Comment: Why don’t gamblers take some responsibility?

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THERE will be many who had much more testing young lives than I had and who used it to motivate themselves to progress in life.

I have total respect for such people and dearly wish I had done the same.

What is important is that the rest of my life should have a meaning and that I use my remaining years as honestly and ‘responsibly’ as I can.

To suggest I or any other compulsive person should take some responsibility and to then put my addiction down to being weak willed may well bring a ripple of approval from some quarters and that’s great. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and far be it for me to suggest their wrong.

What it doesn’t do in most cases is have any affect whatsoever on the addict, nor does it bring about a positive change. What does is interaction with other addicts in recovery.

My hope in writing these articles is not to convince those who disagree with my views. To argue is futile and a waste of time. If you disagree that’s fine; to argue what’s right and wrong is for philosophers to do.

My aim is only to pass on my views to the open-minded and hopefully help those who are affected by compulsion, and to therefore, in some small way, bring a better understanding to sufferers and their families.

If you feel you have a problem with gambling and a desire to stop or you are family members looking for advice or advocacy, you can find information and help-lines on the internet. By entering ‘sources of help for compulsive gamblers’ you will be directed to supportive sites.

Alternatively you can call me on 07799041865. If I am not available at the time, please text ‘gambling problems’ and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

All conversations will be confidential.

> Stephen Gardiner is a recovering compulsive gambler with four years abstinence from gambling.

Stephen became addicted when he was about 21 years old and very quickly became perceived as a hopeless case.

He entered a rehab clinic aged 43 and exited a changed man. As a result of the help he received he now has a diploma in counselling and the experience and skills to help others recover.

He blogs for the Citizen as The Reformed Gambler.