It was good to see you post and to get your update.
This may sound like nit picking but I hope it will help. Your son has ‘slipped’ twice and that is not the same as ‘relapsed’. A relapse is a total re-immersion in the addiction but a slip implies a desire for change even if a true recovery is still slipping through his fingers. Recoveries have ups and downs. I know that many CGs never tell their loved ones when a true recovery starts – mainly because they don’t know themselves, having experienced slips along the way.
I have absolutely no idea why my CG changed his life when he did – I have no idea how often he attempted to control his addiction and did not succeed. What I do know is that he went to GA for a time and then ‘relapsed’ following which there was a long devastating period with him in the wilderness but I also know that when he finally did enter a true recovery, the time spent in GA had made a difference – he had never forgotten what he heard at his meetings even if, for him, rehab was the final answer.
I cannot know when your son will retake control of his life but having been to GA for 7 months he will have knowledge of his addiction that he would not have had before, he will have shared with others how he feels, he will have been understood and that will have made a difference, however small – even when it seems, to you, that he hasn’t listened at all. As long as he tries to get back on that horse and sometimes succeeds in hanging on – he has hope and as long as you support him as you have been doing he has a greater chance of success.
Judging by your post, your understanding is pretty perfect – living the perfection is probably impossible. In refusing enablement you are giving your son the finest love and the greatest hope for him to live gamble-free – well done.
Great positive post – I hope you update again sometime soon