Addiction and Companionship

I follow a guy on my Instagram called Chris and like me, he has a Miniature Dachshund, and like me he has been affected by a craving for something which has led to some difficult times. I wanted to share Chris’s story following on from a previous post I wrote about why dogs can help in continued sobriety. However, whilst my nemesis was alcohol in the form of binge drinking, Chris’s nemesis is gambling. This is Chris’s story and as you will no doubt gather, if you switch the word alcohol or drinking for gambling then the problem becomes one of addiction and the catalysts, are the same:

Chris’s Story

I’m Chris 34 from Glasgow and I suffer from a gambling addiction. I’ve tried just about everything to stay  clear from Gambling. My 3-day old niece, my papa being rushed to hospital, my gran who died, my papa who died or the one win that I need to clear my debts! These are just some of the excuses that I’ve told myself will help me deal with my addiction but in actual fact I wanted to celebrate the birth of my niece, shut myself away because I was upset at losing my grandparents and I wanted to win enough to clear my debts, buy the big house, fancy car and still have money to gamble!

I’ve been to GA to help me stay off my gambling addiction but again I would be losing my fight against the demon inside my head and before I know, I’d find myself lying in bed at night gambling everything I had! Some nights staying up from 12.15am when my wages would be paid in and I would still be awake at 7am gambling the last of my wages knowing I’d be getting up in 30 minutes! I remember one day getting paid but for some reason I didn’t gamble at night and I made it to work, only to end up gambling my full months wage on my lunch hour!

For the next month I’d be starving with no money to do anything, not that I ever did do anything other than gamble!

The longest I’ve ever stayed off gambling was 18 months with the help of my ex girlfriend. Whilst we are no longer together, I simply cannot explain the lengths she went to help me, nor can I begin to explain the change in my life from having someone help me so much! However, I always remember someone in GA saying he needs to be careful when life is good because that’s when it can sneak up and get him! I always watched him and thought I’d love it if my life was good, but I now know what he meant because a year ago, I decided to go back gambling secretly (or so I thought).

Chris continues… I work for myself so most jobs are cash, which means getting money to gamble was easy enough. I would keep a black jacket in the van so I could hide when going into a different banks to pay money in so I could gamble online. One time I smashed my phone through frustration of losing and because of the guilt, I became a horrible person to the one person in my life who had changed it and showed me what life could be like without gambling.

I always thought I knew what love was but when I met her, she took the meaning of love to a new level! We broke up and I didn’t want to be around anymore, I was so ashamed to be with her because of the hurt yet inside all I wanted to do was be with her. I had lied, stolen and manipulated people to feed my addiction, get my own way and ultimately allow my demon to win.

Today it’s me and Cooper, my miniature dachshund, and being with him makes me smile, makes me laugh and although he drives me crazy every day I know if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today to tell my story! Even now, sometimes I go to sleep at night hoping that I don’t wake up ever again but then I would feel Cooper move his paw to touch against me, and it demonstrates that there are some wonderful things in life. It’s small things like that I hold on to and it keeps me here still fighting! He will never know that he saves my life daily!

My best wishes go out to Chris as do my thanks for sharing his story. I really hope you continue to find peace and keep your demons at bay.

All the best….. Darren

Dogs Helping Sobriety

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