Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Baffling Addiction

My behavior when I was in the cycle baffles me ....well..it used to...

I think I understand it somewhat now...

My family is the most important thing in my life but it WOULD appear that I chose gambling over them...and for a long time, I felt ashamed and stupid and..well, BAFFLED. (funny...that little yellow 'combo' book that g.a. uses.....as I grow and change..different words or phrases there seem to suddenly make sense...when I first started attending g.a. meetings...the line that really spoke to me was "and the depths of their misery were fathomless"...that's exactly how I felt)

ANYWAY...I was baffled.How could I have done this?

I see a Dr. who specializes in addiction. He is a proponent of 12 steps...hmmm...proponent may be too soft a word... BUT... during my appointments with him...he would always tell me that...if I don't gamble...that's really nothing to be PROUD of...and if i DO gamble...it's nothing to be ASHAMED of...this is not a BEHAVIOR problem...this is a BRAIN problem.

He would cite all sorts of experiments regarding addiction, dopamine, seratonin....trying to explain to me that I really didn't CHOOSE to harm my family in this way.

There's a lot of conflicting opinions on the web about whether or not this is a disease, whether or not this is a choice...BUT... there is very little question that neurotransmitters are involved....also...brain imaging shows that there are differences in the brains of 'compulsive gamblers' and 'normal' people (although, it is uncertain whether or not those differences occurred Prior to the gambling...or if we have, in some way, damaged our brains by indulging in this activity).

well....I could go on and on, but...what I wanted to say is...this was not my FAULT.

Gambling started out as a little bit of fun. Only a small percentage of people actually get 'hooked'...the problem is...one doesn't realized that they are (hooked) until they ARE..and THEN...we are unable to choose to walk away...the part of our brain that is affected when we are in the gambling cycle is the same part of our brain that controls free will (as well as other vital things).

NOWhaving said that....having said that it's not our FAULT (what we have done)...now that we have realized that we have a problem...now that we KNOW that gambling is not a harmless game... it is our RESPONSIBILITY to take steps to get better....and we can do that.

Many people are.

When I first attended a ga meeting and was told this was a 'disease' I went right out and gambled...thinking I had an excuse --- 'well...I have a disease...I can't help it!'


i have a disease...so it's not my FAULT...but...there are ways to get better...and it is my RESPONSIBILITY to do so.

it is also my DESIRE to do so.

I deserve my life.

I want my life.

I am living it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said and a good post.

I think we all deserve our life back. With a lot of effort and reaching out for help, we all can do it. I know I can but if I think for a moment that I don't need to reach out anymore, well, I may take the wrong turn unwillingly. I'm no longer afraid to seek help and it's nothing to be ashamed about.