Basic problems part – 6

After first few weeks of the treatment I got basic insight in my problems. I reconcile with the fact, that addiction was controlling my life. During this period, I accepted many compromises that were inevitable because of hiding the truth, running away from real feelings and because of creating false ego. I wasn’t capable of facing the truth. I was determined to change this. I accepted my dark side and started working on my mental health. I stopped running away from problems.

I analysed my problems and that drove me closer to the essence and source of them. Addiction originates inside of us. It is affected by family relationships, patterns, from the way you were raised up and by mental characteristics of a person. Most important period when susceptibility to gambling addiction is build up is from your birth to the sixth year of life. In this period there are many experiences that can cause trauma. We can be aware of it or not. We can repress traumatic feelings in our subconscious. It is believed that even the period of mother´s pregnancy is very important for mental health of a baby in the future. Most common mental characteristics of an addict are lack of self-respect, incapability of emotional communication (positive and negative), sense of inferiority, doubtfulness, need to be addicted to something or someone and too sensitive for daily problems. The cause of every addiction is very familiar. A lot of the times happens that someone gets rid of one addiction but then suffers from another. I find myself in many descriptions of addicts.

My family picture looks like this: father is not a strong figure, mother is the main figure, she controls everything and make allowances to a child. During child´s growing up parents have very different approaches. Sometimes they are too strict, other times too soft. I remember that I was really upset and angry because of badly set boundaries. Now I also have problems with boundaries. I rarely know how to put up for myself. In families of gambling addicts, money must´ve been really important. It was the same with us. Because I am a son of young parents, who weren´t planning the pregnancy, talking about problems with money was on the daily basis. Parents told me, that if they argued about something, it was almost every time about money. About the lack of it. I didn’t really know what they were arguing about but I took this in my adult life with me.

At this point of the treatment I was more or less aware only of basic consequences of my gambling. Most obvious one was the big debt that is really hard to pay off. Every time I remembered the debt I got bad feeling. If I am not careful, I get angry and frustrated because of it. Very noticeable difference between addict and non-addict is also not keeping up with peers, most of the time seen on material things. This can be quite painful for me. Other consequence is also that I am still living with my parents which I otherwise wouldn´t anymore. Because of addiction I isolated myself from anyone and anything that I could. I lied, a lot, so hard that it developed into a pathological lying. I am very ashamed of it. I lied about small things that didn´t even matter to me. After it I asked myself, why did I lie right now? I actually didn’t know why. I just did it subconsciously. Simply, this is pathological lying. Very important consequence is that I lost trust of many people. Fact that I lost trust of my girlfriend, my family and good friends hurts the most. Those to whom you have the deepest feelings and you love them, they get hurt the most. Terrible is that I did it again and again. After that I felt guilty, ashamed, burdened because of it. I was angry on myself for doing this to my loved ones. When I am thinking about all of the consequences it can happen fast that I fell negative energy taking over me. Then I remember myself that working on mental health must be my priority and it will get better.

Osnovna težava del – 6

Po nekaj tednih zdravljenja sem dobil osnovni uvid v moje težave. Sprijaznil sem se z dejstvom, da je odvisnost usmerjala moje življenje. V času odvisnosti sem sprejel mnogo kompromisov, ki so bili neizbežni zaradi skrivanja resnice, bežanja od čustev in ustvarjanja lažnega ega. Nikakor se nisem znal in želel soočiti z resnico ampak sem ji izmikal. Odločil sem se, da bom to spremenil. Sprejel sem svoje napake in začel z delom na sebi. Nehal sem bežati pred problemi.

Analiziranje težav me je pripeljalo bližje bistvu in izvoru mojih problemov. Odvisnost izhaja iz nas samih. Na to vpliva vzgoja, odnosi v družini, družinski vzorci ter duševne lastnosti posameznika. Ključno obdobje, v katerem se razvijejo zametki nagnjenosti k odvisnosti je od rojstva pa do šestega leta starosti. V tem času se odvijajo različni dogodki, ki lahko predstavljajo travmatsko izkušnjo. Travm se lahko zavedamo ali pa ne, lahko pa jih potlačimo globoko v podzavest. Zelo pomemben naj bi bil že čas materine nosečnosti.

Najpogostejše duševne lastnosti odvisnikov so pomanjkanje samospoštovanja, nesposobnost izražanja čustev (pozitivnih in negativnih), občutek manjvrednosti, negotovost vase, potreba po odvisnosti in preobčutljivost za vsakdanje težave. Vse vrste zasvojenosti so si glede na vzroke precej podobne. Velikokrat se zgodi, da nekdo preneha z eno odvisnostjo, se od nje distancira ampak nehote zapade v drugo. Sam sem se našel v številnih opisih odvisnikov.

Družinska slika je v mojem primeru takšna: oče je medla figura, mati pa tista ki vse nadzoruje in otroku daje potuho. Starši imajo tekom otrokove vzgoje zelo različne odzive, včasih so kruti drugič pa izrazito medli. Spomnim se, da so me zelo jezile slabo postavljene meje, vendar imam tudi sam težave z določanjem mej. To, da se postavim zase, se zgodi bolj redko.

