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It’s a huge deal to recover from a gambling addiction. Recovery is a remarkable achievement, but the journey doesn’t end there. After they overcome addiction, many people then have to start overcoming stigma.
This unexpected challenge is a tough one. Negative beliefs and stereotypes can cling to you like a shadow, making it difficult to reintegrate into everyday life and find your happiness. Yet, with determination and the right strategies, you can banish that stigma and embrace a brighter future.
You’re not alone
First and foremost, remember that you’re not alone. Many people have face gambling addiction and conquered it. You’re a survivor and that’s something to be proud of.
One key to overcoming stigma is open communication. Talk to your friends and family about your journey. Explain your recovery process and the steps you’ve taken to rebuild your life. Transparency can help to overcome stigma, dispel misconceptions and foster understanding.
Remember, if some of your relationships were damaged during your addiction, it can be a challenge to get back to normal. Rebuilding trust is essential but this might take time. While you do this, consistency and honesty are your allies.
However, there may be people in your life that perpetuate stigma and could even trigger a relapse in you. If that’s the case, it makes sense to restructure your social circles and surround yourself with supportive, understanding individuals.
Boosting your support base
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Overcoming stigma can be made a little easier with extra supports. Some people think that therapy and support groups are really only for those in the throws of an addiction. However, they can be helpful after you recover too. Sharing your experiences with your peers can be incredibly empowering.
Both support groups and professional therapy give you a safe space to discuss your struggles, gain insights and gather advice on overcoming stigma.
It’s also important to stay focused. Set goals of what you want to achieve both personally and professionally. Establishing clear objects gives you direction and a sense of purpose, helping you regain your footing. And meeting these goals helps you to prove yourself and overcome stigma along the way.
Rewrite your sense of identity
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It can be easy to think of yourself as purely a recovered addict. But rekindling old interests or finding a new hobby can be a great way to find a new sense of identity. They can boost your self-confidence and provide a welcome distraction from negative perceptions.
Stay strong and educate
You’re going to encounter discrimination or judgement along the way. But the only way you can overcome that stigma is to educate. Use those moments to dispel myths about addiction and recovery. By doing so, you contribute to breaking down the walls of stigma not just for yourself, but for all recovering addicts.
Share your successes
Furthermore, be loud and proud about your success stories. Show the world that recovery is possible and addiction doesn’t define you. Your experiences can inspire and support others who might be struggling.
So as you work towards a stigma-free life, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they seem. Every step forward is a victory.
Getting help for gambling addiction (and support during your recovery too)
Whatever stage you are at of your addiction or recovery journey, getting extra help is always a good idea. There are lots of organizations all of the world specifically designed to offer support and resources to those struggling with every aspect of addiction. Here are some in your area:
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