Clarke Carlisle

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport -

For­mer Burn­ley de­fender

When I did gam­ble, there was some­thing within me that felt that I could beat the sys­tem.

When I was feel­ing anx­ious, fear­ful, sad or iso­lated, go­ing to the casino was my sanc­tu­ary. It was some­where I could get away from the world, where no one judged me and I

could while away sev­eral hours and feel like a king.

That was the most dan­ger­ous part of my gam­bling be­hav­iour, be­cause the gam­bling, in it­self, wasn’t the prob­lem. I was us­ing that to mask my men­tal health.

The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple would much rather you be hon­est about what you’re go­ing through and re­ceive help for it in or­der to be a bet­ter part of that team, rather than shoul­der the bur­den of se­crecy, and have that im­pact your per­for­mance.

What I had to do is learn new cop­ing mech­a­nisms. But it only came when, first of all, I was aware that I had a prob­lem. And then, sec­ond, no­body can do it for you; you have to do it your­self. If I was to give any­one any ad­vice about their gam­bling, it would be to un­der­stand why they gam­ble. Are you gam­bling so­cially? Or are you gam­bling be­cause you des­per­ately need to win? Are you gam­bling be­cause you’re avoid­ing is­sues in your life?

The ac­tion

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