V družinah odvisnikov od iger na srečo je velik poudarek na denarju. Tudi v mojem otroštvu je bilo tako. Ker sem prvorojenec mladih staršev, ki ju je nosečnost presenetila, so bili pogovori v katerih je bil tako ali drugače vpleten denar na dnevnem redu. Povedala sta mi, da sta se večkrat kregala zaradi denarja, saj ga je vedno primanjkovalo. Čeprav nisem vedel o čem točno se prerekata sem to nekako ponotranjil in te težave prenesel v odraslost. Na tej točki zdravljenja sem se zavedal samo osnovnih posledic hazardiranja. Najbolj očitna je seveda gromozanski dolg, ki ga je težko poravnati. Vsakič, ko pomislim nanj, me vsaj za trenutek prevzame negativna energija, če nisem pazljiv pa me kar posrka vase. Zelo opazno (velikokrat tudi zelo boleče) je zaostajanje za vrstniki, kar se v glavnem odraža v materialnih dobrinah. Ena od posledic hazardiranja pa je tudi to, da še vedno živim pri starših kar drugače zagotovo več ne bi. Zaradi odvisnosti sem se izoliral od vseh in vsega, kolikor se je le dalo. Razvil sem tudi patološko laganje, česar me je bilo zelo sram. To mi je tako zlezlo pod kožo, da se lahko zlažem tudi o nepomembnih stvareh pri katerih od laganja nimam nobene koristi. Včasih premlevam, zakaj sem se ravnokar zlagal? Kar zgodi se, nehote, podzavestno. Preprosto, patološko laganje. Zelo pomembna posledica je tudi izguba zaupanja mnogih ljudi. Najbolj boli izguba zaupanja partnerke, družine in prijateljev. Tisti, ki ti pomenijo največ v življenju in do katerih gojiš najgloblja čustva, so najbolj prizadeti in izigrani. Najhuje je, da sem to počel kar naprej. Kasneje pa čutil breme, krivdo in obsojanje ravno zaradi tega, kako sem ravnal z meni ljubimi ljudmi. Ko vse to privre na površje, ko razmišljam o vseh vzrokih in posledicah, lahko hitro postanem negativen in zagrenjen. Zato se zavedam, da je negovanje mentalnega zdravja potrebno iz dneva v dan.

Desire? It´s familiar to me part – 5

First work I had to do in the treatment, was writing a biography. I had to describe my feelings, experiences, important events in my life, fears, disappointments and desires. It is important that you remember your childhood. That you find your first memories and feelings about them. I had big troubles with finding my first memory. It was difficult to know what really was my memory or just something I knew from photographs. You have to be honest to yourself and that is not always easy. You have to talk about your relationship with your parents, family, friends, relatives and schoolmates. You have to describe your gambling addiction in details and talk about all of the consequences that happened along the way.

Second work was to learn commitment, to obey rules of the hospital and the department of addictions. Meaning that information about other patients is forbidden to share in public. Because of this I will be strictly talking only about my story. I will not use other patient names and their information.

Treatment is better if your partner or a friend is cooperating. In my case that was my girlfriend who accepted my invitation to cooperate in the treatment. I chose her, because I imagine the rest of my life with her. I knew that if we want to develop authentic relationship, improve communication and rebuild trust, this is a step in the right direction. I took this like a challenge, that we can learn something from this hard experience. My girlfriend´s decision that despite that I betrayed her trust again, she would cooperate in the treatment, gave me new inspiration and motivation. I have to admit, that I asked myself a few times, why did she decide to stay. Why didn’t she quit this messy relationship? I caused her a lot of troubles and gave her quite painful experiences. And she is still standing beside me. Is this because of love? Or is she also lost in this world as much as I am? Is she not brave enough to leave or is she strong enough to believe that I will resolve all my problems? Maybe she trusts me more than I trust myself. I didn’t have answers to those questions. I expected, that I would be alone in this. Honestly I was really happy about her decision. Her cooperating meant that we have had lessons and therapy session once a week together. That is also a kind of protection for health staff that patients will talk truthfully. Therapists find out quickly, that many patients tell totally different stories when someone is with them compared to when they are alone.

Final work I had to do before my first weekend exit was description of my addiction from very beginning to where I am now. When I stared to talk, I forgot where I am and who am I talking to. Details about everything were just bursting out of me. From the tiny first signs of addiction to the situation now, when my whole world has collapsed. During my student times I had a lot of time and small amounts of money. But progress of my addiction was incredible. I totally isolated myself from my best friends. I stopped talking about my emotional life with my family. My answers to my family were always the same. How are you? Fine. And how is this? And that? Good. Also fine. I will. Ok. But I am saying to you that I am fine! I was relieved when I was able to go to Ljubljana. I was alone there and I had peace, my PC and online sports betting sites. If I was lucky, I got all day long gambling sessions, planning, moments of enthusiasm when winning and scary anger when loosing, only for 10€. When I had to go for new PSC (pay safe card) on the same spot over and over again I got embarrassed. The lady on cashier desk looked at me sadly. I always only bought PSC. I had no money for magazines or drinks. I didn’t want to spend it on anything else. I always thought to myself I can drink tap water. I had to have 10€ in case if I lost again. Just in case. On my mind was only gambling, nothing else. From that form of living I developed severe depression. When I was lucky, I was excited and was plotting about resolving my situation and how I will prove to everyone that this can be a way of living. But at the end I was always sad, with no money and full of negative energy. But then I was thinking that luck is just avoiding me now. That I always miss it for a moment, that I just need luck and everything will be fine. This is a complicated mind of a gambler.

