As someone who has struggled with gambling addiction for a long time, I understand firsthand the challenges of maintaining sobriety. One moment, you feel like you are finally gaining back control, and the next, there is this overwhelming urge to gamble.
Recovering from Mental Illness
Breathwork can help with anxiety. Sometimes, when it comes to managing mental health, it's best to go back to the basics, like breathing. It seems too simple, and it is simple, but that doesn't make it any less important. Breathwork is an amazing tool to refocus, calm one's mind, and work through moments of high anxiety. The best part is that it can be done anywhere at any time.
Knowing how to initiate recovery from gambling addiction is hard. The internal struggle of wanting to break free from the grasp of compulsive gambling while feeling unsure about where to start can be overwhelming. I have been there, struggling with the yearning for change but feeling paralyzed by the enormity of the task of initiating my recovery from gambling addiction.
Recovering from a mental illness is already hard, but being prescribed the wrong mental health medication makes the experience even harder. In the past, I have been prescribed the wrong mental health medications, and I’ve heard many stories of others who have had to deal with the same situation. Being medicated incorrectly can be harmful, so speaking up when there’s something wrong is critical.
I am a recovered compulsive gambler. Overcoming gambling dependency was a long road of self-discovery and transformation. Going through the process of breaking free from the shackles of compulsive gambling left me vulnerable and a lot like someone who’s on the outside looking in. As a recovered compulsive gambler, I continue to identify as a gambling addict despite my recovery milestones because owning this identity gives me power over the compulsion that held me hostage for so long.
I fell into habit tracking because in a world that is constantly changing, having clearly defined action steps is comforting. I’m able to trick my mind into creating a productive routine that feels more like a game than a chore. Sticking to healthy routines has a tremendously positive impact on my mental health, and it’s never been easier to do because I found a way that I enjoy. (Who doesn’t like the feeling of being able to check off boxes?)
Gambling fixation doesn't look the same for everyone. Very quickly into my gambling escapades, I realized that each person’s journey is unique, and this is determined by their motivations, vulnerabilities, and circumstances. Looking back at my own experience, I see that I became an interplay of personality traits. Through the winning, losing, and desperation phases of my journey, my emotional struggles, personality, and attraction to the allure of gambling unlocked in me the chaser, escape artist, risk taker, denier, and isolationist. These are types of gambling fixation.
Setting goals is great, but setting realistic goals is even better. It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s the beginning of New Year’s resolutions season. While thinking about my self-improvement, I believe it’s important to set realistic goals that are easier to maintain and won’t leave me feeling like I’m fighting against the impossible.
Gambling addiction recovery extends beyond breaking free from the grips of compulsive gambling. I learned the importance of identifying and cultivating healthier outlets for stress and excitement to prevent relapses and embrace a fulfilling life in recovery. My addiction was primarily fueled by excitement and stress, and in my recovery from gambling addiction, I have discovered activities that offer a sustainable and enriching alternative to gambling.
Career development is a priority for me, and while navigating the professional world is tricky enough, throwing in the challenges that come with managing a mental illness with a career makes the situation even more difficult. As someone who struggles with focus and drastically fluctuating energy levels, work can feel impossible, leaving me emotionally and mentally drained. The desire to succeed professionally can be much more difficult when there are extra mental obstacles, but there are ways to make the process easier. Having a mental illness and a career is possible.