How I Helped a Client Overcome His Gambling Problem- Day One

I am a foreclosure defense attorney. As part of this process, I assist clients with their budget and financial affairs. One client has recently retained me and he is suffering from an on-line gambling addiction. It sent him personally into a spiral with his finances which resulted in him being in foreclosure. In addition to assisting him with his defenses in his foreclosure case, I wanted to help him overcome his gambling addiction. To start him with this process, I focused him to Gambler’s Anonymous and its 12 step program. I found the 12 steps on GA’s website.

By coming to me, he was already on to Step One of GA- “We admitted that we were powerless over gambling- that our lives had become unmanageable.” By simply coming to me, he admitted that he had a problem with finances and also with gambling. His life and finances were no longer manageable. Gambling was not the original cause of his financial problems, but they sure made them a lot worse. If he did not get his act together, he was facing foreclosure and divorce. In just coming to me, he was forced to admit that his primary problem was gambling. I was glad that he felt free to admit this to me. He had hit “rock bottom”; he was ready to stop digging a bigger hole for himself. He was ready to lift himself up. I was ready to help him more than he had planned.

In coming to me, he had finally decided that he had enough. He decided that he was powerless to control gambling by his own. He needed help and was finally willing to ask for it. He wanted his life manageable again and was willing to do what was necessary. This first step was simply to stop gambling. A great virtue is humility; it requires humility to admit that one cannot control his life without help. This client had the humility to get this help. By getting his finances in order by quitting gambling, he is much more likely to make himself eligible for a loan modification to save his house, save his marriage, save his sanity and save his soul. My client has a very long way to go to get his life back in order. But by getting to step one, admitting he had a problem, he is on the way to recovery.

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