Comment: An exercise in futility

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ONE unfortunate feature of the problem gambler is the perception of control.

I genuinely believed that I was in control of my destiny the moment I withdrew my funds from the bank. With my money in my pocket I was now in charge and today I was going to hit the jackpot.

The problem with that notion was that I still had it after countless examples of abject failure and having to then drag myself home to concoct another lie.

It seems gamblers such as myself are unable to learn from mistakes, I lived in a world where the past was buried, not a good way to live when you consider most of normal society learns from their past and uses it as a way of protecting themselves from making the same mistake twice.

Yet there I was setting off on another sortie at the bookies, with high hopes of hitting it big. The past had no meaning to me because I was in total denial, insane with the gambling bug. I denied the existence of common sense and had no control at all, by the end of the day I once more had to face the music at home and no matter how painful this was, it would all start again the next time I got paid.

The definition of insanity to a gambler is: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!

If you identify with this and would like to seek help you can find information and help-lines on the internet by entering sources of help for compulsive gamblers/other related addictions and compulsions.

You will be directed to supportive sites such as Gamblers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.

You can also call me, if you think I can help, on 07799041865. If I am not available at the time, please text gambling problems and I will get back to you as possible.

All conversations will be strictly 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.