When I finished with my story in front of all other patients, nobody didn’t ask me anything. They were just quietly looking at me, visibly in shock. Only a therapist said that she cannot believe how openly and full of desire I talked. Because I was talking from the heart, my competitive energy and desire to win were shining out of me. At that point everyone else realized what I had already known. Addiction has completely overcome and supervise me.

Hrepenenje? Mi je znano del – 5

Prva naloga iz programa zdravljenja, ki sem jo opravil je bila pisanje življenjepisa. Opisati sem moral občutke, doživetja, pomembne dogodke, strahove, razočaranja in hrepenenja. Pomembno je tudi, da si predstavljaš otroštvo, prikličeš svoje prve spomine in občutke ob njih. Veliko težav sem imel z določanjem svojega prvega spomina. Težko razločim, česar se resnično spomnim in kaj mi je znano le zaradi fotografij. Do sebe moraš biti iskren in to ni vedno lahko. Pripovedovati moraš o svojih odnosih s starši, sorodniki, vrstniki in prijatelji. Podrobno opišeš razvoj svoje odvisnosti in vse posledice, ki so sledile.

Druga naloga je, da se zavežeš k spoštovanju bolnišničnih pravil in tudi oddelka za bolezni odvisnosti. Sem spada tudi to, da zaupnih informacij pridobljenih tekom zdravljenja ne boš delil v javnost. Zaradi tega se bom izključno držal svoje zgodbe, brez omenjanja posameznikov in drugih podatkov.

Zdravljenje je uspešnejše, če sodeluje tudi partner ali dober prijatelj. V mojem primeru je bila to partnerka, ki je sprejela moje povabilo k sodelovanju v programu zdravljenja. Izbral sem jo, ker si nadaljevanje življenja predstavljam skupaj z njo. Če želiva razviti pristen odnos, izboljšati medsebojno komunikacijo in zaupanje, je to korak v pravo smer. To sem vzel kot izziv, da se iz tako težke situacije nekaj naučiva. Že sama odločitev partnerke, da mi kljub ponovni izdaji njenega zaupanja ostane zvesta, mi je dalo dodatno motivacijo. Priznam, večkrat sem se spraševal, zakaj se je tako odločila. Zakaj se ni preprosto rešila iz te razburkane zveze. Povzročil sem ogromno težav in kar nekaj bolečih izkušenj. Pa mi vseeno stoji ob strani. Kako to? Je to zaradi ljubezni ali je tudi sama izgubljena v tem svetu, tako kot jaz. Ne zbere poguma, da bi odšla ali je tako pogumna, da verjame v rešitev te situacije? Morda mi zaupa bolj, kot si zaupam sam. Pravega odgovora na to vprašanje nisem poznal. Iskreno sem bil vesel, da se je odločila sodelovati. To je pomenilo, da sva hodila enkrat tedensko skupaj na predavanje in potem na skupinsko terapijo. To je tudi neke vrste varovalka, da pred zdravstvenim osebjem govoriš resnico. Terapevti hitro spoznajo, da se veliko pacientov ob spremstvu partnerjev obnaša popolnoma drugače kot takrat, kadar so sami.

Zadnja naloga, ki sem jo moral opraviti pred mojim prvim vikend izhodom je bila predstavitev odvisnosti od začetka do sedanjega stanja. Ko sem začel govoriti, sem pozabil na to kje sem in s kom se pogovarjam. Podrobnosti so samo bruhale iz mene. O tistih drobnih, začetnih znakih odvisnosti do končnega sesutja mojega sveta. V študentskih letih sem imel veliko časa in malo denarja. Vendar je bil razvoj odvisnosti neverjeten. Popolnoma sem se izoliral od najboljših prijateljev. Z družino sem pretrgal čustvene stike. Živel sem mimo vseh. Moji odgovori na vprašanja bližnjih ljudi so bili vedno enaki. Kako si? V redu. Kako pa to? In ono? Dobro. Tudi v redu. Bom, dobro. Pa če ti pravim, da sem v redu. Vse je rešil odhod v Ljubljano, tam sem bil sam in sem imel mir. Računalnik in spletno stavnico. Za 10€ sem, če sem imel srečo, dobil celodnevno igranje, načrtovanje, trenutke navdušenja ob zmagah in neznansko jezo ob porazih in izgubah. Po prepogostih obiskih vedno iste trafike mi je postajalo nerodno. Prodajalka me je gledala z žalostnim izrazom. Vedno sem kupil PSC(pay safe card). Za revije in pijačo se mi je zdelo škoda denarja, saj lahko pijem vodo iz pipe. Ostati mi mora vsaj 11€, če slučajno spet izgubim. V mislih sem imel samo igranje, vse ostalo je bilo postranskega pomena. Iz takšnega načina preživljanja časa se je razvila huda depresija. Čustvena nihanja so postala stalnica. Ko sem imel srečo, sem bil navdušen in koval strašne načrte kako bom rešil svojo situacijo in dokazal, da se na tak način da živeti in uspeti. Na koncu sem bil vedno znova potrt, brez denarja, s slabo vestjo in poln negativne energije. Sreča me noče, samo to je. Vedno zamudim tisti pravi trenutek, da bi se ustavil, samo to mi še manjka, pa bom rešen. To je zakompliciran um odvisnika od hazardiranja. Ko sem pred skupino končal s svoj pripovedjo, me sploh nihče ni ničesar vprašal. Zdravljenci so bili samo tiho in me pretreseno gledali. Samo terapevtka je komentirala, da ne more verjeti, s kakšnim žarom in hrepenenjem sem govoril. Ker sem govoril iz srca je pri tem izžarevala moja tekmovalna energija in hrepenenje po zmagi. Na tej točki so tudi drugi spoznali, kar sem jaz takrat že dobro vedel. Odvisnost me je popolnoma prevzela in nadzirala.

