Gamblers Anonymous Forum

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I have told my story on here before, but a long time ago and have decided to write about it again so that any newcomers looking for help may just identify with me and get the help that they need and deserve.
My name is Helen and I am a 64 year old lady and a compulsive Gambler. I have been in recovery now for 10 years and live a day at a time and each day that I get up I realize that I only have this day and need to live in it.
I started gambling at a very early age and think I was probably around 19 when I had my first bet on the horses, I was with my future husband and actually won on that first bet but the end of the day I was broke but never thought much about it at the time. I married shortly after and was in a brutal and vicious life for the next 4 years also in this time I had a daughter. My husband eventually left home never to be heard from again. I started my serious gambling around this time and any money I got I gambled thinking at the time that it could supplement my meagre income, of course that was not always the case and there was many times that my daughter and I went without necessities. I eventually got myself a good job paying a fair income and every Saturday would run down to the TAB (bookies) to place my bets. I managed to work harder and save and buy a home for myself and my daughter. In 1985 the first Casino was built in my State and then I really fell in love with gambling, I finally felt wanted and believed that when the Casino Management was handing out free dinners and drinks it was because they liked me!!, Well within 4 years I was broke and had lost my house and had sold my car. My daughter and I moved to rented accommodation and I still continued gambling, by this time I was in a well paid job and was scrambling to make the rent and buy food. I eventually went along to a GA meeting and was the only female there and when I heard some of the stories that the men told I thought 'I'm not as bad as that'!! So I continued on gambling and then started stealing to fund my addiction, in 1996 I had committed a large fraud and was sentenced to 8 months imprisoment and in actual fact this was a very light sentence considering what I had done.
Whilst in prison I continued to gamble on the card games that the other prisoners held. There were many miserable weeks that I spent after losing my cigarettes and coke and anything else that I managed to purchase in there. After I was released in 1997 I again continued to gamble and didn't know how it was ever going to end and thought of suicide often and spent many miserable days and weeks on my own. I only ever gambled alone by this stage and any friends that I had left soon disappeared and my family no longer wanted to know me, including my daughter. I had periods where I could stop for a few weeks but this never lasted too long and as soon as I had any money I was back playing the pokies or on-line internet poker.
Well 10 years ago I was virtually living in the gutter and had nothing or no one and then decided to give GA another go and to do anything that the people there advised. I firmly beleive that God (as I understand him) was looking after me that night as I broke down in that meeting and unleashed all the misery that I had been carrying around most of my life. The kind people in that room let me talk until I was emotionally spent and after that meeting I felt a great weight lift off my shoulders and finally felt some hope. I continue today with those meetings and have never missed one, I try to follow the 12 simple steps to the best of my ability and if sometimes I let my big fat ego get in the way of my recovery my sponsor will pull me up and tell me where I'm going wrong. Not every day in my life is simple and straight forward but today I have tools that I can work to overcome any problem that life throws at me.
My daughter and I are still building our relationship and some of my family will probably never come around but I still hope that one day we can repair the damage and hurt that I caused them and they can find it in their hearts to forgive me.
Please, if you have this illness seek help early and go to a GA meeting with an open mind and be prepared to listen.
I wish everyone the best
Helen GA Australia


Hi Helen

I hope your story helps fellow sufferers realise that this adiction can be beaten. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

I also hope that the readers on this forum who think they can handle this by themselves realise that is not he case.

Yours is a story that people who have no experience of this addiction feel is exaggerated or myth or very rare.

As a fellow gambler I would like to assure everybody that the compulsive gamblers of our society quite often lose absolutely everything. That means they have lost the house, car,family,friends and money. They can also spend a stint in jail, as in your case.

It took about 2 months of attending GA meetings for me to realise that the people in my meeting were all "good people".
They had one problem only, and that was the gambling addiction. After about 6 to 8 months, I started to like myself again.
That was a nice feeling, considering how I loathed everything about myself when I was gambling.

I will be 12 months off the punt on Jan 25th this year, and I could not have done it unless I had hit my "rock bottom' and got help from GA.

Hope you continue gamble free & enjoy the life we all deserve a chance at.

Best wishes
Roy ( Brissy Australia)