Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum My Journal I feel like two different people

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    bomblade
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    There are two sides battling each other. The side that reads the definition of "addiction" and says to himself "that sounds like me." Then there is another side, and this person says "you have a problem with gambling, but it is not addiction." Its so tough to battle through this because its very hard to know which is correct. Most people would say that its an addition. However, I have no other addictions. I actually am not addicted to any other form of gambling other than poker, and have never been. Granted, I don’t play other games very often. Without question, both sides know there is a problem. My girlfriend, who keeps staying with me for reasons I have trouble figuring out, asked me to write down what I feel my needs are. If I think of myself in a happy-state 1-2 years from now, what surrounds me to put me in that happy state. So I write a number of pages about my needs. I look at the happiest time in my life and think about what did I need during that time to be happy. This got me to thinking if poker makes me happy. Now, I would never say it was a need, but is there an emotional connection that I feel I need? In some ways, yes. I used to be an athlete, hurt my back in my late 20s and have never been able to play much after that. I can still play, but it just isn’t worth the physical pain that accompanies it, now am I even a shadow of the player I was. Sports was an important outlet to feed my competitive drive. I started playing poker at the same time I hurt my back. Poker became the outlet. 14-15 years, a couple rough patches through the years, like playing in a higher limit game when my bankroll was too small. Going back the next day to win back what I had lost. I’d recognize my stupidity or lack of self control, and I’d stop. I would stay away for a month, 4 months, just plan a day in which I’d go back and play but make it down the road. Now, in this last year, it has became such a problem that I owe money, I’ve stolen to go play poker, but the actual worst thing is how often I have lied to my girlfriend. So what has caused this to become such a problem? Why is it my only go-to when I’m feeling ****ty? I’ve been to a GA meeting. I listened to all the stories and people’s road to recovery. When I listened, it didn’t sound like me. The emotion was different, the circumstances, the problems. I tried to relate, and I could with some of what they had said. Like if I hear someone talk about their depression and the ups and downs, the problems it causes, how they feel, I can relate. I don’t have severe depression and my depression is not a constant, but I could still relate and say "yes, this does seem to resemble what I’m going through". After the GA meeting, I decided to go to a therapist for one-on-one sessions. I felt, and still feel, that my issues are not necessarily about gambling or poker, but about other deep seeded issues, ones of self confidence, self hatred, depression, family history, trauma. These issues always linger, they’ve always been there, but have been masked by successes I’ve had. However, when something (actually more than just one) triggers these issues, I cannot handle them. So I implode and self-destruct. Poker now becomes this outlet for me. One of our biggest goals during our sessions were for me to find a different, more healthy outlet. Problem I ran into here is that I don’t feel I connect well with this therapist. I don’t want to say she is not very good, but there is some things she does do that aren’t very professional. She constantly chats me up about how I am actually so good at this and that. It doesn’t mean much when she has never seen me do any of those things. Anyway, I elected to seek out a new therapist who I am going to see Monday. She is actually a certified psychologist, so I do feel more confident with her. I played poker yesterday, during the session, I contacted this person and set up the appointment.
    If you read through some of my story, thank you."Sometimes there aren't enough rocks to throw"

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