But I expect you know what I am going to say! At some point in my recovery – I think when I was going to GA again and again with another story of relapse, I was told I was acting like the gambling equivalent of a “dry-drunk.” I didn’t know what it meant at the time … but looking back I can see that even when I was not physically gambling – it still filled my thoughts. I was still scheming ways in which I could “keep my hand in.”
I remember one time I thought I could get my fix by just watching other people playing. I think that lasted maybe 2 or 3 days. Inevitably someone left the machine after a run of bad luck and my thought was “it’s bound to pay-out soon” so off I trot to the ATM and … well you can guess the rest.
There wasn’t one answer for me. It was a combination of keeping myself busy, trying to work out what was going on for me (through counselling and self-help groups) and remembering that I was “in recovery” – so that even thinking about gambling was a no-no. I became someone who is in recovery – and thought that person does not try and hone skills, (are there any skills in playing slots?) I knew that the person in recovery does not visit gambling places for any reason, so instead I put my focus firmly on things I needed to do to get myself well again.
Listen to the part of the brain that wants an end to all this suffering you are going through. Do what is healing and what will take you away from this madness. Keep to your recovery strategy and stay well.