Now that you’re ready to let go of the slots lever and get your life back in order, you’re going to need a great deal of help. There’s a natural compulsion in some of us to believe we can do anything on our own, especially when it comes to difficult and embarrassing circumstances like an addiction to gambling, but you can’t let yourself make that mistake. You need to accept the help as it comes and actively seek it too. Let’s go over how to find a local support group so you can climb this mental mountain and move on with your life.
The quickest and easiest way to find a local support group is to pull out your phone or boot up your computer and type a few words into your favorite search engine. Try queries like “gambling addiction support near me” and “local support group directory” and you might be surprised how much is available in your area. Depending on the population size, you may end up with dozens of options. If you’re living in a small town, you might only have a few. As Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC says, “We only have control of ourselves and our own desire for growth and change. Part of that growth and change is deciding the type of person we allow in our lives, and the positive impact they can have on us.”
Regardless, be sure to save your findings or jot them down so they’re handy. Start devoting some time every week to scoping out the different search results. Don’t be afraid to move on after a single evening at a coffeehouse support session if you didn’t feel like it fit you. Keep looking until you find something promising, and then commit to sticking around. These things take time.
Visit a Worship Center
If you’re a spiritual person, you can find comfort and assistance through your local buildings of faith. Whether it’s a church, a mosque, a synagogue, a Buddhist temple, or anything we haven’t mentioned, if it suits your beliefs it’s well worth a trip. Larger facilities often feature regular support groups for a vast number of situations, including gambling. You may even discover a new ally in your struggle with gambling through the religious leadership. In an article by Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC she mentioned that “To improve your spiritual health, it can help to create a quiet space for solitude and contemplation or a place of curiosity and playfulness. Maintaining a playful, curious attitude can help you find experiences that offer hope, purpose, and meaning.”
Make an Appointment with a Counselor
“Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life.” Chris Corbett, PsyD. said. Therefore, part of your road to recovery will involve mental health professionals, especially if your gambling addiction is serious. (Tip: if you have to ask whether or not your addiction is serious, the answer is probably yes!) It’s important that you do some research on the psychologists you’ll be speaking with before you commit to anywhere. We recommend consulting modern technology again for this part. The internet is filled with all sorts of review services, so do a study of what others have said about the help they received. And don’t just stop there — read up on what the professionals have said about themselves. Find someone whose website description seems to resonate with you.
Reconnect with Friends and Family
Professional help, spiritual help, official help groups, these are all beneficial and well worth looking into. At the end of the day, however, sometimes our biggest source of support has been with us all along. There’s a lot to be said for attending formal group meetings with others who are experiencing difficulty with gambling, but we should never discount the role of familiar faces during the healing process.
While it’s challenging to approach the people we care about over such a sensitive subject, the rewards speak for themselves. Build a custom-tailored support group from among those closest to you. Chances are, your family and dearest friends have been worried about you all along, and they’ll be downright desperate to do whatever it takes to see you smiling again. What about those co-workers whose movie invitations you kept declining in favor of another round of roulette? You don’t have to gush abruptly at them about the problems you’re dealing with, but just agreeing to finally catch the latest summer blockbuster may be enough to make a difference.