First trial part – 4

First week of treatment program has passed quickly. I have to say, that when you are in hospital and you are actively following the program you get into it. You forget where you are and you try to do your best. I got used to other patients and medical staff. It helped me that treatment wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. I expected scenes like in the movies, patients with severe mental health problems in strait jackets and horrible attitude toward them. I expected madhouse from Hollywood. It probably helped me that I came to the hospital voluntarily and willing to change something about me. I was accepted on open department of psychological hospital. Many patients are forced to come here accompanied with police or paramedics. They are under the influence of forbidden substances. Until they are not sober and ready to cooperate with medical staff, they have to stay in closed section of the hospital. When they came to my department I talked to them and I realized that situation there is totally different. They were all on strong pills, they were not aware of themselves, they had serious mental health problems and security services are much stronger there. Whole hospital has the same playground with athletic track. Patients from all departments are allowed to use it. I faced with patients from closed department for the first time when I was on a run. When I saw their empty faces, absent looks in eyes and scary form of body movement, my whole body was shaking. I felt uncomfortable. I would hide myself in a shell like a turtle if I could. They weren’t aggressive, more like scarily passive. Later I was thinking about upstroke between my department and closed one. I knew that if I would continue with this lifestyle, my next hospital healing would be in other department. That stroke me down. Is that really me? From that experience I got motivation and power for healing. I knew that I can do better.

I was really happy about healing plan witch made weekend exits possible if you were active in the program. If you accomplished first three assignments, you were allowed to go home for the weekend. After accomplishing first half of a healing program, you can go home every weekend. Teetotalism is of course first condition for that. Alcohol addicts or drug addicts are tested with an alcoscope or urine test when they come back. But the problem is, how to test gambling addicts? In Slovenia there is no special department or program for people with gambling addiction. Because of that medical staff had to follow their gut. My testing was based on trust. I am not sure if there was any other option. Beside that cellphones were allowed after 8.00 pm so there really wasn´t anything other than trust between me and medical staff. That also surprised me, because I expected stricter isolation from the outside world. I blocked a few main online sports betting sites (there are over 20.000 different betting sites) that I was using (Bwin, Bet365, William Hill, Betway, Unibet, 1xBet, Sportnigbet). There is not that many sites where you can exclude yourself from playing for the rest of your life. Usually there is only an option of self-exclusion for a few years and then you can play again. I have also installed BetBlocker application on my PC. That restricted me from logging in many online betting sites, but not all of them. There are still many other options. You can play on mobile devices or you just stop on the first gas station and you can play. It is impossible to hide from betting. Every restriction aids you, because reducing opportunities helps to reduce betting episodes. I also added one more safety check. I gave my bank account in supervision to my family. The truth is, that that all helped me, but there is no guarantee that I would not play anymore. I have helped myself with all this before, but it always ended badly. Many times I was holding my teetotalism but then I got an email that my restriction on bwin has expired. I went and bet again. And it is getting harder every time. Again I have spent all money that I have saved before. That really is a vicious circle from witch it is very difficult to escape.

How do we define gambling addiction? One of the definitions goes like this: it is an addiction when gambling becomes a way of regulating ones emotional life. Person becomes so addicted, that the way they behave is not a choice but a defense mechanism from which his survival is dependent. Chemical addictions work on abusing chemical substances for reaching a stunning condition. At gambling person reaches that condition by feeling of winning and it only increases with higher levels of risk. Gambling becomes a way of escaping from reality and resolving problems. It becomes a poor strategy for life. Powerless and unmanageable are the two words that describe ones feelings and anguish. Gambler believes that he/she has everything under control. Because of negative consequences he/she tries to stop, but cannot anymore. (summarized from: https://vizita.si/dusevnost/zasvojenost-z-igrami-na-sreco.html). At this point of my knowledge about gambling I realized that only teetotalism will not be enough. It is important that I discover causes for my addiction. Why am I running away? From what or who? Why I am not able to deal with problems?

Prva preizkušnja del – 4

Prvi teden zdravljenja je bil hitro za menoj. Moram povedati, da ko si v bolnišnici in aktivno sodeluješ pri zdravljenju, se kar vživiš. Pozabiš kje si in poskušaš kar najbolje opraviti zadane naloge. Navadiš se na osebje in paciente. Meni je pri hitri prilagoditvi pomagalo tudi to, da zdravljenje ni bilo tako grozno kot sem si zamišljal. V mislih sem imel podobe iz filmov, paciente s hudimi psihološkimi motnjami v prisilnih jopičih in grobo ravnanje z njimi. Pričakoval sem norišnico iz Hollywooda. Verjetno je bila občutna razlika tudi, da sem prišel na zdravljenje prostovoljno in sem bil pripravljen na sodelovanje. Sprejet sem bil na odprt oddelek psihiatrične bolnišnice. Veliko pacientov pripeljejo policisti ali reševalci. Ti so pod vplivom različnih substanc in do streznitve ostanejo na zaprtem oddelku. Po pogovorih z njimi, sem ugotovil, da je tam situacija precej drugačna. Vsi so pod močnim vplivom tablet, veliko jih ima resne mentalne okvare, varovanje pa je veliko bolj strogo. K bolnišničnemu kompleksu spada majhen športni park s tekaško stezo in igriščem. Namenjen je vsem pacientom, zato sem imel možnost bližnjega srečanja s pacienti z zaprtega oddelka. Med tekom sem naletel na skupino, ki je bila na rekreaciji. Ob njihovih praznih pogledih, odsotnosti v očeh in strašljivem načinu gibanja me je spreletel srh. Kar stresel sem se, postalo mi je sila neprijetno in najraje bi se potegnil v oklep kot želva. Niso bili agresivni, prej zastrašujoče pasivni. Kasneje sem razmišljal o tanki liniji med mojim oddelkom in tistim nižje. Če bi nadaljeval s tem slogom življenja, bi bil verjetno naslednjič sprejet na zaprt oddelek. To me je močno ganilo. Sem to res jaz? Iz tega doživetja sem kasneje črpal motivacijo in moč za zdravljenje. Vem, da zmorem več.

