As a person with gambling addiction I find I always used to look out for new ways to gamble – eg, metal detector on beach, hitting the jackpot on eBay, finding a meteor, finding a valuable necklace or dish by chance in a charity shop or car boot sale.
When I was on the residential we were told to avoid auction sites or anywhere else where we could get a win– not forever but for a while .Since lockdown however I have bought a few things – I think my brain has changed so much though because I now enter my top bid and forget about it completely- only realising i have “won” the item when I open my emails the next day. In the past I would watch the countdown until the sale ended and try sneak in a last minute bet – sorry I mean bid!
I think we all know what gambling is for ourselves – if we find ourselves thinking about the chase, getting too caught up in the selling or buying, unable to switch off from it – we know then that we have replaced one type of gambling for another.
My tuppence worth is that in early recovery we should avoid anything which gives us the buzz that gambling does. We are talking about brain plasticity – we want our brains to change – we do not want to reinforce those gambling pathways. We also were told to avoid video games- I followed advice to the letter and I really think my brain has changed.
There are different type of buzz which will not reinforce the gambling connections in our brains – exercise, painting, decorating, sewing – many of the “old fashioned” hobbies if you like .
I’m not saying I’m right by the way – I am just describing how I view my own recovery . When I have thoughts about finding a valuable treasure in my garden (yes I do this too) I remind myself that I don’t need to find a valuable ring – I have enough! I challenge all thoughts that may be even slightly coming from the addiction which lives in my brain!
So Steev you have given me plenty of food for thought and opened a very interesting debate .