I haven’t written a post before on the topic of Addiction, so I figure now is as good a time as any…
Many of us will experience an addiction in our lives or wind up dealing with addictive traits-behaviors with spending far too much time on one thing. Basically, it makes for poor time management. For a lot of us, in time a true problem evolves, especially for those of us who are like me and have addictive personalities. We develop a habit. This new found habit begins to really affect our lives, slowly making a bigger and dramatic impact and difference in our relationships, home life, self esteem, emotions, and so on.
Personally, I developed an addiction to Gambling. I was a Compulsive Gambler. Thank God this vicious cycle only lasted for a little over a year. A true evil force made its way into my world. It all began with a few one dollar scratch offs from gas stations. I lost a lot of dollar bills, but over time I would win around 5 dollars or a little extra than I began with. Later, I began to get a rush from the chance, excitement, or anticipation and uncertainty of the outcome of the scratching. It was no longer enough to cash in the little winnings and go buy a meal at McDonald’s or whatever. It escalated. Before I knew it, I was playing 2 dollar tickets. Over time the gambling became more frequent. Then one day…upon buying three 2 dollar tickets of the same game at a local Speedway gas station, I jumped in my car, said a few of my good luck chants, and began scratching. Ticket 1, loss, then…Ticket 2, revealed something out of this world!
On a two dollar scratch off lotto ticket, I revealed a “WIN ALL” symbol. I hoped that I would win around 100 as I never had before. I sat with an open mouth, and eyes wide open, breathing nearly stopped after each number had a thousand dollars under it!!! There were ten spots on the card to scratch, which mean I won 10 thousand dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!! I laughed at it didn’t feel real. I headed back into the gas station and presented my big winning ticket to the clerk, and she verified that I won big and encouraged me to immediately fill out the back and sign my signature on the line at the bottom. I did, and then rushed home to wake my husband that early Saturday morning. We were thrilled.
So…I decided that the hubby and I would go to Hawaii for a week and enjoy a lavish vacation! A few hours later, my husband began to wonder if the disability that I was on would give me any trouble with playing the lottery and winning big…Problem was, we didn’t know just how big of an issue that would be if we went into the Lottery office and cashed it in. No one was going to stop me from turning it in and receiving my check, but you bet the US Government would send a few bills, because that’s a huge amount of cash to come into. Therefor, Medicaid would take it all to pay for a previous surgery or something. I would be responsible for it all. So it was all in vain. Because my signature was there in deep, black ink, I branded myself, I couldn’t get someone else to cash it that had no government ties. It was too late. I was destroyed. I cried. I screamed. That night we poured gasoline on the ticket, lit a match and watched the sucker burn. It was the only way I could have any sort of closure.
Sadly, I admit a few months after a horrific, experience with scratch offs, I was back at it!!! Crazy, eh?!?? yeah. It escalated. I went from 2 dollar tickets, to 3, then 5, then 10-and the unbelievable amount of a $20 for a ticket!!!I All of my judgement went out the window. I lived for that rush that the scratch offs gave me, and lost all reasoning. As poor as we are, dropping a twenty now and then for a ticket was no big deal, even though I lost half the time…Just hoped I could win under 500 dollars so I could just claim the money without signing anything or dealing with official lottery offices. However, the most I ever won was 100 dollars a few times.
Along with addiction comes irrational thinking, as you are blinded by the carnal feelings and cravings for that rush. This gambling addiction really affected my personal relationships with those I love the most. 99% of my dollars would be spent on tickets…I didn’t ever lie, I was just really great at not getting caught, or questioned…
In attempts to resolve this conflict I joined a chat room for Gambling addicts, which I found in a Yahoo search. Hearing their stories inspired me to stop. They all had it far worse than me. I had only been an addict for a little over a year. Most of these really nice people had lost major assets and cleared their checking or saving accounts in attempts for that pie in the sky. It was so sad. I received an encouraging letter from a man who had gambled most of his life, and was finally recovered. His words were soothing, despite coming through a computer screen.
It was all God and His only begotten Son, my Savior Jesus Christ, by The Power of The Holy Spirit! He took it away from me. The desire left me by His doing. All things are possible with God. I am stronger than ever! I never knew that I would stop this quickly if I could at all! But it was not of myself.
Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”
Isaiah 59:1 “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:”
Ultimately, I chose to look at that experience with the big win as a lesson and not a goal to achieve again.
My Father set me free from the powerful grips of gambling addiction. He can do the same for you. If you need any help with an addiction, seek to connect with resources or locate help in your area. AND seek God Almighty through Jesus Christ, the only way to God for salvation. I pray this post blesses you. Only God can truly break the chains that bind us.