fairly normal part of recovery for most people and while it can feel very frustrating at the time, it is often a really helpful learning opportunity.
Many people find after having a small gambling relapse, they think about their behaviour differently. It can give you the opportunity to reflect on the harms than can be caused by gambling and motivate you too change.
A client we have seen called Todd remembers the shift that happened for him:
‘I had been trying to stay away for several months, but relapsed after a particularly bad week at work. Because I’d blown so much, my wife asked me to leave and so I stayed with my brother for a week or so. Although I was devastated, it was helpful to talk to him about what had happened and he got me ready to get help. I started seeing my gambling for what it was – an escape from the stresses of work and family life. I developed some good strategies and now manage my stress in a much healthier way.’
So remember by recognising you want to change, committing to that change and learning from any moments of relapse you are progressing your road to recovery, we are here to help you with the steps along the way!
If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how to put some more changes into place, please call us on 1800 858 858.