Written by Lazy Gardens
There are four phases to a gambling addiction. It struck me that Mary Kay (or participation in any MLM, for that matter), is an awful lot like a gambling addiction. See if you agree when you read about these four phases.
Short or non-existent phase with several small or large sales wins, a sense of emotional escape from problems, a boost in self-esteem, and a sense of empowerment. Excitement, titillation, and a social life at the casino with other Mary Kay consultants fill a vacuum in the life of those predisposed by their conditions and considerable loneliness.
Losses are explained away as poor luck, but no win is enough. Individual hides their purchases gambling, as losses puts person behind a financial “eight ball”. Consultant Addict begins to ignore family and become irritable when not gambling. Gambling Mary Kay becomes the sole, but spurious coping mechanism. Participates in Mary Kay Gambles to the edge of insolvency and is unapproachable about the problem. This phase can last multiple years, with progressively larger bets on longer odds. Conversations only involves winners, not losers, which are purged from consciousness.
Begins borrowing to support habit. Family life is going down in uncontrollable spiral.
The Desperation Phase
There is no time for anything else, and nothing else matters. Lying, manipulation, dissembling, and complete deflection of criticism typify this period. Externalization of blame and complete lack of accountability are hallmarks of this phase. Acute anger at others who will not participate in the lie of his or her existence is typical.
Financial affairs are disastrous. Bills are unpaid, and family is knowledgeable, suffering, and powerless. Phones go unanswered.
Rock bottom is generally the only point of possible remedial action. Only after the family forsakes the consultant gambler, they have lost their job, they are being sued, and completely lacking in resources, does an attempt at remediation occur.
The Hopeless Phase
This is a new clinical phase which is a function of the fact that many consultants gamblers actually go beyond the desperation phase. This phase goes well beyond what most people would feel was more than “bad enough”. This phase can involve clinical depression, suicide, or actions that will most assuredly land them in jail. This is make or break time, quite literally.
Which Mary Kay phase are you in?