Razveselil me je tudi načrt zdravljenja, ki ob aktivnem sodelovanju in opravljenih treh nalogah, omogoča vikend izhod domov. Po opravljeni polovici programa so na voljo izhodi vsak vikend. Abstinenca ob vrnitvi je seveda obvezna. Alkoholike in odvisnike od tablet ali drog preverjajo  z alkoskopom ali analizo urina. Kako pa testiraš hazarderja? V Sloveniji ni posebej usmerjenega programa zdravljenja, zato v takih situacijah osebje dela po občutku. Po dogovoru z njimi je preverjanje moje abstinence temeljilo na zaupanju. Saj ne vem, če obstaja kakšna možnost nadzora, poleg tega je na oddelku dovoljen mobilni telefon (zvečer po 20.00). Tudi to me je presenetilo, saj sem pričakoval večjo izolacijo od zunanjega sveta. Sam sem si zablokiral nekaj glavnih spletnih stavnic (obstaja jih preko 20.000), ki sem jih uporabljal (bwin, bet365, unibet, William Hill, 1xBet, Sportingbet). Redko katera ima možnost, da se izključiš do konca življenja. Po navadi izključitev traja nekaj let in z možnostjo povratka. Uporabil sem aplikacijo Betblocker, ki onemogoči prijavo v spletne stavnice, vendar ne zajema vseh. Staviš lahko preko telefona. Lahko se ustaviš na prvi bencinski črpalki in vplačaš listek. Nemogoče se je skriti pred njimi. Prisotne so vsepovsod. Pomaga, da si zmanjšaš število možnosti in s tem verjetnost, da boš spet stavil. Dodatno varovalo sem ustvaril tudi s tem, da sem nadzor nad bančnim računom omogočil moji družini. Še vedno pa je resnica, da vse to zmanjša tveganje, ne odpravi pa težave. Te taktike sem v preteklosti izvajal sam, pa se ni obneslo. Večkrat se mi je zgodilo, da sem držal abstinenco in ugotovil, da je izključitev iz stavnice (bwin) potekla. Ob vsakem povratku sem hudo zabredel in zapravil ves privarčevani denar. To je res začarani krog.

Kako definiramo zasvojenost z igrami na srečo? Ena od definicij pravi tako: za zasvojenost gre, ko igre na srečo za posameznika postanejo osnovni način uravnavanja čustvenega življenja. Zasvojeni postanejo odvisni do te mere, da njihovo vedenje ni več izbira, pač pa obrambni mehanizem, od katerega je odvisno njihovo preživetje. Pri kemičnih zasvojenostih človek za doseganje omamnega stanja zlorablja kemične substance. Pri hazardiranju pa človek omamno stanje doseže z napetostjo pričakovanja dobitka, ki se stopnjuje s tveganjem. Hazardiranje za zasvojenega postane način bežanja pred resničnostjo in reševanja problemov. Postane ponesrečena strategija življenja. Besedi nemoč in neobvladljivost najbolj ponazarjata posameznikovo doživljanje in opisujeta njegovo stisko. Hazarder preprosto verjame, da situacijo obvladuje. Zaradi negativnih posledic prej ali slej poskuša prenehati, vendar mu ne uspe (povzeto po: https://vizita.si/dusevnost/zasvojenost-z-igrami-na-sreco.html).

Na tej točki mojega poznavanja odvisnosti mi je postalo jasno, da samo abstinenca ne bo dovolj. Pomembno bo, da ugotovim vzroke. Zakaj bežim? Pred čem ali kom? Zakaj se ne znam soočati s težavami?

