Mother’s Day is approaching on Sunday, May 8th, and for many of us, it provides an opportunity to reflect on our relationships with our mothers. In some cases, this is not an easy task. While many of us may turn to our mothers for comfort and guidance, for others, our relationships with our mothers are difficult and overwhelming because we were unable to get what we needed, we’re unable to forgive or had done something that was so hurtful that we damaged the mother-child bond long-term. Complicating matters is that in some cases our mothers have since passed away, so it seems we lost any opportunity to make things right.
Problem gamblers often use their addiction to escape and/or to deaden the pain associated with childhood experiences and/or challenges encountered in their daily lives. So, when decisions are made to lead a life free of gambling, a major part of the recovery process is to identify mistakes made and to make amends to those whom we have hurt or wronged. At the heart of making an amend is taking responsibility for something you have done.
Making amends is a process that requires patience and perseverance. To begin, it is important that you reaffirm your commitment to the recovery process and to change. Your ability to strongly agree to the following statements will help prepare you when working toward making amends.
♡ I admit that I have a serious problem with gambling that I cannot control.
♡ I am actively seeking help to understand and resolve my problems.
♡ I wholeheartedly commit to working on my recovery for long-term change.
The first step is to take some time and to think about how you might have hurt or damaged the relationship you have with your mother because of your gambling. Wrongs can take many forms. They might be financial, social, emotional, physical, or combinations of these. Sometimes problems and misunderstandings result from a failure to do something or from neglect. In other cases, despite your attempt to make amends, there might be no true words or actions that can make up for what you have done or the hurt you have caused. However, you need to keep in mind that whatever you may have done, it’s important to consider the very best you can do to rectify the wrong and do it. Know that after you have done your best, you need to stop beating yourself up, to let go of the guilt, and move on.
As a cautionary note, it is important to remember that even though you might be ready to ask for forgiveness for past mistakes and to try to make amends, your mother may have her own time schedule. The process of making amends involves your reflecting on how your behavior affected your mother and her life. It will require thinking and insight on your part to consider the most effective way to approach your mom and to determine if Mother’s Day presents as the right time. Think about whether you will apologize in person, by phone or in a letter. Will you explain what happened and take responsibility for your actions? Will you do something specific to rectify the wrong? If so, what? Write down on a piece of paper what you may have done and how you will make amends. Carefully reviewing this information will enable you to garner up the strength and courage to take the next step. And, in instances when your mother may no longer be alive, you can read a letter you prepared out loud or have a discussion at her gravesite, or upon holding her ashes, or in some other way that will enable you to communicate. Making amends is freeing and regardless of the outcome, it will enable you to move forward in your life.
For further guidance and assistance, contact the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s 24/7 Confidential and Multilingual 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine. Our compassionate HelpLine Specialists can provide you with the necessary support for healing one day at a time. The HelpLine offers concrete assistance based upon your individual circumstances. Need a certified professional therapist? Want to know which self-help programs might be able to assist? Need financial or legal assistance? Make contact today to learn how to manage your life.
The HelpLine may be reached by phone at 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), by text (321-978-0555), email (email@example.com), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), via the 888-ADMIT-IT mobile app (https://landing.appypie.com/888-admit-it), or on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.