In my personal opinion there are several phases/stages when it comes to gambling addiction. These phases are difficult to identify, and everyone has different experiences, however, I would just like to talk you through my experience and what I believe were five phases that I went through on my way to the peak of my addiction. I think a lot of people that have got involved in gambling in the past can relate to some if not all stages of gambling. Its a short blog this week and to the point. Let’s dive in.
- The Initial Thrill:
The first phase of gambling is that initial thrill of placing a bet. At this stage, there are no worries regarding money or possibility of addiction. It simply a bit of fun. I simply placed some bets and enjoyed the thrill that comes with the potential of winning a bit of cash. At the time it seems harmless. I was only placing small amounts, small wins, small losses and big thrill.
- The Great Potential:
The next phase is when things get a bit serious. I transitioned to this phase after I won some bets and uncovered new betting fields on different sports that I could explore. This gave me an idea of trying to outsmart the bookies and I honestly believed that I could make a lot of money. This is when I started to spend time studying stats and take gambling seriously. It was no longer a bit of fun it was the start of the addiction. I was beginning to get heavily involved in my betting decisions and as a result started betting with a lot more money a lot more regularly. I lost a lot more bets than I won and started losing a lot of money very fast. This led me onto the next phase of my journey to addiction.
As a result of my huge losses I began to regret my decision to start gambling. I was frustrated and angry with myself for investing so much time and money in gambling. I was so angry that I didn’t care anymore about anything. You be surprised but as a result I started to bet even more. I wasn’t betting with my head, I was betting with anger and shame. Bad combination. I just didn’t care anymore and as a result started placing a lot of foolish bets. My wallet, my mental health, college grades and my relationship with my friends and family suffered. I was being an idiot. However, I was in too deep, I needed to keep going, keep betting, keep searching for some kind of purpose.
- Recovering the loss:
Then I slowly came to my senses and started to really look at myself and my actions. I have realised that I have gone too far and needed to change my ways. My bank account was very low and I had a lot more months left in my college year. I needed money and I needed money fats. However, nobody knew about my addiction and I couldn’t turn to anyone for help. There was only one option left, I needed to win back my losses and the only way I was going to do that is to keep betting. I planned to start betting wisely and carefully and slowly win my money back and nobody will be any wiser. That was the plan. It was a very stupid plan but at the time I didn’t see any other option. As expected I lost even more money and was even more angry with myself. I was bouncing between phase 3 and phase 4 for weeks until I finally reached Phase 5.
I have been wrapped up on gambling for so long and have gone through so much pain, thrill, suffering and excitement when it comes to gambling that I any feeling/emotions that I once felt all dissipated very fast. I was no longer feeling anything when placing a bet. I was just going through the motions and getting wrapped up more and more in my addiction. This phase is the most dangerous. You no longer care about anything but the next bet. It becomes a hobby and it takes over your life. Every minute of every day I was thinking about the bet. I no longer cared about winning or getting my money back, it was all part of routine and I was betting just to pass the time.
So there you have it. The 5 phases that has led me to the peak of my madness. I will talk more of how it is like at the peak of the addiction. It is a horrible place to be. However, the journey is just as important as the destination. More to come in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading this weeks blog and I welcome any feedback. I would love to hear you opinions, ideas and comments. Let’s fight this addiction together. Hopefully those who are currently involved in gambling can relate to different phases and perhaps identify where they stand.
See you guys on the next one.