One advantage of having a process addiction over substance abuse, is that the brain is less damaged by chemicals and you have a occasional capacity to be introspective, and think. This doesn’t particularly mean that it’s any easier kicking a gambling problem than say an alcohol problem. Substance abuse can fog the brain for days, even weeks on end. The pain and misery from losing money and suffering under the weight of debt can do the same. Now and then, pleasure-seeking obsessive compulsive behaviors subside, momentarily. Especially after a binge. Watch for those moments of inquisitiveness. When you hurt the most is when you are most likely to change by asking for help. This window of opportunity, these moments of honesty, can be used to understand how the addiction works inside your brain. Visit the Gambler’s Anonymous website (www.gamblersanonymous.org). Learn about dopamine and the pleasure centers. Read what experts in the field, or recovering gamblers, have to say about your experience. Get help and learn more about your unique problem with compulsive gambling. Knowing you have a problem is an opportunity to take the next step and get into action with a solution.
The eternal dilemma with addictions is that at some point, we lose the capacity to determine if we’ve gone too far. We can’t see when we cross over the line? Our family knows. Our enabling friends know. People at work will look at you and ask “are you ok?” But you don’t get it. Your addiction is in your blindspot. Once in a while, we see the problem and know the solution. Remember the day after a binge, when the truth of your problem hits you in the face like a brick, watch for those moments of pain and inquisitiveness. Here is your window of opportunity. Reach out to trusted resources and get help, get educated about the problem. Grab the opportunity to take your insight and change the course of the problem. Get out of the problem and into the solution.
Your chance of finding a resolution to an addiction is far greater if you get out of the problem and into the solution with education and help from those who can help.