Gambling Addiction Help – How to Stop Gambling in 60 Days

For some a roll of the dice, spin of the roulette wheel, yank of the slot machine lever, or the shuffle of cards is an occasional jaunt of pleasure. However, for others it becomes a habitual compulsion (gambling addiction) that destroys their family life, finances, and career!

Over the past decade or so, the sixty for thousand dollar question has been; what causes a gambling addiction? Is it a disease? Is it caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain? Well, the mainstream disease theorists would have you believe that it is, but I beg to differ! First and foremost, there is no pathological test to diagnose a chemical imbalance. In fact, there is no empirical evidence to even prove that it exists. It is purely hypothetical and is subjective to each and every clinician. And moreover, the very notion that a disease oriented co-dependence theory could be applied to a compulsive behavior such as a gambling addiction is preposterous. Would the disease theorists have us believe that a chemical in the lever of a slot machine addicts a person to gambling? Or, would they have us believe that a chemical substance in a deck of playing cards seeps through ones fingers and traps them hopelessly in a life of thrills and spills? I don’t know about you, but I’m not buying it!
So, what exactly is the root cause of a gambling addiction? Unlike drugs or alcohol, gambling is obviously a compulsion rather than a substance. And despite this stark contrast between substance abuse and habitual compulsions, the basis for the addiction is one in the same. As with any addiction, a compulsion generally makes people feel better or happier, and it diverts them from their emotional pain. For those that gamble habitually, it’s not a substance but the feeling of power, the thrill of winning, or the excitement of high stakes and chance that diverts them from their emotional pain. However, the thrill of victory quickly turns to agony of defeat when snake eyes show up, or they bust at blackjack and inevitably arrive at a point of financial disaster!

Now, at this point, you may be wondering what causes the emotional distress that leads to gambling addiction. Well, experience has taught me that the root cause of every addiction is the emotional trauma caused by family dysfunction. In fact, as an addiction recovery coach, I have never seen one case that wasn’t rooted in patterns of verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, parental control, part-time parenting, or drug and alcohol abuse. So, take a moment to self-reflect. What emotional issues are you trying to divert your attention from? Have you been abused, controlled, or unloved? What are you failing to change or to take responsibility for in your life? These are the questions that must be answered. Do you want to change your life? Do you want to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with it? Regardless of what others say or what you may tell yourself, you have the power to make choices!

Here’s what you should do

1. Make a decision right here and now to do whatever it takes to deal with your emotional issues and change your life.
2. Turn over your finances to a trusted family member or friend. Someone that can pay your bills and buy the necessities. Establish a date in writing, preferably 60-90 days that they will turn the reins back over to you, with the understanding that if you haven’t stopped gambling or you return to it, they will not!
3. Uncover and confront the root cause of your gambling addiction. (family dysfunction)
4. Re-discover yourself through self-reflection.
5. Be prepared to change your lifestyle and your friends.

Regards,
David Roppo
The Addiction Freedom Coach

Stop blaming and criticizing others

Empathy is about understanding and entering another person’s feelings while compassion is about actually feeling someone else’s pain and desiring to relieve them of that pain.

Surprisingly, to express compassion and empathy to others, you must first begin with yourself. You must first become aware of your feelings as well as accept that we are all humans, we are imperfect and we all make mistakes. We must accept that it is okay to experience moments of self-doubt, fear, insecurity and disappointment. We must also accept that we will, at times, make the wrong decision, the wrong choice.

Often the greatest challenges for most people, particularly men, is the simple skill of feeling one’s own pain, of being aware of one’s deepest feelings. In other words, for us to be compassionate to others, we must be able to also be honest with ourselves about our own pain; we must be willing to admit that pain to ourselves, and for most men, that is a hard thing to do.

Why is this point significant and timely?

The economic crisis is affecting people in many different ways and on many different levels. The resulting physical, mental and emotional stress is one explanation of the recent spates of violence, mass murder and suicide.

For we men, it is very hard to admit to others and thus, ultimately to ourselves the pain that we experience. That pain can take many forms – hopelessness, failure, fear, helplessness, self-doubt, anger, jealousy and resentment. Sometimes it is hard for us to admit that pain because we tend to be so rational and intellectual (stuck in our heads) that we are simply not even aware of what we are actually feeling.

