Michael’s girlfriend has had enough of his gambling. She says he needs to quit or she’s leaving. Michael has tried to stop before and feels he can’t. He wants to know how to stop gambling. Dawson lets Michael know there’s no way around it, he’s going to have to get help to quit gambling.
How to Stop Gambling
MICHAEL (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) QUESTION:
Michael: I’ve been dating for about two and a half years and I’ve always been an avid gambler. It’s starting to take a toll on the relationship. To make a long story short, she wants me to quit gambling all together or she says she’s going to leave me, and I don’t want that.
DAWSON MCALLISTER'S ANSWER:
Dawson: You’ve been gambling for two and a half years. How much money do you think you’ve lost?
Michael: It’s been up and down. There’s been the good times and the bad. Overall, I guess I don’t have a number on how much I’ve lost, but a significant amount.
Dawson: And you love this girl, right?
Michael: I do! And I don’t want to lose her. I know it may sound dumb, but it’s not as easy to stop as people think.
Dawson: You are going to lose her. My heart goes out to you. It’s a strong addiction, like anything, like heroin or any of the other addictions. It’s horrible, it’s one of the toughest addictions to break.
Michael: I’ve tried before and I don’t know what to do. I can’t do it.
Dawson: Well, that’s the first step, to admit you can’t do it…alone. You’re down to a very simple, black and white issue. If you don’t turn yourself in and get some serious rehab, your life will be ruined, and you can go ahead and kiss your girlfriend goodbye. THAT’S IT!! There’s no other way around it.
Michael: I don’t know what to do because I don’t have the money now to afford to go get help. And she’s not exactly financially well off either. So, just in a bad situation. And the problem is that the casino is on the way from work to home, so it’s tough.
Dawson: Let me see if I understand what you are saying here…there’s no hope?
Michael: I don’t want to say there’s no hope. I don’t want to give up, but I don’t know what the next step is.
Dawson: I tell you what I’m going to do, I’m going to send you right to our HopeLine staff and we have a partnership with a group called Celebrate Recovery and they work with all addictions. There’s got to be a way out. It’s just about over for her (your girlfriend) and I know the addiction is strong and cravings can be incredible but there have been tens of thousands of others who have been able to become sober and stay sober from gambling. It’s not impossible by any stretch of the imagination!