Story of a Gambler (Chapter 11: Recovery)

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I went back to the Gamblers Anonymous meeting every Tuesday and the more times I went to the more comfortable I felt. I realized it was a place where I wasn’t alone, and everyone could talk freely about themselves and what they were feeling. It was the first time that I had ever told anyone my addiction and how I felt.

I’ve learned in the meetings that just like the phases of a gambler there are four steps to recovering from a gambling addiction, and they are the four R’s: relabeling, reattribute, refocus and relabel.


This is the first stage, and here you will recognize that your urge to gamble is just a symptom of your addiction, and it can be treated.


The second stage is to stop blaming yourself and try to understand that your urge to gamble has a physical cause in your brain. With practice, you will learn to control this disease.


The urge of gambling will strike, but when you’re in this stage you’ll be able to shift the attention of wanting to gamble to something that is more positive. Here you will be able to do something else even if the compulsion to gamble exists and is bothersome to you.


Over time, you will learn to revalue those thoughts about gambling. Instead of taking them at face value you can realize here that they have no power or value to you. Think of them as just toxic waste that you don’t need invading your brain.


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