I freshly finished reading Born to Lose: Memoirs that a Compulsive Gambler by bill Lee. In his memoir that traces his gambling addiction ago three generations come his paternal grand who to be so addicted to gambling that he wagered his child (Lee"s father) on a bet.

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In the book, Lee focuses on his gambling addiction, relapses, and also other hardships in life. What"s advantageous as a therapist specializing in addictions, is how the intensity and the urges because that Lee"s gambling can easily be viewed from the view of various other addicts. Even if it is it"s alcoholism, medicine addiction, or sex addiction, Lee"s assumed processes and also the should escape are comparable to those recorded in the addictive cycle. "By the time I ended up being an adult i was obsessed with money. I defined and validated myself based on how much money ns earned and by my material possessions. This enabled me to feel superior to others when, in fact, I never felt favor I was an excellent enough".

When addicts space able come tap into their feelings, they often define lacking in self-esteem and also unconditional love. Hence the euphoric high the escaping to an addictive or compulsive behavior. Some addictions choose sex, gambling, or food can provide addicts a false sense of interior security as soon as they"re engaging in them. Simply as Lee explains this emotion of being affirmed by the money and/or possessions, sex addicts crave a similar feeling of affirmation yet garner the through sexual acting out. Those experiencing from anorexia or bulimia may feel a sense of self-love once their physical picture is regulated by their absence of eat or bingeing/purging.

What makes addiction recovery daunting is numerous addicts may have other addictions or learn to switch addictive or compulsive behaviors. Lee identifies v this, "For every intents and also purposes, I had actually merely switched addictions and become a workaholic. My task served as another sanctuary because that me: it detailed excitement, the job-related consumed every my energy, and also I felt crucial there. But it wasn"t enough. The job simply masked my insecurities."

In addition to sharing about the behavior traits the gambling addicts, Lee likewise gives us understanding into the psychological character traits endemic to many addicts grounding in their search for a fix. "The reality is that countless of us compulsive gamblers start disagreements with spouses and also storm the end of the home just so we can go and feed our addiction."

This truth is conveniently seen through my job-related in sex addiction whereby clients not only blame your partners and get conveniently irritated yet take it the end on everyone and everything roughly them (pets included). "My the atmosphere primarily consisted of being impulsive, impatient, easily agitated, and also hostile.

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" also if their habits have stopped, this doesn"t mean real change has occurred.

There"s a large difference between an addict working his/her recovery and also one just abstaining from details behaviors. One deserve to "white-knuckle" v sobriety for a certain period of time but that is generally short-lived together their temperament gives proof to the deeper work-related that requirements to it is in done.

In Lee"s case, after experiencing from bouts that depression, divorce, and suicidal thoughts, that eventually discovered serenity and solace indigenous attending Gamblers Anonymous. That was not a linear path to sobriety but as addicts in recovery will attest, it never ever is.


Sam Louie is a therapist in Seattle who specializes in multicultural issues and sexual compulsivity.