16 Aug 18

This blog article first appeared on Counsellor Sam and has been republished with full permission.

If you’ve been tempted to gamble again after quitting, you’re not alone. Some people can address their problems by stopping altogether, but for some the urge resurfaces and can be difficult to resist. Callers to our Helpline often feel tested and find excuses to tell themselves: this time, gambling will be okay.  

Does this sound familiar? Stand up to the thoughts that tempt you.

If you think:

Instead, tell yourself:

I could just have one shot — $20 would be no big deal.

I can put that $20 away and save for something I really want, like that trip to Thailand with the kids.

I haven’t gambled for 12 months. My life is different now and I’ve changed.

My life is better now and I have the strength to protect it.

I can stay in control around friends while they gamble.

My friends love me and want me to succeed in my decision to stop gambling. We should do something we can all enjoy.

I deserve to gamble.

I’ve worked hard and deserve to protect myself and the life I’ve built.

I can control my gambling now.

The best way to prove I’m in control is not gambling.

When you want to give in, take a breath and think it through. Remember, you have worked hard to get to this point. You can resist.

Take proactive steps to help yourself avoid temptation:

  • Avoid situations that trigger the urge to gamble.
  • Avoid having access to money by leaving debit cards at home.
  • Talk to a friend who understands how much you are committed to overcoming the desire to gamble. 
  • Go for a walk, watch a favourite television show or read a book to help you delay gambling. Many people find that if they can delay, the urge passes, and they find strength in their resistance.

Remember: you’re not alone in this journey. See how other people handle their urges on our forum.

You can also call the free Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858. You’ll speak confidentially with a trained counsellor who can share techniques to help you manage your gambling, quit gambling, or come back from a lapse.

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