Life with a Gambling Addiction..

When Trust is Gone by a Recovering Addict

“Once lost, trust can only be regained if we are as good as out word” – Desmond Tutu

Trust is an issue many people have. We all have been let down at some point in the past. Many of us give the people who have let us down, another chance to prove themselves. There are those who come through in the end and stay faithful to their word. Then there are those who let us down again. Like myself, you will have no doubt cared about someone, gave them more chances than they rightfully deserved and felt the pain of being continually let down. It really does hurts terribly. Some people decide to put up a wall to stop allowing others in emotionally, for fear of being hurt again. With all of us being let down at one point or another, how do you know who to trust again and who not to? Most people are quick to give another chance to their significant other, a family member or close friend. Therefore I ask, ‘Is it right to give trust straight away to someone who has lied to you, only due to status?’ Or, ‘If someone close to you has let you down, should they be expected to work harder than others, in order to regain that trust?’ It’s certainly something to think about.

I woke up today, bright eyed and bushy tailed. The ‘GA’ meeting last night had left me with a great deal of confidence. I felt positive about going forward. My first thought after getting up and ready, was to write out a day to day plan of my next week. I felt this was important to keep me my mind off gambling. It was also what the majority of newer members of the ‘GA’ group were doing and it seemed to be working for them. I sat down to type out my plan on the computer, feeling hopeful for the week ahead. I noted my working hours, my ‘GA’ meetings and other commitments I had that week. I then stared blankly at the screen. It hit me, I had no clue at all what to do in my spare time. I didn’t have any hobbies or interests, I had spent all my free time over the past ten years gambling. It was a strange feeling, I felt I didn’t know myself.

I had remembered from last nights ‘GA’ meeting that a lot of members were attempting to get back in contact with friends from the past. Good friendships that had been neglected due to their gambling addiction. So I decided to contact a friend who I felt was still my closest female friend. A girl I used to see more or less everyday and now would only see once every four months at best. When we did meet up, I wouldn’t chat long as I always had plans to go out gambling. My friend had never gambled and lived a happy, respectable life. She had been a great friend to me for a very long time. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been the same to her. It made me wonder if I was right to get in contact. In the end, I thought all I can do is try and put things right. I sent her a text to see if she would like to meet up for a coffee somewhere later on in the day and waited for her reply. Two hours went by, I was scrolling through blogs on addiction, having a look at recovery stories, some of which were very inspiring. I had a look on my mobile and my friend still hadn’t got back to me. This was a girl who always had her phone by her side. I started to think very negatively, maybe she no longer considered me a friend and if so, I couldn’t really blame her. I had treated her badly, she had always been there for me and me not so much for her. All I could think was that I was getting what I deserved.

Evening came, I was preparing to make dinner when my phone beeped. It was the message I had been hoping for from my friend. I hadn’t been forgotten about after all. She wasn’t feeling particularly in the mood for going out. She is reaching close to the end of her pregnancy so I could understand why she wouldn’t want to. However, she was still very interested in catching up and suggested I come over for a takeaway and some girly chat. My friend also had the idea of contacting another girl that had been part of our group, to get the three of us together again. The two of them had still remained close. I thought it was a great idea and my friend contacted our other friend who said she would love to come along and was looking forward to it. I felt I had been given a chance to get my friends back. Although I didn’t feel I deserved it, I was really grateful for the fact they were still there after everything. They never knew I had a gambling problem. I knew my friends wouldn’t judge me harshly if they were to know. If anything they would try and help me. However the way I’m trying to look at things now, is seeing gambling as my past and attempting to create a new, brighter and hopeful future. I was being given an opportunity to get back part of my old life, where I was happy. I made a promise to myself then, that I would never again neglect my friendship with these two girls. They had no idea what they had done for me. I knew it was exactly what I needed.

I was ready to go, I walked down the stairs and my dad was there sitting in the living room. He looked at me confused as he wasn’t aware I had plans to go out that evening. I told him my plans hadn’t long been confirmed and I was going to a friends house for a catch up. My dad wasn’t at all happy about this. He told me it that it was very suspicious that I was going out all of a sudden and that he knew I got paid today. He was angry as he believed I was going out with the intention to gamble. This of course wasn’t the case and I explained that to him thoroughly. He continued on that he still did not believe what I was saying and before you know it, the talk became a screaming argument. I was furious, I was finally doing the right thing and was being accused of going backwards.

I went back to my room, I’d had enough of arguing. As soon as I closed the door, I burst into tears. My emotions hit me and I sunk to the floor, crying my eyes out. I had been trying to be so strong, make plans and do the right thing. I felt like all my efforts had been a waste of time. I was furious and began to text a friend about how out of order I felt my dad had been and how dare he accuse me of something I am no longer doing. I eventually calmed down and started to really think about what had happened. To begin with all I could think was that my dad no longer had trust in me. He had seen everything that I had done recently to battle my addiction. I thought he had started to see a change in me but he hadn’t. To him I was still the daughter that had lied for so many years. It occurred to me then that it was going to take a long time for me to regain my dads trust again. I had believed that because I was his daughter, he would automatically forgive me, like most fathers do. Then I realized, my dad was smarter than that. I clicked and knew he was going to make me go through hell and back to regain his trust. I was due to learn the hard way and I respected my dad more for this.

I walked back downstairs and my dad did not say a word, neither did I. I left to go to my friends and my dad did not stop me. I knew in his mind he was thinking I needed to be left to make the right decisions by myself. I wasn’t going to let him down again and told myself I would do whatever it took for him to believe in me once more. I want to be the daughter that he will be proud of again.

I got to my friends house and she welcomed me in with a smile, offered me a drink and then our other friend turned up. Within minutes, it felt like time hadn’t passed since we had last got together. We chatted and laughed for hours on end, ordered in some delicious food and had a great night. I felt so lucky to have such great friends. I had wasted so much time gambling that I couldn’t see the good things I had in my life. I started to feel more like myself again and that was a great feeling.

Today has been a learning curve for me. When life gives you a second chance, take it. Be grateful for the opportunities you are given in life and choose not to neglect those who are there for you. When you hear something you don’t want to, do not automatically dismiss it. Have a think about it, perhaps it’s for your own good. People have many different ways of showing they care. When you understand this, you appreciate it. It’s good to know they still do.

5 thoughts on “Life with a Gambling Addiction..

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