Day 181 - The power of podcasts
Today I listened to one of the most remarkable, unexpected, and inspiring podcast episodes I have ever heard. Brian of the Addicted Gamblers podcast told his very recent story of how he has been dealing with suicidal thoughts, to the point of admitting himself to an inpatient program, how he went through it, and two weeks later he is talking about it. It is rare that podcasts deal with things in the moment, so much of podcasting is about reflection, sharing stories from before, talking about the future. Here is a guy, who has inspired many to take their gambling addition seriously, he is one of the oldest and most celebrated gambling addiction podcasters, inspiring many other podcasts. He has spoken candidly with countless recovered and recovering addicts, many clinicians and researchers. Then boom, out of seemingly nowhere it is now about Him… his struggle. It is wild how people can suffer in silence. When Brian has the courage to talk about his very real, very now, and very serious problems with his audience…. it is seriously one of the most inspiring things ever, and if he can recognize his problems, get himself the help he needs, and come back to talk about it so quickly… it inspires me.
Podcasts were a gateway into recovery for me, and even now are my main recovery tool. There are so many amazing podcasts, and amazing people trying to help others. The podcasting community in problem gambling…even if I never gambled in my life.. is some of the most inspiring stuff out there. In this post I will highlight a few of the reasons I think these podcasts can be so helpful to the struggling addict.
Problem Gambling IS a SERIOUS Problem
One of the hardest things for any addict to admit is not they themselves have a problem, but that the problem is something that NEEDS to be taken seriously. Especially with gambling, which is so easy to hide, it can be so easy to think things like “well I am not as bad as that guy who is debt and lost his house” or “this is just part of my life, I can manage it”. Listening to some lived experience podcasts and you soon realize that it does not matter how much money was lost, who got hurt, how much damage was done or not done. If you are listening to a podcast about problem gambling… YOU have a a problem, or know someone with a problem. It is serious, and the circumstances of it do not matter. The guy spending 4 hours a night losing 10$ can have just a big a problem as the guy losing 10000$.
When you hear so many different people, from so many different backgrounds, and you can relate to each and everyone of them… it becomes obvious that this is a serious issue, as serious as any mental health problem or addiction. When you hear people talk about suicide, when you hear about suicide attempts, when you hear about suicides that occurred… you understand that this is a huge issue.
There are people who REALLY CARE
If you are struggling right now, I want you to go find a podcast with Jody Bechtold on it. This is one of them, but she has appeared on many of the podcasts. This woman doesn’t just care about addiction, she doesn’t just care about problem gambling, she cares about YOU. If you are listening to a podcast and are struggling, she cares about YOU!. She may even care more about you listening then you care about yourself at the current moment. Jody is just one of the professionals I have heard on these podcasts that care deeply about people struggling with this addiction.
The guys over at the Problem Gambling podcasts, THEY CARE about each person struggling. The guy over at After Gambling.. HE CARES. Brian from the Addicted Gamblers podcasts… HE CARES.
There is a vulnerability and it isn’t always peachy
One thing I have recognized is that, not every podcast is all peachy and cheery. There are some rough topics here and there, there are some controversial opinions some of these podcasters have. They are not always banging episodes out week after week. They take breaks some times, They struggle. Brian is a major example of this in an extreme sense, yet every podcast you listen to.. the hosts present their own anxieties, struggles, and vulnerabilities.
Christina from the Broke Girls Society podcast, she isn’t some superhero who has been gambling free for 10+ years… she is struggling with the addiction just as much as me, just as much as any listener. I can hear it in her voice sometimes, the anxiety of not knowing if she is saying the right thing, or talking about the right topic.
For me, this anxiety and vulnerability that these host show, the passion, the care, and them allowing the listener an inside look into their own struggles.. is incredible.
These people are doing these podcasts because they care, because they want to help, but also because they too struggle, everyday. It is incredibly inspiring. It inspires me to do the tough things in life, to take the next steps in improving my life, to keep writing about it even if no one is reading.