Adjustment part – 3

The purpose of hospital healing of addiction is also that you get used to daily routine. Because of that all activities are planned. We had to stick to the schedule. We woke up at 6.30, at 7.00 we had morning exercise and at 7.30 breakfast. Till 8.00 we had to make our beds and take care of personal hygiene, i.e. showering and shaving. Then they checked if our rooms are clean and gave us grades. At the start this daily routine looked pointless to me. For me personal hygiene was something normal. After a while I realized that in many ways different addictions are very similar and affect people in the same way. One difference is, that alcoholics had more damaged body. I couldn’t believe that somebody does not shower and does not change their clothes. Even under the pressure of medical staff, they had troubles with that. The fact is, that addicts before disease development, look and behave totally different. Addiction changes you and you don’t even notice that. Benefit of healing in presence of people equal to you is that there are no judgements. We all know that we did not choose a life like this. No one did choose addiction. I did many things that were destroying and damaging me and I didn’t even notice. Other patients are in a way like a mirror to you. In them you can see your mistakes. It is easier to see it on others than on yourself. One of the main activities on this department is work in therapeutic groups for four times a week. I was very happy that we had this activity but on the other side I was the most afraid of it. We were devided in three groups with few patients and medical staff. They put me in a second group. Inside of a group there is different atmosphere and relationship. I had to introduce myself to them, I told them my path and I had to do work that is predicted in this program of healing. At this point I had to say, that this was my first healing and I really hope also the last one. I was surprised how many patients come back again. I read somewhere that only 15% of patients get healed. That is shocking! I think that I finished treatment successfully and that I really got deep in my thoughts. The fact that I was visiting psychotherapists for one year, helped me a lot. There I learned how to tell more about me. Even the things that I didn’t want to tell. This was three years before my hospital treatment. At that time I told my psychotherapist almost everything. But I wasn´t brave enough to tell him all my secrets. Now the situation was different. I collapsed and I was willing to tell everything. I wanted to face the truth. It was not easy. I had to tell my darkest thoughts, my secrets, my doubts and worries. I wanted to face with them. Experiences like this make strong connections with people that talk about it with you. It is important, that you don’t get judged.

In afternoons we had working therapy, learning lessons, choir and recitation lessons on schedule. We also had to introduce our hobbies and professions, what we do for a living. The main point of this program is that you are always active and that you stick to the schedule. First week I did not talk much to other patients. I just observed and tried to realize who I can trust to and who not. I realized that many people are here, because they were forced (job, partner or family). For those was much harder to confess that they are addicted. They don’t see it. They just wanted to get through the program and get back to their normal routine. Just to satisfy others. I was aware of my addiction. There was no doubt that I wasn´t able to control my gambling and I knew it. I knew I had to change my life. I wanted to discover the reason of my addiction. Why does it always pull me back. Why cannot I resist to it? There is no simple answer to this.

I noticed another difference between me and alcoholics. Unlike others, I stayed by myself and I read a lot. I always had a coffee alone. I was used to being by myself. I was avoiding talking to others and being in company. I liked it that way. There is nothing wrong with this, but I didn’t know anymore how to talk to people. In last few years I learned how to always be by myself and avoiding everyone. I didn’t pick up my phone, I didn’t call back. Everything I had to do, I did it quickly so I had a lot of free time for gambling.

Prilagoditev del – 3

Namen bolnišničnega zdravljenja odvisnosti je tudi ta, da osvojiš dnevno rutino. K temu pripomore urnik dejavnosti na oddelku. Vsak dan se je začel isto. Vstajanje ob 6.30, ob 7.00 jutranja telovadba in ob 7.30 zajtrk. Preostali čas do 8.00 je bil namenjen pospravljanju sobe in osebni negi (prhanje, britje). Sledil je pregled sob in ocena čistoče. To je dnevna rutina, ki se mi je na začetku zdela popolnoma nesmiselna. Meni je bila osebna higiena samoumevna. V nadaljevanju sem spoznal, da so različne odvisnosti v bistvu zelo podobne in zaznamujejo ljudi na večini področij identično. Ena od razlik je, da so pri alkoholizmu posledice na telesu večje in bolj očitne. Sploh nisem mogel verjeti, da se nekdo ne umiva in ne preoblači. Še pod prisilo in nadzorom osebja so imeli težave s tem. Dejstvo je, da odvisniki pred razvojem bolezni izgledajo in se vedejo popolnoma drugače. Zasvojenost te spremeni, pa tega sploh ne ugotoviš. Prednost zdravljenja v družbi sebi enakih je, da ni obsojanja. Točno veš, da si niso sami izbrali takega življenja. Najbrž se nihče zavestno ne odloči, da bo postal odvisnik. Veliko stvari sem delal sebi v škodo pa tega nisem videl. Drugi zdravljenci pa so kot neke vrste ogledalo v katerem prepoznaš svoje napake. Ena od temeljnih aktivnosti na oddelku je delo v terapevtski skupini. Štiri krat na teden. Po eni strani sem se tega dela najbolj veselil po drugi strani pa me je bilo tudi najbolj strah. Razdeljeni smo bili v 3 manjše skupine sestavljene iz zdravniškega osebja in zdravljencev. Sam sem bil uvrščen v drugo skupino. Znotraj skupine se vzpostavi drugačen odnos. Ostalim članom se predstaviš, opišeš svojo pot in opravljaš naloge, ki so določene v programu zdravljenja. Na tej točki moram povedati, da je bilo to moje prvo zdravljenje in močno upam, da tudi zadnje. Presenečen sem bil, koliko je takih, ki se čez nekaj časa vrnejo na oddelek. Zasledil sem, da je uspešnost zdravljenja okrog 15%. Šokantno nizek odstotek. Sam menim, da sem zdravljenje prestal uspešno in se resnično poglobil vase. K temu so pripomogli obiski psihoterapevta, kjer sem se naučil, kako povedati o sebi tudi tiste stvari, ki jih ne želiš povedati. To je bilo pred tremi leti. Obiskoval sem ga približno eno leto. Takrat sem si upal povedati skoraj vse moje skrivnosti, ne pa čisto vseh. Sedaj je bila situacija drugačna. Bil sem še bolj na dnu in bolj pripravljen na soočenje z resnico. Res ni lahko, saj razkriješ svoje najglobje resnice, dvome, težave, probleme in črne misli, ki jih nisem upal predelati. Taka izkušnja ustvari posebno povezanost z ljudmi, ki jim to zaupaš. Pri tem je pomembno, da nimaš občutka obsojanja. Popoldne smo imeli na urniku delovne terapije, učne ure, pevski in literarni krožek ter predstavitve poklicev in hobijev zdravljencev. Bistvo programa je, da si vedno v pogonu in da se držiš pravil in urnika. Prvi teden sem z zdravljenci govoril bolj malo. V večji meri sem opazoval, tehtal kaj je pomembno, komu gre zaupati in komu ne. Spoznal sem, da je veliko ljudi na zdravljenju neprostovoljno. Prisilili so jih služba, partner ali družina. Pri njih je korak do priznanja še težji in daljši. Osnovna želja je, da se čim hitreje prebijejo skozi program in zadovoljijo druge. Jaz sem se svoje odvisnosti zavedal. Jasno mi je bilo, da hazardiranja ne obvladujem in da moram spremeniti način življenja. Želel sem odkriti vzrok odvisnosti. Zakaj me vedno vleče nazaj? Zakaj se ne morem upreti? Na to vprašanje ni preprostega odgovora. Opazil pa sem še eno razliko med alkoholiki in mano. Za razliko od drugih sem se držal bolj zase in bral, ko sem le imel čas. Ko sem šel na kavo, sem šel sam. Bil sem navajen izolacije, izogibal sem se pogovorom in družbi. Tako mi je všeč. Načeloma ni s tem nič narobe, ampak jaz se sploh več nisem znal družiti. V zadnjih letih sem izpopolnil vedenje tako, da sem vedno bil v situacijah, v katerih me ni nihče motil. Na telefon se nisem oglašal, vsa nujna opravila pa sem opravil na hitro, da sem kasneje lahko v miru ˝gemblal˝.

