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addicted to losing
I last gambled on 30/07/2018 by registering on the gamstop database for 5 years but I still missed gambling, felt like I had deprived myself of something. So I found a 'fun' site where you gamble with chips that cannot be cashed in, I thought I had found the answer because I simply paid £x in exchange for 7 million chips and played to my hearts content. However, after a few weeks I realised that I had spent hundreds of pounds on chips, secure in the knowledge that I could never win my money back. 

This somewhat bizarre behaviour got me thinking about why I need to gamble even when there is no chance of getting my money back.

As I child I saw myself as the black sheep of the family, was constantly in trouble and being made to feel bad about myself. I can relate this childhood feeling to my gambling. I recognised the low feeling when you lose to feeling bad as a child being told off and then I made the link. If my comfort zone is my childhood when I was responsibility free then maybe the low feeling I get when I lose at gambling is intertwined, an essential element of my comfort zone. Just maybe my gambling was my way to transport myself back to my childhood and sadly part of that safe place includes feeling bad about myself.

I have often gambled and won yet even though my conscious mind was saying stop I kept playing until I had nothing left. I did this over and over again and couldn't understand why someone as intelligent, artistic and creative as I could be this stupid?

Since recognising that blame and low self esteem are very much a part of my comfort zone I no longer feel that I am depriving myself by not gambling.
As a child the winner is rewarded, the losers not, and there are many losers in any competition and only one winner. For every winner the majority are left feeling inadequate, didn't make the grade. So we are brought up to try and be a winner but as most of us are not the winner, so statistically we grow up feeling inadequate.

Our parents, our teachers, our bosses think sarcasm and derogatory comments are acceptable, not damaging but I think that they are. We think we encourage our children to be confident but in truth we do the opposite to gain control. The Inbetweeners is a typical example of this, Jay's father, the headmaster, with their put downs, all very funny but in reality it is not. We are bringing up our children to feel inadequate and with that self doubt comes bad habits. Smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, self harming and worse.

Our most revered comedians use derogatory observations and sarcasm to make us laugh but I for one am not laughing now.

We are brought up on feelings of guilt, we feel guilty when someone dies even though it was not our fault, we feel we should have done more, even when we could not have done more. The 'if' word plagues us. If I hadn't asked for that lift, if I had arrived 5 minutes earlier, if I hadn't had that argument. Guilt is part of our societies way to keep us under control, for the gambler, we see gambling as the one place that we cannot be controlled because when we gamble we are out of control. The irony in this is that when gambling we are being controlled even more than ever.

If you can relate to my story it may help you as it has helped me to understand why I gambled and having realised the cause can dispell the myth that I am hopelessly hooked and can do nothing about it. 

Registering with the Gamstop Database was the biggest leap of faith, that in turn led me to the 'fun' site which in a strange turn of events provided the answer as to why I gambled. 

I cannot be the only one who gambled for these reasons and I hope that if you can relate to my story it will help you to understand also why you gamble. I know it is not the case for all but it was in my case.

I hope this works for you too.

Time to forgive ourselves, recognise our talents and not dwell on our failings. Heart

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