Consequences: If we all had a TV monitor which would tell us the consequences of our actions associated with our addiction; we often would avoid the behavior that starts us down a slippery slope. When we start dreaming about how much fun we could have gambling we begin a chain of events with the following consequences. Blowing a chance to find our purpose (any time soon) in life, blowing a chance at real joy (accepting fun and destroying real joy) trading in a chance for something in life that satisfies for cheap thrills, chasing away the Holy Spirit and unintentionally inviting spirits that we don’t want around in (if we fall).
This chain of events is what always happens. These are the minimum consequences. We are not talking about going broke, ruined relationships and other disasters. This is just the minimum disaster that will find you if you fall.
How can you make it a habit to remind yourself of the consequences of your addiction?
Michael Hardiman in his book Overcoming Addictions says “Gambling addicts tend to deal with emotional distress by using defense mechanisms of distraction and rationalization. A cycle of obsession thinking about gambling takes a firmer and firmer hold on the person’s mind. Fatigue and financial loss lead to taking higher and more impulsive betting risks, with even less chance of success. Emotionally exhausted from the outcome of this addiction, the gambler has fewer and fewer resources to use in his relationships, his family, and his work. Gradually, as financial problems mount, he becomes more and more secretive and deceitful, mortgaging more and more of his resources, losing more and more money, all the while hoping for the big win that will relieve him of this burden. Should this win occur, he is likely to lose it all again, and so the cycle continues. This is akin to someone trying to dig themselves out of a hole with a shovel–all they do is get in deeper. Most untreated gambling addicts eventually lose everything they won–and often a lot of what they don’t own–leading to lifelong debt and financial impoverishment. Emotional withdrawal follows and deeper anxiety sometimes leading to suicide. Sometimes the addict turns to some other addictive substance such as alcohol. Over a period of years, the person becomes an emotional and spiritual wreck.”
If you see yourself going down the path he is talking about you need to get outside help now.
You must destroy the myth that if you just keep on playing sooner or later your big score will come in. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have plugged $10,000 plus $20,000 plus $30,000 plus their retirement plan and everything else they had into gambling. They have nothing to show for it except a headache and you won’t either. Very few people would say that if they sat down with the 10 best poker players in the world that they would come out ahead after a week of high stakes play. Because you wouldn’t, because these players are probably geniuses compared to you and me. But quite frankly your odds are better playing against these people, than your odds are for hitting the jackpot.
Key Point #1 Think more about the 140,000 people who went broke trying to hit the jackpot than you think about the one person who did hit it.
Get rid of the It’s only $10 or $40 or $200 mindset. If you have a problem with gambling that $10 bet keeps you in your rut. You may not associate the $10 Lottery ticket you bought Tuesday with the $450 or the $1450 you dropped at the casino on Saturday. But the problem is that on Tuesday your thinking was in the wrong place and that helped lead to your blowout on Saturday. Quite frankly thinking right on Tuesday in no way guarantee’s that your Saturday will go well, but thinking wrong on Tuesday pretty much guarantee’s that you will slip back into problematic behavior.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.
Read John 7, 1st Corinthians 7 and Proverbs 5 from the Bible.
Continue to read “The Purpose Driven Life”.
www.alcoholrehab.com noted the following
“Fear of the future not only keeps people trapped in addiction; it can also prevent them from making progress in recovery. The most common fears that people experience will include:
The thing about most fear is that it involves worrying about things that have not happened yet, or may not ever happen. It is therefore necessary for people in sobriety to develop the capacity for letting go of the future. This involves taking a leap of faith. It means believing that because they are doing the best they can now it will mean good results in the future. Fear can be a devastating emotion in recovery from addiction. It can paralyze people so that they will not take the actions that are needed for success.”
When we start to live right before God we can ask Him to start to take away fear and we can expect an answer.
Let’s continue to watch people who are trying to quit to see what they are doing.
Mike decided to print out a list of the consequences of his actions and put it on his wall. Lisa decided to start a list called consequences. She started adding to it and looking at it morning noon and night.
Day one: Quitting addiction exercises
Day two: It is important to admit you are powerless
Day 3: Learn the right way to live
Day 4: Getting rid of negative emotions
Day 5: Remember – money lost is not yours. Don’t try to get it back or you will lose more.
Day 6: can you increase your pleasure by gambling?
Day 7: Staying clean in all ways helps you quit the addiction
Day 8: Decide what pain and pleasure you want
Day 9: Analyze what leads you back to your addiction