I am sorry that I have not replied to you before – I am afraid you slipped under my radar and I hope you are still reading.
Do not be ashamed of yourself for your thoughts. ‘If it was necessary’ (to self ban) sounds like a line his addiction was hoping would throw you off course and in that respect it succeeded. The addiction will have many, many confusing ripostes designed to flummox you because it is the master of threats and manipulation. The addiction to gamble is constantly seeking to gain time to get itself back into the driving seat if it thinks it is being threatened – and talk of self-banning is a threat to a CG who is not really ready to stop.
I hope I am homing in on the part of my post that you didn’t fully understand.
‘Some newly abstinent gamblers say that what they are keeping track of is the amount of money they have saved by not gambling while their addictive minds are still in action. If this is the case the CG can get excited by the prospect of an actual gamble which they are unable to shake off and it is possible that this is what happened.’
The addiction to gamble is not about money. As non-CGs it is the gambling for money that we tend to see as the signal that the addiction is live and so if the CG stops gambling with actual money, the non-CG may feel they are in a recovery. When a CG gambles their minds are fully activated by addiction but it is possible for a CG to stop gambling with actual money and to make all the right noises but to have the addiction alive in their minds. Abstinence is not enough.
It seems to me that your CG may want to control his addiction, he may have tried to abstain but he possibly does not have the determination and courage at this present time to let go completely – he seems to be keeping a door open ‘just in case’ and self-banning could close that door. If this is the case then an actual gamble is never very far away from him.
‘Abstinence is not a recovery which is why I am asking about his general behaviour.’
In case it was this line that you had a problem with. Once again it is important to recognize that the addiction to gamble is not about money – money is the tool, not the goal. CGs drastically change reality to fit their personal perception and it is this that is so destructive leading to lies and manipulation, breakdowns in relationships, loss of self-esteem and confidence. A CG in recovery behaves differently to a CG who is active so I was asking if your CG was behaving differently and if so what the difference was.
I have brought up my thread entitled ‘The F&F cycle’ in case you have not seen it – it may help.
I am glad you knew you could question something you did not understand and I hope I have answered you adequately. You are of course welcome in any F&F group – times in ‘Support Groups’ at the top of this page where your questions can be answered in real time.