The Path to Self-Forgiveness: Healing After Problem Gambling

the-path-to-self-forgiveness-healing-after-problem-gambling

The Path to Self-Forgiveness: Healing After Problem Gambling

 

If you’ve struggled with problem gambling, you know the painful emotions that can come with it: shame, guilt, and self-blame. 

 

This is especially true if you are someone who is hiding their struggles from the rest of the world. The difference between how you feel people view you from the outside, and how you view yourself creates dissonance in your life.  That dissonance can leave you feeling trapped, make you feel fraudulent, and harm your sense of self-worth. 

 

But healing is possible, and it starts with self-forgiveness and compassion.

 

Embracing self-forgiveness means acknowledging the past without letting it define your future.  By releasing shame, you create space for lasting change.  

 

This doesn’t mean that everything gets better overnight.  You may have a long road ahead to recover financially, repair important relationships, and refocus your energy on productive pursuits.  

 

However, holding onto shame keeps you trapped, while self-compassion helps you break free and move forward. You can’t change the past, you can only take those lessons and apply them to what you do today.

 

So how do you cultivate self-compassion and forgiveness?  Here are some strategies that work:

 

  1. 1. Acknowledge the harm while recognizing your humanity. Take responsibility for the impact of problem gambling on your life and others. Remember, struggling with this condition doesn’t make you a bad person. Separate your worth from your behavior.

 

  1. 2. Make a plan to move forward. When reflecting on past experiences, it’s easy to get stuck in self-criticism. Acknowledge what happened and your emotions without judgment. Make a plan for managing triggers and moving forward. Focus on taking action, not dwelling on the past.

 

  1. 3. Practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same understanding and comfort you’d offer a loved one who told you about their own struggles with problem gambling. Ask how you can care for yourself in tough moments. 

 

  1. 4. Make amends and create positive change. Apologize to those you’ve hurt, not for forgiveness but to take responsibility. Take tangible steps each day to pursue a life free from gambling harm. Let your past inform your choices, not control your path.

 

  1. 5. Seek support and surround yourself with resources. You don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Immerse yourself in a community of understanding individuals. The more support you have, the easier it is to practice self-compassion.

 

Remember, self-forgiveness is a skill to be practiced. It takes time. Be patient with yourself and don’t let setbacks discourage you. Slips are normal. What matters most is your commitment to treating yourself with compassion.

 

If you’re ready to start this journey, know that you have the strength to heal. Reaching out for help is a sign of courage. You have inherent worth, and you deserve a life free from gambling harm.

 

The journey won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it. You are worth it.

 

Sam DeMello,  Founder of Evive

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