I have been a punter on the horses for about 27 years. It's been a habit that became interwoven into my daily/weekly routines: looking at the form guide, going to the TAB, going to the races, talking about horses and betting while you're out.
These are just some of the times I invested in the habit, they are the physical actions, without mentioning all the other times I was thinking about it and not being present to those around me. And the money spent!
Anyway, that thinking and point of view, is mine now that I've been discharged from the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service. I can now see things for how they are. I'm in control of my choices and money in my life, with clarity, for the first time. I can now see how my body responses were driving my addiction and how my mind would justify and support this without questioning it. The therapy has given me the space and time to analyse my addiction for what it has been.
I sought out help when I had a bet of $2,700 on one horse (for a $50-$100 a week punter, I'd lost it) and yes, the horse did lose.
I knew something had to change and that was me.
Looking back now, I can say that I'm glad that the horse did lose, because seeking out help to rid me of my addiction has been life changing. About 2/3 thirds of the way through the treatment I felt a dark cloud be released and I let it go - gambling was no longer part of me - I wasn't holding onto it and using it as a stress release or something to hide behind.
This has opened me up to facing the challenges in my life and living ultimately a fuller life. This doesn't mean it's easy though - life takes courage and persistence, as does seeking out and committing to Statewide Gambling Therapy. If you can do this though, areas of your life will be opened up that you didn't expect or even know about and that's gotta be more exciting than betting on the last race at Toowoomba!