Being an inpatient of the state-wide gambling therapy service for 16 days was challenging but rewarding and necessary. When asked my goals at early meetings it was simply to stop gambling and not return to it and to be able to have access to excess funds without having an urge to gamble.
I felt confident I was on the right track but more importantly I got to understand my triggers, what urges were and when and why they occur and I understand the gambling cycle. I had new techniques to apply and no longer get urges thanks to the cue exposure.
I had been waking up for as long as I could remember thinking about gambling. Largely those thoughts had been regret, guilt, shame, disappointment and being depressed because of previous days losses. The next step in my day was working out a plan to chase those losses, all the reasons why I shouldn’t gave way to my permission giving thoughts. I cant explain how mentally draining that was everyday. It stopped me being me and being present for the things and people I love. Without focusing on it or even knowing it, I no longer wake this way. Yes I am concerned about damage I’ve created and people I’ve hurt but there is no more thought of gambling, I cant explain that feeling.
When I started this there was no way I could see myself in the position I am in now.
I only wish I had known about this program years ago before I got into crisis.
Its now over 2 1/2 years ago and I am doing well, still in my marriage and working successfully.