Friday, November 21, 2014

Becoming a better person.

When I was trying to stop gambling, I read a lot.

I was trying to figure it out.

How to save my life... because if I didn't stop, I was going to lose a lot more than my money.

I was going to start losing PEOPLE.

I was already lost.

I had to find myself again.  BE ME again... but how.

So I read.

A lot of people talked about wanting to be their 'old selves' (pre-gambling) again... but I figured... the OLD PEG ended up gambling... I didn't want to be HER again.

but who?

The 12 stop programs talked about eliminating character defects.

Now... that seems strange to me... on the one hand... saying we aren't bad.. we're sick.... but if you get rid of these bad qualities or tendencies, you'll be better.

I pondered that a bit... but what DID make sense to me was....

If I am a person who doesn't lie... if I am a person who doesn't steal... If I am a person who consistently respects my relationships... I CANNOT gamble.

So I went to work on those things.

No lies.
No gossip.
Be kind.

Now I'm not saying I'm perfect.
I'm not.

But when I identified a behavior of mine that wasn't attractive... I 'put it on the list'.

and slowly... I began to work on those things.

I say slowly because... I didn't just wake up the next day, after having identified these things, somehow different.

But day-in and day-out (yeah, one day at a time)... I refused to lie.  I did not gossip.  I chose to do the 'right' thing. 

Now I'm not sure when I actually BECAME different.

But I AM.

I recently attended a workshop that happens to be geared toward actors, but I can see how it would benefit any human being, that is geared to 'give you vocabulary' to describe yourself and is primarily based on how others see you.

While reviewing the cards where people had given me feedback about my personality.... which included statements from people in my life who know me well... I realized how different this would've looked both WHILE I was gambling and even BEFORE I ever started.

Those things that I aspired to do... it's who I am now.

Like I said... I'm not perfect.
As a matter of fact, it might be time for me to make a new list of things I should get to work on :)

But slowly... one choice at a time... I became a different person.
A better person.

And that is a good thing to do... whether one gambles or not.


Unknown said...

It is good to see that you are doing so well. It must be hard to overcome something like this. I bet your life is going to be so much better after this.

Anonymous said...

I am a compulsive gambler with 52 days of clean time. this is not my first recovery. I have two little kids (6 and 7). My daughter is autistic and it so hard on my wife. I am the sole support of this family. We are facing a tremendous uphill battle as a result of the gambling. I am working through tremendous emotions and regret. I lhavw read so many of your posts in the last couple of days and I have read them to my friend in GA. I enjoy your writing tremendously. It is insightful and encouraging. One thing I have learned is the difference between addiction and recovery. Addiction is I will gamble today (maybe one last shot) and I will quit tomorrow. Recovery is I will not gamble today and worry about tomorrow when it arrives tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I'm a middle aged woman who has a gambling addiction. Every time I get my paycheck I will go gambling until its almost gone. I go gambling almost every weekend or every other weekend. I'm not sure what the cause is behind it but I will like to get help without telling everyone about it. I dont trust anyone enough to tell them my issues. What should I do?

Anonymous said...

It coul be hard letting people know about the problem you have. However don't let the fact that you're keeping it a secret. Successfully spur you on to gamble that little bit more. STOP. Easier said then done, but I know myself as a compulsive gambler that's chosen to hide my addiction, and been found out. It only leads to more and more problems. I get paid this weekend, and I'm terrified to collect my wages. Think, is this how you want your life to be? Save yourself while you can

Unknown said...

Recently I read an article regarding gambling addiction says, there are more than totally five million women are addicted to gambling in US alone and its increasing in number in casinos and in online card rooms. I would like to share my part of story too. In last year I was hooked on poker tables and slot machines. I had lost most of my savings and the love of my family. Before reaching the edge my family took me to an Gambling Addiction Rehab Center ( ). That helped me very well. Now I don’t gamble anymore.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg said...

Becoming a better person make so much sense. Great post, that's why I placed link to your blog on my website at

andy said...

Peg, thanks for writing this post.

I read a lot too when I was fighting my gambling addiction. Reading 1 page was as hard as climbing Mt Everest, because my urges were so strong I can't focus at all.

After enduring so many withdrawal symptoms (plus many relapses in between), I managed to read more and more, and put my focus on something that is NOT gambling.

I learned that recovery is not only stopping gambling, but BECOMING a person that doesn't gamble.

This's the 1st time I comment on your blog but I had followed your blog for years. Your words had helped me stay strong, so keep up the awesome work! :)

Unknown said...

Your journey to recovering from your gambling addiction must have been a long journey, but was well worth it. That way you can 'become a better person' like you are saying. This is something that more people should be doing, but is not always easy to do. There are recovery programs that can make this process a lot quicker.

petesterdude said...

hey man... good info been gambling since 2005 used App on Google Play Store to get barred...
bars from hundreds of gambling websites and gambling networks with medical reason... could be a loop hole to get money back maybe.