Feeling Left Out Because You Can’t Gamble

Feeling Left Out Because You Can't GambleIf you are in recovery from a gambling addiction, you may be experiencing feelings of missing out. Despite the negative consequences that resulted from your addiction, despite your awareness that you needed to seek treatment and stop gambling and despite all the hard work you have put into your recovery, there is still a part of you that misses engaging in an activity that you remember as pleasurable.

The Gambling Habit Can Be Hard to Break

Addiction involves compulsive behaviors that become deeply ingrained. Your gambling behavior became a habit, and it is likely that, despite having gone through therapy and having learned new behaviors and methods of coping with stress, you still feel a void now that you don’t fill your time with gambling. This is especially true if you are new to recovery. Times when you are inactive or bored may trigger familiar feelings and a desire to gamble. These feelings in turn can trigger the well-practiced denial of addiction, and you may find yourself rationalizing why it might be alright to gamble again “just this once.”

Addiction becomes part of the addict’s identity. While you were gambling, whether you were winning or losing, you thought of yourself as a gambler. Now that you no longer gamble you may feel a loss of identity. This can be true especially if you have friends who still gamble, and it can be easy to think of all the fun you could be having if you just went out and joined them.

How to Avoid Gambling Relapse

If you ever feel that your recovery is threatened, there are things you can do to avoid relapsing into gambling addiction. These actions include the following:

  • Remember why you needed to stop gambling in the first place. Remember the financial difficulty you found yourself in because of your gambling addiction, the stress it caused and the way it made you feel.
  • Remind yourself of the commitment you made to stop gambling and of all the work you have done to come this far.
  • Stay active. Find things you enjoy doing, as boredom combined with free time can be a powerful relapse trigger.
  • Stay in touch with your support system. Your treatment center, support group, sponsor, therapist or family and friends who support your recovery can help keep you on track during the difficult times.

Need Support for Recovery from Gambling Addiction?

If you worry that your recovery from gambling addiction might be in danger, if you have relapsed or if you are considering gambling addiction treatment for the first time, call our toll-free helpline. We are here as a resource to you, and we can help you find, maintain or regain your addiction recovery. Please call now.