I read this when you first posted it and it is so true, at least for me. I would like to add something here if you don’t mind. Through all those years I had to live with the incredible ugliness of cg, I was made aware over and over again that a lot of people do not accept that cg is a disease, just like any kind of substance abuse. The people I met who work in the field called it the silent disease. We cannot smell it or see it. While not many people hide a loved one’s addiction to alcohol or drugs anymore, gambling is not talked about much. Lots of folks still believe that all it takes is the willpower to stop. Period. And I don’t exclude myself when I think about the start of my painful journey. I didn’t understand it and thought that all my hb needed to do was to decide to just quit. I kept it hidden for a long time because I was ashamed of it. Where I come from, gambling was illegal for a long time, the few casinos were operated by the government and regular people couldn’t afford to go there. As a result, gambling addiction was something dirty and only dark.
When everything erupted in chaos and my hb went to prison, it added to the shame and he was seen as just another criminal. I am sure that nobody would have treated my daughter and me as bad had he turned out to be an alcoholic or a drug user. Society accepts this way more readily still than cg. So that adds to the ugliness of it even more than just the gambling itself. Just my point of view.