Life with a Gambling Addiction..

Filling the Void by a Recovering Addict

“All the suffering, stress and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for” – Jon-Kabat-Zinn

At the GA meetings I have attended so far, ‘filling the void’ has been a massive topic of discussion. In today’s blog I will discuss what I have done so far to ‘fill the void’, as well as plans that I have for ‘filling the void’ in the future.

Throughout my life, I have constantly found it difficult to relax. I have always felt that I should be doing something. In the past, this usually resulted in going out gambling. Since I have stopped gambling and went into recovery, I have been looking to find out what my interests are. Gambling had more or less taken over my life and in the beginning when I was looking to ‘fill the void’, I got quite upset at the fact that I didn’t have any hobbies or major interests. It was a frightening realization, I did not know myself or what I enjoyed outwith gambling. Over the past week, I concentrated on discovering myself and what it was that made me tick. This was an experience in itself.

My main interest now, is writing. It had been an interest of mine in the past and something that I had once wanted to pursue as a career. I did a lot of work experience at a major newspaper. I had written and co-written a few articles and was always asked back. Sadly, this came to an end and I decided to stop going when I began gambling. The way I now view writing, is a way of expressing myself. Writing a blog has assisted me greatly so far on my journey to recovery. Typing out my thoughts, feelings, actions taken and generally just getting everything out of my system, has helped me to move forward. Writing the blog has also forced me to analyze situations that I really needed to take a closer look at. For this, I’m glad and feel I definitely made the right decision to create a blog about my addiction to gambling. I’d like to thank those who have taken time out of their day, to read my posts, like and comment. Your support is very much appreciated.

In addition, I have found that listening to music has helped me to ‘fill the void’, as it eases my mind. I now listen to music for half an hour before I write in my blog. I’ve found that music relaxes me, enabling me to think more clearly about my journey so far. This in turn, helps bring to light the important matters that I want to discuss on my ongoing recovery. On the topic of music, before I was a gambling addict I used to attend various concerts. I had a friend who I would attend these gigs with on a regular basis and we have recently started to talk again. We spoke this evening about going to a concert in the near future. He is going to look tonight for concerts we would both have an interest in and get back to me tomorrow with a list of a few. A hobby from the past that I think will be beneficial for me to make a current one.

There are several other ways I have ‘filled the void’ recently. I have caught up with various friends from the past, have spent time rebuilding relationships with family members and attended GA meetings. One of the men from my last GA meeting had discussed how meditation has helped him in his recovery and I found this quite interesting. I had been looking into mediation and breathing techniques recently, for other ways of helping me to relax. He sent me a message last night with the name of the meditation app he has been using. It is called CALM and is free to try out. He told me that there are many meditations on the app and also sleep stories. I’ve struggled for years to switch off and get a decent nights sleep. It will be interesting for me, to try out this app.

I think for being in recovery, for just over a week now. I’ve made a decent amount of progress so far. I want this to continue and will do my best to ensure that it does. I’m beginning to see life very differently and I want to build a brighter future for myself. I have set my own personal goals and have a plan to help me reach them. Overall, I would say I have a much healthier look on life now.

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