New rules – part 2

Nurse on the department accepted me kindly and relaxed. I had to fill in obligation papers. They checked my health insurance (in Slovenia treatment of gambling addiction is included in basic health insurance). I wasn’t really listening to instructions she gave to me. I got schedule of activities, rules of behavior and she accompanied me to my room which I shared with three other guys. I was lucky that other addicts had activities so the room was empty. Nurse showed me how to make my bed. They checked it out daily to see if I did everything properly. It is similar like in an army. I was listening and doing everything almost like in a trans. I was wondering, am I really here? Why is this happening? How long can I manage it here? Because I was new, on the first day I had no activities. In that way they ease adjustment for you. I put all my stuff out of my suitcase. I checked the list of things they gave me that I needed to bring with me. Then I put all my clothes in wardrobe. Because I had free time, I started to read a book. But I didn’t last long, my thoughts rushed through my brain. I couldn’t reconcile with the fact that I ended in psychological hospital. I am not crazy. Why am I here? That makes no sense, I am not like an alcoholic. How can I tell someone where I am? I was ashamed of this. My thoughts were interrupted with voices of people who ended with occupational therapy. I met my new roommates. They were all quite older than me, I would say about 50 or 60 years old. They were all here because of addiction to alcohol. They introduced themselves to me and continued with relaxed conversation. My quick analysis of them was that if I met them on the street, I would not think that they have an addiction problem. Two of them looked totally normal. They were talking about next activity. They told me that you can pick one activity which you like as long as it still has a spot left. Schedule is always the same. You have to arrive 5 min before the start of an activity, if not, you or even whole group can get penalties. Preventing this from happening, they assign you a mentor, this is an experienced patient. After few hours on department I already knew half of patients. This is not that hard, because there is usually between 20 to 25 patients. That number is changing fast because the treatment is free and you can leave it whenever you want. But if you leave, you cannot go in any other hospital in Slovenia for next three months. Violation of rules is common thing here (violation of abstinence or something similar) and it can get you kicked out of the hospital. I figured it out fast that it is like a school, with constant residence and strict rules. ˇSchoolmatesˇ and ˇteachersˇ are diverse and some even difficult to work with. You realize that some are even more lost and hurt than you are. And some looked like there is nothing wrong with them. From the first day I also remember common dinner, which is every day at the same time and after dinner we had to watch news on the TV as a part of a schedule. I did not understand why this is important. In the evening I met all of the patients from this department. There were 90% men. The staff was almost just women. At 11 pm there has to be silence and lights turned off. First night felt like it lasted as long as three days together. I couldn´t sleep. Different thoughts and questions without any answers were rushing through my head. My roommates were snoring so loud, they slept with the help of pills what just increased the level of snoring and it was really disturbing me. Nurse was checking our rooms at night and she noticed that I was not sleeping. She offered me a pill, but I was sure that I don’t want to try it. Because once you get used to them it is hard to stop. I convinced her that I have just woken up and that I am sleeping well. I am not sure if she believed me, but at least she left. That night I found first positive thing. My bed was that one next to the window and radiator. That is important. Because autumn was coming to an end and it was getting colder. Heat from the radiator was pure happiness to me and represented a spark of hope. The other benefit was that I had view on a night sky and stars. In that moment I did not know that it will play an important role on my path. In the morning, very loud alarm of blasts of a trumpet from my roommate´s phone woke me up. And different life has begun.  

