Saturday, January 5, 2008

Is it a 'Character Defect'?

Absolutely not.

The gambler’s anonymous program says that…in order to stop gambling through the Gambler’s Anonymous program….”One does this through bringing about a progressive character change within oneself”…..snip snip snip…."HONESTY, OPENMINDEDNESS, and WILLINGNESS are the keywords in our recovery”.

I’ve seen some people translate that into “If I become a better person, I won’t gamble….so g.a. is telling me I’m a bad person”.

That’s not the way I read it.

I believe that…HONESTY…the opposite of lying…is perhaps the most important character defect that *I* need to focus on…because…in my mind…if one is HONEST….TRULY honest…RIGOROUSLY honest…then remaining active in the addiction is not possible.

My addiction was progressive…but there were lies, to some degree or another..all along the way…many of the lies that I told were to myself (denial).

Addiction is not rational. It is unhealthy, undesirable behavior.

I lived in a distorted reality that differed from ‘normal’ people’s world…I justified things that are not justifiable….

I could afford it.
I minimized my losses.
I didn’t really have a problem.
I wasn’t hurting anyone.
I didn’t need help.
Who could blame me?...my behavior was understandable (given circumstances).
I lied about money .
I lied about where I was…why I was late or why I missed events.
I lied about anything…to myself or to others…in order to accommodate my addiction.

My obsession to gamble eventually consumed me to the point that…my reality became so distorted…that…

Well…I was unrecognizable.

I didn’t take care of myself physically.
It was the only thing that I took pleasure in.
I neglected my family.
I could no longer see the value in money…it made no sense…it was just paper.
I could not imagine..I could not fathom the TORTURE of living a life without gambling.

To read that now….it sounds so insane…who was I? How could I have possibly thought that way?

A snippet from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial

The ability to deny or minimize is an essential part of what enables an addict to continue his or her behavior in the face of evidence that, to an outsider, appears overwhelming. This is cited as one of the reasons that compulsion is seldom effective in treating addiction — the habit of denial remains.

If I practice living honestly…if I am RIGOROUSLY honest…in all that I do… then the irrational will still be irrational…the unjustifiable cannot be justified….and I….will continue to live my life.

My addiction is not a defect of character, nor is it CAUSED by a defect in my character.....but my character defects...enable me to remain active in the addiction.

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“A half-truth is a whole lie” – Yiddish Proverb

1 comment:

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