I would like to use a personal example to illustrate this point.

On one occasion, I had met a lady with whom I had a powerful connection with similar interests and values and a great sense of humor. Very soon into the friendship, I found myself criticizing and judging her; complaining about what she wasn’t doing, finding fault with her and even accusing her of lacking compassion. We wasted quite a bit of time arguing and of course, intellectually, I was able to justify every one of my points.

Being stuck in my ego, to prove to myself that I was right and justified in my position, I walked away thinking to myself how screwed up she is and blaming her.

A few days passed and then I had a sudden awakening and revelation.

I had been using criticism and judgment as a wall around me to protect myself from feeling my own pain – the pain of the hurt from past relationships. I was transferring my pain from a past relationship onto her. Above all, it was a successful strategy of pushing her away so that I would be safe, not have to become vulnerable or admit what I was truly feeling – in this case – failure, betrayal, rejection and a lack of love from a past partner.

Ultimately, what I was afraid of was to open up and with sincerity, vulnerability and humility admit that I was in pain, hurt from the past, angry at myself for poor choices and poor judgment.

Yes, I was afraid of my own pain.

Many of us seek out ways to avoid facing our own pain, ways to numb or escape the pain from both the past and present – often things that occur in everyday life. The subconscious attempt to escape pain is one of the primary causes of addiction, stress, illness and even weight gain.

Denial, though, is never freeing.

Denial always leads to other painful consequences such as addiction (and its subsequent price), self-sabotage, shutting down emotionally and blocking out friends, family and love.

I felt great relief and release when I called my friend to apologize for hurting and criticizing her and when I was able to admit to her (and myself) that I was transferring onto her my pain and that my actions were my attempt to create a wall to push her away.

To release the chains that bind you, one must begin by exploring and facing the pain that exists beneath the surface. I suggest writing down what you feel. Begin with and complete the sentence “I am angry at/with/because.” Anger is usually the initial response to being hurt or injured – physically or emotionally. Next, go deeper, and ask yourself “What else do I feel?”

If you are still having a challenge with the above, then I suggest you complete the following sentences:

I feel afraid of…
I feel guilty because…
I feel sad because…
I feel ashamed because…
I feel regret because…

The act of admitting to yourself what you feel is often a big step forward to releasing you of those feelings versus being stuck in resistance, denial and escape.

Eating Disorder help – How to Overcome an Eating addiction!

Is there a substance in the food that chemically addicts a person?

Why do some compulsively overeat and others drastically avoid weight gain by under-eating or purging?

Well, first lets take a look at the three different types of Food Addictions:

Compulsive Overeating:

Compulsive over-eaters generally use food as a coping mechanism to deal with underlying emotional trauma and depression. The binge eating temporarily relieves the stress of these feelings, but unfortunately, it is always followed by more shame, guilt, disgust and depression.

Anorexia Nervosa:

People suffering from anorexia generally restrict food in an attempt to maintain a minimal body weight. Most have a true fear of gaining weight. Weight loss is viewed as an impressive achievement, and extraordinary example of self discipline, but is a false bolster of self-esteem. If left untreated this addiction can be fatal. Bulimia Nervosa:

People suffering from Bulimia eat compulsively and then purge through self-induced vomiting, using laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, chew spitting, vigorous exercise, or other behavior to prevent weight gain. Ironically, many people suffering from Bulimia initially gain weight because the patterns of eating send the body into starvation mode, and it begins to store fat. Like Anorexia weight loss is viewed as an impressive achievement, and extraordinary example of self discipline, but is a false bolster of self-esteem. If left untreated this addiction can be fatal. Are you beginning to see a pattern with all three food addictions? They are all connected to underlying emotional trauma and issues of Self-esteem!

As with every addiction the key to abstinence is a high level of self-esteem and coping skills.

Self-esteem is the key component to abstinence, but it is not a learned behavior, a commodity that can be purchased, or a fruit that can be plucked from a tree. You see, possessing confidence and merit as a person is a product of self-love, and that comes from within. Therefore, to restore your self-esteem you must first learn to forgive yourself, and second you must tap into your own true personal power.

