It seems I spoke too soon when I wrote the entry about My Gambling Addiction a couple of days ago. I waited until I was sure I had it back under control before I wrote about it but it has grown stronger than I realised.
I posted the entry about the bad manners I ran into when I went to do my Christmas shopping today then I decided to go buy a burger for dinner. It was late but not too late or so I thought.
When I arrived at the burger joint the door was open and the sign said they were open so I walked in. The staff behind the counter smirked at me and said they were closed. I said nothing. I simply turned the “Open” sign on their door to “closed” as I left.
As I walked away I spat the dummy and had an internal temper tantrum. When I lose my cool all the old thinking floods through my mind and I become quite childish and unreasonable.
The negative self-talk began.
It’s all just too much. The discovery over the past few days that I was ripped off by General Electric and an eBay seller, the day had been too hot for me to catch up on my sleep so I was tired, I was still smarting from the bad manners I had run into when I went shopping today.
As soon as I started focusing on the negatives my mind spiraled downwards.
I knew, as I walked to my car, that the man I pine for would not be having a burger tonight. He would be having his 50th birthday party and I was pretty certain he would not go to bed alone after it. Someone would be making it a night to remember for him. As for me – I couldn’t even get a lousy burger let alone birthday cake.
The negative self-talk continued.
“I know where I can get a damn burger AND have some fun!”
I tried to fight back.
“You don’t want to do that. You have your eftpos card with you so it could get out of control.”
It was no use. I was having a temper tantrum and I don’t listen to anyone when I am spitting the dummy – not even me.
I drove to the pokie (slot machine) venue. They were out of burgers so I ordered nacho’s and I played. I played and played and played until I was tired and bored with it. Only then did I leave and come home.
When I got home I decided to write this. I wrote that I had lost 150 dollars and then thought I better check my ATM slips to see if that was correct. It was not. I lost a hundred dollars more than I thought I had lost. I lost 250 dollars and it’s money I can’t afford to lose.
There is an overwhelming temptation to tear strips off myself. The words “stupid” and worse are hovering in the back of my mind. I want to beat myself to a pulp for this but I know that won’t help anything. If I give in to the temptation to say those things to myself I am likely to start thinking all is lost and there is no point even continuing to try.
I’m telling myself it was another lapse but there is a nagging worry in the back of my mind.
How many lapses can you have before you admit you have relapsed?
As a therapist I know it is not a relapse until I stop trying to give up but tonight I didn’t even try to stop myself.
Oh – yes – of course hehehe.
Tonight was not a lapse at all – it was a full blown relapse! I gave into the addiction 100 percent. I made no effort to control it at all which is why it blew out so badly.
That means I am no longer in the maintenance stage of the stages of change – I am back in the action stage.
That’s the plan anyway. I can’t stop trying. I can’t afford to stop trying. This is a set-back but I can get back on the wagon. I can give up gambling again and I will – now.
One thing I do know. I gambled tonight but I did not have fun. I do not enjoy losing my money. That is no fun at all.