#Blogtober20 – Day 14
One month ago today I went to the casino for the last time and it’s a very liberating feeling to be free of such a severe addiction. It’s hard for me to admit I have/had such a severe issue as an addiction to something as mundane as gambling. But I did some research on the matter and according to The Recovery Village, there are approximately 10 million people who struggle with problem gambling. Most of those people are college-aged young adults, such as myself. More people who have dealt with domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness are all more likely to struggle with problem gambling as opposed to their opposite counterparts.
With those statistics, it is no wonder I have a gambling problem! But all that means is that I have a lot more on the line to lose if I don’t stop. One month of sobriety is great and all, but that isn’t a lot of time and a lot can happen once I have the freedom to drive around more. I currently have no desire to gamble, but there is a lot I can’t do during my foot and knee surgery recovery. There’s no saying that I will or won’t have the desire to gamble later on down the road, but I think the more time I have underneath my belt without gambling, the better. If in three months, I have the desire to gamble, I will have four months of sobriety I worked so hard to earn from gambling.
I lost a lot due to gambling and it’s not just about losing money; I lost trust, I lost relationships, I lost a place to live, I lost all of the money I inherited… for a game. Money I was supposed to use for a down payment on a house, gone. Money that could have gone to fund my education, gone. Money that could have gone to support my future children, gone. My relationship was gone in the blink of an eye and so was my home. I mean, one could say it is just money and money is replaceable, sure. But that relationship I ruined because I broke trust and it is not as easily fixed. The relationship and trust of my parents for wasting away my inheritance on gambling bailouts is not as easily fixed. The house I made into a home that I then lost is not reparable.
I guess today has been a full day of introspection. I didn’t think it was possible for me to get to this point; to the point that I could even stop gambling. I dreamt many days and nights that one day my desire to gamble would be gone. I’m still dreaming of that day to come, but the embers that roar in my heart have quieted out; the desires of gambling have lessened greatly. Enough so that I am able to move on and repair what I can salvage with family and friends, I have made a home where I am at, and I’m trying to do right by my Nana’s wishes by going back to school, which is something she would have wanted me to do.
I can’t fix all my damages in one day, but I can try my best to rebuild trust with those who need it most. I can rebuild relationships with those who are willing to be there for me. I can try and I will succeed. I will give up gambling permanently if it’s the last thing I do.
One month down, a million more to go.