The following is a brief outline of the 5 steps to addiction freedom. Prior to following these steps or any addiction recovery program, take the necessary time to ascertain whether you require the additional support of an addiction counselor or medical attention regarding withdrawal. this advice is in know way intended to substitute the current advice you are receiving from a health professional.

1. Step One: Unearth the Square Root

Family dysfunction is the common denominator, or square root of all addictive behavior, and until it is brought to the forefront and confronted nothing will change! This is by far the most important and critical step of the entire process. There are two parts to step one, and they are as follows:

A. Uncovering your family dysfunction

Physical abuse Sexual abuse Verbal abuse Alcoholic parent Controlling parent Inadequate parenting

B. Confront the parent or parents responsible for the dysfunction

The thought of confronting the person that is responsible for your emotional trauma is one the most frightening situations you will face. However, it is also the most liberating and empowering thing you’ll ever do! Why do you need to confront your parent or parents? Well, first let me clarify the meaning of the word confront and in what context we are using this term. Confronting the person does not at all mean that you should verbally attack them for your misfortunes. On the contrary, you are not doing this for them. You are doing it for you! The confrontation is not meant to be an attack, but it is rather a chance for you to set the record straight and drop the emotional baggage that you’ve been toting around.

2. Step Two: Remove your Emotional Baggage

You have completed step one and have confronted your parent or parents. This in and of itself will have removed much of the pain and emotional trauma. However, to fully free yourself from their emotional stronghold, it will be necessary to find forgiveness in your heart for a family member that has committed an atrocity against you. Forgive! How can I forgive someone that committed these atrocities against me? Many people have a misconception about forgiveness. Forgiveness is not reconciliation! There is a drastic difference between the two. Reconciliation would mean that you have accepted and submit to their behavior and have agreed to try and continue the relationship under those circumstances. Forgiveness means that you merely give up or cease the resentment of the offender.

3. Step Three: Cure Wounditis

Without question, partaking in habitual behavior not only causes you pain but, it inflicts pain on the people around you as well. However, do not allow what you have done in the past or what others have done to you, to cause you to live in fear of what the future holds. The past is the past, it is over, and living in it does not serve anyone well. Live in the present moment, be kind to yourself, and learn to love yourself. How can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself? The answer is you can’t!!! It isn’t a big secret that you’re feeling shame and guilt for what you’ve done. In fact, you’re probably questioning right now as to whether you should be punished for your past actions. Well guess what, its ok! God doesn’t punish people, we punish ourselves. God is a loving and forgiving being. So if you thought that you would continue to punish yourself with shame and guilt before God gets a hold of you, you can stop right now! We do not have defects of character, are not full of shortcomings, and we certainly are not powerless! On the Contrary, we are all the same, we are all connected, and we all have the same power to change!

4. Step Four: Awaken the Power within

Whether you want to admit it or not, all of the pain you have been through concerning your habitual behavior is a spiritual lesson. And until you view it as such, it will continue to cause you suffering and unhappiness. Every dark cloud does have a silver lining, and if you look hard enough you’ll find one in this habitual situation too. However, to find that silver lining you must ask the right questions;

1. What can I learn from my addiction?

2. How can I grow from it?

The answers to these questions can be found in a place that is uncharted by most, and it is just waiting to be explored! It’s called your true self! To embark on a journey of Self -reflection requires the practice of Mediation.

For more information on mediation you can visit my website below.

5. Step five: Practice Acts of Random Kindness

Happiness is a state of mind. Individuals that are suffering from addictive behavior are not happy! Ironically, in an attempt to find happiness, they chose a vehicle to mask their emotional pain through the use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and various other compulsions. However, happiness is never found on the outside in material possessions or in the abuse of substances and compulsions! True life happiness can only be found in one place, and that place is within! Happiness is not found in the practice of outward ideals or in other people. To the contrary, it is actually the small acts of random kindness that opens the heart and fuels the principle of unconditional love!

