Darren’s story – overcoming problem gambling
"I realised my gambling habit for what it was (an addictive and destructive habit)"
“Throughout most of my teenage years and continuing on into most of my twenties, I struggled on and off with gambling: mostly on sports betting, which manifested into Casino games – namely roulette and for a time, online slots. But at the height of my addiction, I was chaotically betting on pretty much everything. I tried giving up, but I always found myself back at square one.
I really needed help.
I was going through a tough time, and my lack of real awareness and attention to detail was affecting me privately and at work. This led to a diagnosis of ADHD and became the first big step in moving forward, as it led to me to taking an interest in how the brain works and how important self-care is. I recognised, that if I could just understand why it is I behave the way I do, then I would hold the power to tackle the problem thoroughly and through a fresh way of thinking.
A colleague at work was training to be a Life Coach and asked if I wanted free coaching, as part of her qualification. It was a process that would change my life: I felt fresh, clear, focused and empowered. I realised my gambling habit for what it was (an addictive and destructive habit) that needed positive, specific and tailored action.
I safe-guarded my finances; I put blocking software on all of my devices; I became healthier mentally and physically.
I gave up gambling and felt free.
As the days and months passed, I made a promise to myself that if I could go two years without gambling, I would help others who are struggling. Five years later, I’m well into that commitment:
I volunteered for Gambling Therapy, on their online chat: a charity that offers practical and emotional support to gamblers worldwide.
I have also been quite active on Instagram, where you will find short, one minute videos offering my own tips and advice on how to give up gambling.
And I have a blog: where I can dig deep and reflect honestly with limited distractions.”
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