Gambling Addiction – An Insidious and Morbid Disease

By: Anonymous

I have always contemplated why God “blessed” me with such defects including a highly addictive personality and a chemically imbalanced brain which causes deep depression. Here at Beit T’Shuvah I have learned the appropriate coping skills to not only live with these defects but to move forward towards a balanced and successful life.

I am in Beit T’Shuvah for a gambling addiction, which is an insidious and morbid disease. If I were to keep gambling it would take me down a torturous path with absolutely no return mentally and physically. Throughout my gambling career I lied, cheated, manipulated and stole from the people who loved and cared about me the most. This included my immediate family and close friends. Being in the trenches of horror for so long I realized I needed more help and discipline than a 12-step program can provide me. After doing extensive research, I had heard about Beit T’Shuvah through a family friend. Beit T’Shuvah is the only in-patient treatment center to deal with problem gambling in the state of California.

In May 2010 I walked through the doors and immediately felt as if I was “at home”. After only living at Beit T’Shuvah for a few weeks, I had already had a sense of warmth, understanding and security from both the staff and residents alike. This was a very unfamiliar and foreign situation for me. Especially associating with 120 different personalities with various addictions.

My very first Shabbat service at this recovery center was a contributor to me emotionally feeling for the first time in months. Amazingly, I was receptive to the enjoyment of Shabbat services. It was like I was sitting at a blues concert with Rabbi Mark (who adds a lot of chutzpa and excitement to services). Both current and past residents/ staff members produce all of the music. I have willingly gone to Shabbat services every Friday and Saturday for the past four months and loved every minute of it.

One of the most spiritual experiences I’ve had, which was an honor to be a part of, was the Shavuot service (commemorating the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai). We sang, enjoyed an in-depth education about the Torah and had an extremely unusual bonding experience composed of our community embracing the Torah being wrapped around all of us at 6am after being up all night.

I then had an epiphany. Even though we struggle with various addictions we are there for only one purpose. That purpose is to recover with friends and be a positive attribute to society. When one resident is in trouble, we as a community sacrifice our own time to help out. For example, one resident who has a sentencing coming up got at least thirty letters written to the probation office on his behalf and is expecting at least forty of us to accompany him to court to lend support at his sentencing.

This is what Beit T’Shuvah is all about, selflessness, community and recovery. I am getting the tools, wisdom and spirituality; I need to progress and to learn how live independently once again.

13 thoughts on “Gambling Addiction – An Insidious and Morbid Disease

  1. I am so glad you found hope and joy in recovery at Beit T’Shuvah Elon! You are testament to the program. The spiritual freedom is real just like the horror is real. It is a choice….

  2. Mazel tov! It’s good to see how far you’ve come along, shalom!

  3. Think this is a real hard truth that was finally put out in the open. I hope more people read this and get help. Someone has to want to recover and you are doing a great job of it.

  4. Elon, unfortunately we do not have the ability to choose our strengths and weaknesses; only to deal with them as best we can. I am thrilled that you have found BTS and are on your road to recovery as part of a community. While the work you have to do yourself is difficult, it is a tremendous investment in your brighter future. No matter how great the losses can be at a casino table, they pale in comparison to the loss and devastation to your life if you are not diligent about keeping it in check. May Hashem bless you and the BTS community for helping all in recovery through difficult times and knowing that they are not alone.

  5. I am always happy to hear that another parent’s child has made first steps toward a happy full life. I know only too well what Beit T’Shuvah brings to your life, however, I can not help but feel that a 12 step program will help keep you on the right road. All things work in concert. Don’t leave any notes out or it just doesn’t play as well.

  6. I am very proud of you!! it is crystal clear to me that you are on the road to becoming somebody very special. you have the talent and ability to do whatever you choose.. and do it well… so stay on track, stay positive, and good things will come your way!!

  7. I am so happy to read your blog and to realize how well you have adjusted. I am so proud of you and I look forward to meeting you one day very soon.

  8. I’m glad that you’re getting the help that you need, but BTS is far from the only in-patient treatment center in California that deals w/ gambling addictions.

    1. ya but if you read carefully it it says in California not the united states. And Yes it is the only inpatient in the state that treats problem gambling

      1. Victoria Cooper August 15, 2010 — 4:36 pm

        This is a FABULOUS article…..
        I am very proud of you and the progress you have made!
        As I have told you before, you even LOOK happier 🙂


  9. The worst story I’ve ever heard about online casino gambling addiction is about a woman who committed suicide because of her growing debt and broken marriage which were both resulted by his compulsive gambling.

  10. I hear a lot of real life stories about gambling addiction and most of those compulsive gamblers end up in depression and some almost committed suicide. All their reason related to online casino gambling.

  11. I am sure this article has touched all the internet users, its really really fastidious post on building up new webpage.

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