Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Advice and guidance needed please

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    I could really do with some guidance;  on how to emotionally support and get my compulsive gambling son recover from this dreadful disease. I am so much in the dark ; I don’t know what to avoid what to encourage. Every illness has a reason and downfall. I am faced with the unknown. When he came back from completing G.M program he gave me a over view, he didn’t give me a full picture for me to understand or be able to help. Ten year illness will take time. I really want to help. I want to know how to keep him busy incase he is not on the programme for a few months, as he has lost his current job. Thank you in advance.  I am very very worried and scared but do not want to fail him despite having had moment of anger thinking I can’t go through this again…but you do in the hope this could be the time we win and he be on the road to been transformed. 


    Hello Shivani

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

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    Hi Shivani
    well done starting your thread. I will reply to you tomorrow
    Please sleep well tonight, worrying will not help you or him.
    You will get through this



    Hi Shivani

    Emotionally supporting a CG often leaves the supporter drained and emotionally unable to cope, which is why I cannot stress strongly enough the need for you to look after yourself mentally and physically. If you become unable to cope because of worrying about things you cannot change, then you will not be able to help anybody so putting your own needs first is important. Take time every day to engage in hobbies, interests, friends, family, things that do not include gambling thoughts of any kind.

    Your son does not want to hurt you but he is controlled by an addiction that he has not come to grips with yet. He gave you an overview when he completed the GM programme but maybe he possibly wasn’t able to help you understand because he hadn’t fully engaged with the project himself and he wasn’t ready. The good news is that he will have learned about the tools for recovery in the programme and some of that information will stick in his mind, even if he hasn’t picked the tools up yet.

    I completely understand your fear of failing him and I offer you this – listen to him rather than waste time trying to tell him what he needs to do because in his mind, your needs are not necessarily his. By listening you will gain his trust. I spent 25 years telling my son what he should do to be happy but he wasn’t ready to listen to me and he rightly believed that I didn’t understand him – he therefore didn’t trust the support I offered. When he had been on the GMA programme I was so afraid of messing up that I couldn’t speak and he then knew I was listening. I asked him to help me understand so that I didn’t fail him – this he did and we turned our relationship to one of trust and understanding.

    I don’t think you can keep your son busy – taking responsibility for his actions now is probably best left to him. He will have learned more about how to handle his recovery this week and hopefully been more receptive to the support he has been offered – he has admitted to you that he has a problem which suggests he accepts he has to tackle that problem. It is so hard being on the sidelines but true recoveries do start and I think it would be good to wait and see how he is on his return this time. Enjoy his return with a smile rather than a question. Imagine doing something wrong and then realising you have made a terrible mistake but nobody smiles when you want to make amends, they only seem to want to talk about the mistake – it’s enough to crush a vulnerable spirit.

    I would be amazed if you had not had many moments of anger and thoughts that you cannot go through this again but if your son is trying to control his addiction then I believe you have an opportunity for a new beginning.

    I cannot tell you what to do because all decisions must be yours but if it was me I would avoid questioning him about his gambling at the moment because it seems he has accepted he has lost control and he therefore doesn’t need reminding what a mess he is in. Your son will be lacking self-confidence and self-esteem due to his addiction; he will have felt failure over and over so positive support is best, even if you don’t feel positive.

    I don’t know what he will have heard this week but I do know it will involve reminding him of the tools he has to change his life and positive advice on how to use those tools.

    I am sure that you are aware that it is important that he takes responsibility for his behaviour and that clearing his debts is enabling his addiction. Giving money to a CG is the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic. In my opinion it is best to allow him to talk through what he hopes to do to make the necessary difference to his life. He has admitted his relapse to you, so try and support his positive thoughts towards making amends without offering to bail him out.

    I have brought my thread entitled ‘the F&F’ cycle which hopefully will give you some insight. 

    I’m going to leave this here Shivani or I will be rambling for hours. If there is anything you don’t understand or disagree with please come back to me – I never mind criticism, I only want what is best for you and your son.


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