Nova pravila del 2

Dežurna sestra na oddelku me je prijazno in sproščeno sprejela. Izpolnil sem nekaj obrazcev in preverili so moje zdravstveno zavarovanje (pri nas v Sloveniji zdravljenje odvisnosti spada pod osnovno zdravstveno zavarovanje). Nepozorno sem sledil vsem navodilom. Dobil sem urnik dela na oddelku, pravila obnašanja in sobo. Na srečo so imeli ostali zdravljenci aktivnosti, zato sem bil nekaj časa v sobi sam. Sestra mi je predstavila tamkajšnji (vojaški) način  postiljanja postelje in povedala, da mora vedno tako izgledati. To so tudi vsak dan preverjali. Vse sem poslušal nekako na pol, v transu. Spraševal sem se ali se to resnično dogaja? Le kako dolgo bom zdržal tukaj? Sobo sem si delil s tremi zdravljenci. Ker sem ravnokar prišel, sem bil prvi dan oproščen vseh dejavnosti, z namenom da se v miru adaptiram. Takšen je sistem. Izpraznil sem potovalko, zložil oblačila v omaro in pregledal ali imam vse nujne stvari s spiska, ki so mi ga dali. Ker sem imel prosti čas, sem se lotil branja knjige, a nisem zdržal dolgo. Misli so mi drvele skozi možgane. Nisem se mogel sprijazniti z dejstvom, da sem pristal v psihiatrični bolnišnici. Pa saj jaz nisem neumen. Zakaj sem tukaj? To sploh nima smisla. Jaz nisem takšen kot alkoholiki. Kako naj komu povem, da sem tukaj? Mene je sram. Ukvarjanje s temi vprašanji je prekinila glasna skupina, ki se je vrnila z delovne terapije. Spoznal sem cimre. Vsi trije so bili krepko starejši od mene, rekel bi da so stari med 50 in 60 let. Vsi so se zdravili zaradi odvisnosti od alkohola. Na hitro so se predstavili in sproščeno nadaljevali svoj pogovor. Na prvi pogled niso kazali znakov odvisnosti, vsaj dva od treh ne. Če bi ju srečal na ulici, ne bi nikakor izstopala. Pogovarjali so se o nadaljevanju dnevnih aktivnosti. Povedali so mi, da pri delovni terapiji lahko izbereš aktivnost, ki ima najmanj udeležencev. Urnik je vsak teden isti, na vsaki aktivnosti moraš biti 5min pred začetkom. Če zamujaš ali se ne udeležiš aktivnosti si kaznovan ti, lahko pa tudi celotna skupina. Da se to ne dogaja, ti dodelijo mentorja. To je eden od izkušenejših zdravljencev, ki te usmerja. Po nekaj urah na oddelku sem jih spoznal že skoraj polovico. To ni tako težko, ker nas je bilo med 20 in 25. Število zdravljencev na oddelku je dokaj fleksibilno, saj je zdravljenje prostovoljno. Program lahko zapustiš kadarkoli želiš, posledično pa ti je za 3 mesece onemogočeno zdravljenje tudi na drugih podobnih ustanovah v Sloveniji. Pogosto se zgodi, da kdo krši pravila (kršenje abstinence ali kaj podobnega) zato ga odpustijo iz bolnišnice. Hitro mi je postalo jasno, da je vse skupaj podobno šoli s stalnim bivanjem in strogimi pravili. Tako ˝sošolci˝ kot ˝učitelji˝ so bili zelo različni in včasih je bilo sodelovanje z obojimi kar težko. Zdelo se mi je, da so nekateri zdravljenci še bolj izgubljeni kot jaz, drugi so pa izgledali, kot da jim sploh nič ni. Prvega dne se spomnim samo skupne večerje. Ta je vsak večer ob točno določeni uri po njej pa sledi še obvezno gledanje TV poročil. Zadnja obveznost se mi je zdela zelo nenavadna, saj nisem razumel, kakšen doprinos k zdravljenju lahko ima. Obeh dejavnosti sem se udeležil in obenem na videz spoznal vse paciente z oddelka. V glavnem smo tam bili moški, okrog 90%. Med osebjem pa skoraj same ženske. Po pravilih mora na oddelku ob 23.00 biti tišina in ugasnjene luči. Prva noč se mi je zdela daljša  kot zadnji trije dnevi skupaj. Spal nisem skoraj nič. Težke misli in vprašanja na katera nisem imel odgovorov, so se mi prepletala po glavi. Zelo moteče pa je bilo tudi smrčanje cimrov. Ti so spali pod vplivom uspavalnih tablet, kar intenzivnost smrčanja samo še poveča. Dežurna sestra čez noč preverja zdravljence. Opazila je, da ne spim in mi ponudila tablete, ki sem jih zavrnil. V sebi sem bil boje in premleval, kaj sploh počnem. Bil sem pa prepričan, da ne želim tablet, raje ne spim. Pretvarjal sem se, da sem se samo prebudil in da drugače dobro spim. Nisem prepričan, da mi je verjela, a me je vsaj pustila pri miru in odšla. Tisto noč sem ugotovil prvo pozitivno stvar. Moja postelja je bila najbližje radiatorju in oknu, kar mi je zelo ustrezalo. Ker se je jesen bližala h koncu in je postajalo zelo mrzlo, mi je toplina radiatorja predstavljala čisto srečo in iskrico upanja. Druga pozitivna stvar je bila, da sem skozi okno lahko opazoval čudovito nebo in zvezde. Takrat se še nisem zavedal pozitivnega vpliva tega na mojo pot. Zjutraj me je sosedova izredno glasna budilka (igranje trobent) vrgla iz postelje in začelo se je drugačno življenje.