To practice spirituality is to be of service to your fellow man and make no mistake about it that is why we are all here. Begin with small acts of kindness such as opening a door for someone, letting someone go before you in the checkout line or just taking the time to offer a kind word to an older person or a child. You get the picture! The first thing I do upon waking in the morning is think of how I can be of service and throughout the day I am always mindful of opportunities that present themselves for me to do just that. You know, the paradox of the whole thing is that the more kind and generous you are the more love, kindness and abundance you’ll receive back. Don’t believe me! Just try it and watch what begins to happen to you.

Close your eyes for a moment. After you read this next paragraph of course! Fast forward 60 days from now, and imagine that you are eating food because you enjoy it and you take great pride in nourishing your bodies needs. Food no longer dominates or controls your life because you have tapped into your own personal power. You have elavated your self-esteem, and you have a high regard for yourself. in fact you love yourself completely and cherish every day as new beginning for self growth and enjoyment.

What would that feel like, and what would it do for you?

Experience your vision in real time!

Best wishes,

David Roppo

The Addiction Freedom Coach

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol without AA

However, alcohol addiction is not a genetically predisposed disease that is handed down through faulty genes, and it is possible to stop drinking alcohol in 60 days!

The following theories represent the current bio-psychosocial disease model of alcohol addiction as presented by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as well as the U.S. medical community:

1.The biological theory – Suggests that habitual users of alcohol have a biological abnormality that causes them to develop an addiction. The theory suggests that certain individuals are genetically predisposed to addiction by a faulty gene or perhaps a chemical imbalance in the brain, which renders alcohol addiction an incurable disease!

2. The psychological theory – Views alcohol addiction as problematic behavior. In other words the individual uses alcohol to enjoy the effects that it has on the mind and body.

3. The sociological theory – Suggests that societies which produce higher levels of inner tensions such as guilt, stress, suppressed aggression and conflict have higher rates of alcohol addiction. Furthermore, the model suggests that societies that are permissive of and encourage such behavior have higher rates of addiction.

Alcoholism is not a disease

Millions of people in the United States have parents who suffered from alcohol addiction, while they are not addicted to substances of any kind, and never have been. However, it’s no big secret that Alcoholics Anonymous believes that Alcoholism is a genetic disease since they attempt to enlist you for a lifetime of servitude in their organization!

It is also no big secret that people enjoy the effects of alcohol! But, why can some enjoy it occasionally while others need it daily? The stark difference here is that the occasional drinker is using it just for that; enjoying the experience while the habitual drinker is using alcohol to deaden the pain of their emotional trauma. In many ways, this is a solution for people addicted to alcohol! It diverts them from having to face the truth and deal with the emotional pain. But, I assure you there is a better way to deal with the emotional pain and rid ones self of addiction. One that doesn’t include Alcoholic’s Anonymous and can be utilized in the privacy of your home!

Alcohol addiction is not a disease because it is actually a symptom that arises due to the need to deaden the pain of underlying emotional trauma caused by family dysfunction. Once the emotional pain is removed and self-esteem is restored, the addiction disappears and alcohol becomes repulsive.

Most recovery groups including Alcoholics Anonymous place a great deal of emphasis on spirituality, powerlessness, and the emergence of a person’s sense of soul. They claim many of the steps of the twelve-step program to be paradoxical. Concluding that you are powerless over addiction, but like magic, you some how become more powerful! The goal of the program is a spiritual awakening although they often admit that most people find it difficult to make this connection because they feel victimized by someone else’s behavior. My experience teaches me to conclude that admitting you are powerless when it comes to overcoming alcoholism does not promote empowerment, and nor does it restore self-esteem! In my opinion, many of the twelve steps are not only unnecessary, but they are also counterproductive to making a spiritual connection, increasing self-esteem, and overcoming alcoholism.

Although the spiritual aspect of AA is by far the most positive factor in the program, most people fail to make that connection and adopt victimization instead. Which leads us to the Sixty-Four Thousand dollar question; how can you restore self-esteem when you have concluded that you are a victim? The answer is you can’t! The key to overcoming any addiction is first, liberating your self from the family dysfunction that has caused your emotional pain, and second, restoring your self-esteem. The likelihood that you will achieve those successes sitting in a church hall week after week, admitting that you are an alcoholic, counting the days of abstinence, and finding comfort in sharing your victimization with others is slim to none.

Best wishes,

David Roppo
The Addiction Freedom Coach