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Old 01-22-2019, 07:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Gambling


I recently talked with a friend telling her that I don't like to gamble because I hate throwing my hard earned money away. Yeah sure you get a win here, a win there, but in the end the house always wins.

Then I thought "why the hell do I dislike gambling but I like drinking?" It's the same thing. You have a good night here, a good day there, just enough to keep you in the game but in the end, the house always wins.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Very true. All compulsive behavior serves an emotional purpose, usually to regain control over feeling helpless over circumstances perceived as frustrating and intolerable. The quick fix or mood changer of gambling or drinking reverses feelings of helplessness and helps regain control (temporarily) of how ones feels. The antidote is the replace the quick fix with a high value behavior that empowers you in escaping the trap of feeling helpless, powerless and lacking control.
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When good values trump your addiction, there is no addiction.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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CRRHCC you're the first one I've heard use the word "control" the way I always thought about alcohol. I've often used that word and it seemed like a lot of people couldn't relate. They'd always stress that alcohol was used to lose control.

As crazy as it seems, I always felt the opposite. Thanks for clarifying that for me
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Then I thought "why the hell do I dislike gambling but I like drinking?" It's the same thing. You have a good night here, a good day there, just enough to keep you in the game but in the end, the house always wins.
There are some similarities between alcoholism and gambling on a psychological level. Specifically, they can both be compulsive. But God knows, they must be different. I could not stop drinking, but compulsive gambling has always been a mystery to me. I just don't understand it. I easily walk by a slot machine or a blackjack table without even a fleeting millisecond of temptation. And people get addicted to this? I can intellectually understand it, but there is nothing inside me that helps me relate to compulsive gambling.

Alcoholism on the other hand is something else. I know what that feels like.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What's interesting to me is that I'm an alcoholic, I love gambling when I go on my Vegas trips, but somehow never developed a gambling addiction.

There are casinos and card rooms much closer to me, I could go whenever I want but I don't.

If I win big I'll stop playing right away. I once hit a royal flush playing video poker and won $1000 off a $1 bet. Stopped gambling for the rest of my trip and treated myself to some exquisite meals and shopping.

It doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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CRRHCC you're the first one I've heard use the word "control" the way I always thought about alcohol. I've often used that word and it seemed like a lot of people couldn't relate. They'd always stress that alcohol was used to lose control.

As crazy as it seems, I always felt the opposite. Thanks for clarifying that for me
I agree. My wife could never understand that drinking actually returned control to me, of my feelings, of feeling better. I wasn't necessarily in control of my faculties. lol.
What I have learned is that what all humans really seek is a sense of control. What we really seek is not a drink, a drug, porn or a bet, but a sense of empowerment (feeling better with our quick fix), especially in the face of feeling overwhelmed, helpless, trapped and powerless.
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When good values trump your addiction, there is no addiction.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WaterOx View Post
CRRHCC you're the first one I've heard use the word "control" the way I always thought about alcohol. I've often used that word and it seemed like a lot of people couldn't relate. They'd always stress that alcohol was used to lose control.

As crazy as it seems, I always felt the opposite. Thanks for clarifying that for me

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I agree. My wife could never understand that drinking actually returned control to me, of my feelings, of feeling better. I wasn't necessarily in control of my faculties. lol.
What I have learned is that what all humans really seek is a sense of control. What we really seek is not a drink, a drug, porn or a bet, but a sense of empowerment (feeling better with our quick fix), especially in the face of feeling overwhelmed, helpless, trapped and powerless.
It was certainly true in my case with alcohol. There were a number of reasons I should quit, but the most compelling, the one that really pissed me off when I first tried to control it, was the realization that I could not, all the while convincing myself that I just liked to drink. I could best describe it as being "fiercely annoyed" by becoming aware of that. Knowing that a mere physical substance was controlling my behavior was the single most important motivator that got me on the road to seriously getting help. That led naturally, although at first begrudgingly, to abstinence.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WaterOx View Post
CRRHCC you're the first one I've heard use the word "control" the way I always thought about alcohol. I've often used that word and it seemed like a lot of people couldn't relate. They'd always stress that alcohol was used to lose control.

As crazy as it seems, I always felt the opposite. Thanks for clarifying that for me


It was certainly true in my case with alcohol. There were a number of reasons I should quit, but the most compelling, the one that really pissed me off when I first tried to control it, was the realization that I could not, all the while convincing myself that I just liked to drink. I could best describe it as being "fiercely annoyed" by becoming aware of that. Knowing that a mere physical substance was controlling my behavior was the single most important motivator that got me on the road to seriously getting help. That led naturally, although at first begrudgingly, to abstinence.
The operative word is, "Control." When circumstances in life are perceived as overwhelming we have learned to regain control of our emotions (how we feel) with mood changers and quick fixes. We need to recognize our feelings, reframe our thinking and replace the temporary quick fixes with other high value behaviors that we find important. The ladder is often the hard part. We all need to find values and purpose in life besides drinking and drugging our feelings in order to regain control! It's not rocket science. We need to see the forest through the trees.
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Our thinking determines our feelings and our feelings determine our actions.
When good values trump your addiction, there is no addiction.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Agreed
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I donít get the gambling thing either.
I can take it or leave it. But on the whole leave it.

Maybe this is how normies feel about alcohol
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I donít get the gambling thing either.
I can take it or leave it. But on the whole leave it.

Maybe this is how normies feel about alcohol
I think it is. When I think about it this way, I understand why many people are so unsympathetic toward alcoholics. They just can't understand why we do that to ourselves. This is why I kept going to AA meetings where people understood each other. It was a good place to be in recovery.

I had a side business one time doing sanitary reviews. People call them perk tests, because that's all they see being done, but the real work is in preparing documents submitted to the state on parcels of land that are subdivided. I was doing one on a large tract that was for sale. When I told my wife where I was going she told me that she knew where that property was, and with a tone of disgust, she told me that the owners were alcoholics.

I had to get the owner's signatures on some documents and expected a couple of drunks living in a house of disarray, so I was surprised by a lovely home with two seemingly normal people who were quite gracious and cooperative. Years later when I found my way to AA, those owners were at the meeting and were some of the old timers with years and years of sobriety under their belts, but with many people, my wife being one, they were still looked upon with a jaundiced eye.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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A little education is what is needed on addiction.

It’s like calling someone a nut job or a retard if they have learning difficulties or mental health problems.

I used to think the same about alcoholics too.
But that’s what I’d been taught to think.

Alcoholism covers a wide spectrum I think
You shouldnt have to be end stage and on your own through drink to own up to having a problem.

Hopefully society is learning a bit more as new generations come along and weed out this problem and catch it early on
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:12 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I mentioned somewhere in a previous post I read somewhere that most / many alcoholics drink because they feel powerless. And by drinking they feel they are regaining some control .
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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All addictions serve an emotional purpose. Compulsive gambling is no different than alcohol or compulsive porn watching etc. All addictions are symptoms of something else in our lives that bother us. Addictions are behaviors used to regain control over our emotions, usually feeling helpless, trapped and out of control. Addictions help us reverse those feelings with a quick fix or mood changer. You don't get addicted to a substance or a behavior unless you have learned it does something for you.
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When good values trump your addiction, there is no addiction.
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