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My name is John and I am a compulsive gambler.

A couple of years back, I came clean with my wife about my problems. When I say "came clean", it was more of a case of leaving myself with no choice. I had used up my all my possible avenues of covering my gambling up (payday loans, been turned down for overdrafts by the bank etc) and had no other choice but to tell her the truth.
Obviously she was heartbroken, but I managed to talk her round and in the process, started going to a GA meeting not far from me.
This lasted for about 3 months. In that time I didn't gamble and even the thought of walking past a bookies, left me feeling queasy. A bit like the bloke that gets "cured" in that film Clockwork Orange, if anyone has seen it.

I stopped going to the meetings for a number of reasons. 1) I had a newborn daughter at home. 2) My father-in-law had just been diagnosed with cancer. 3) As I wasn't gambling, I thought it was "job done". Also, without blaming her for my addiction, my wife was still less than understanding towards my previous behaviour. She wasn't interested as to why I had been gambling in the first place. All that I needed know, was that "I had a daughter at home, stuff my problems".
I can't blame her for feeling this way, especially as she now had only a few months left with her dad.

In the meantime, I had still kept off the gambling, even reaching the 6 month point. And then it started all over again...

Fast forward 2 years and I am now in the same position. Only this time the result is more devastating.
I came clean on Monday and all over again, my wife's world has crashed in.
Where I've left myself unable to pay this month's bills, we are in big trouble. As for next month, the payday loans etc I took out this month, will be coming out of my wages. So basically for the next 2 months, I/we will have no money.
Because of this, we are going to lose the house and virtually everything. All the debts and loans we already have on the house (Mortgage, wedding loan etc), are not going to be paid and it will be a case of who get's there (our house) first.

My wife is currently on auto pilot. Yesterday the pain finally hit her and one minute wanted me out, but in the next breath changed her mind. But today she's already been putting items on an "online auctioning site" (ahem), been to the bank and is waiting in the queue at our local CAB. She is just trying to be rational and I really don't deserve her.

As for me, my revelation on Monday evening had major consequences. My wife had come home to an empty house, assuming I was at work. When she saw the note I had cowardly left in the kitchen for her, she went into a panic and reported me missing.
I had decided to go walkabout, switch my phone off and then re-appear at my local GA meeting after 2 years, which is what I did. Shortly after telling everyone my woes, I suffered the indignity of the old bill turning up at the meeting. How embarrassing was that? If being a gambler wasn't bad enough, having the police turn up for you like a teenage runaway was the ultmate shame.

But it will give me something to talk about at next week's meeting...
Because I will be back next week, not if it kills me, but before it kills me!!

I am not out the woods yet by a long way and have no idea what's ahead, but I need to start somewhere. I have been an irresponsible father and husband and am deeply ashamed at my behaviour. But I realise that only I can change my path in life, although I fear I will still lose my wife and daughter at some point. This damage is irrepairable and I won't be surprised if my wife has changed her mind on our marriage by the end of today.

Anyway thanks for reading....


I've surrended mate. White flag, the lot.

Will try and get to more than one meeting a week, but at the moment it's about repairing the aftermath.
At the moment I need to be there for my wife. If she needs me at home for now, then it's the least I can do for her. I have my dad round tonight, so I will no doubt get the Spanish Inquisition off of him too. <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarrassed" /><!-- s:oops: -->

I don't want to lose my family, so the meetings are for them and my addiction.

Poster David

Dear Mr Blue Sky,

Thankyou for your submission to the forum and welcome to Gamblers Anonymous (GA). I'm afraid I gave up on "Clockwork Orange" due to the funny language and extreme violence so I cannot place the scene you mention. I have seen "Trainspotting" though and your story sounds like Tommy (Kevin McKidd) who persuades Mark (Ewan McGreggor) to give him some 'stuff' after he finds it difficult to cope [with his break up with his girlfriend Lizzy (Pauline Lynch)]. The next time you see him, his once lovely flat resembles a squat and he is surviving solely for his next 'fix'.
You mention that there is "a GA meeting not far from me" - a sensible idea would be to recommence attendance do you not think? In fact you have actually done that. Hopefully next week the police will not interupt proceedings and you can learn more from it. Perhaps there is another meeting nearby - why wait a week for a meeting if you don't have to? It is obvious from your writing that meetings help you and that you need meetings very much at the moment. As Big Dave points out; "It is obvious that one meeting a week is not enough for you, as this is was what you were doing last time, and it didn't work. For things to work out differently this time, I believe you need to do things differently." I would echo this sentiment.
For things to work out you must stop gambling. The best method that I know for stopping gambling is to attend GA meetings regularly. Get some telephone numbers and when daft thoughts enter your head, such as I fancy breaking my period of abstinence and putting on a bet, make a phone call instead. Share the thought and receive the perspective of another. If you have a 'sure fire thing' isn't it only fair to tell one of your new friends about it? They are very likely to thank you for calling and spend some time explaining why it is that the only sure thing in gambling is that the bookmaker doesn't walk home from the racecourse.
Have a look at "Trainspotting" if you get the chance and see if you identify with any of it, whilst making a committment to attend your next meeting.

Yours in GA unity

'Poster' David


Hi Mr Blue Sky,
I have never seen the film "clockwork orange" but I have lived a life of being and knowing right where you are at the moment.

Anyway I just wanted to mention one "simple statement" that you made in your last post.

I will be attending as many meetings as possible for them, ie the wife etc

I dont want this reply to be about me, but I only highlight this for you.

I to was a family man, I to went six months free from gambling only to return, difference being she left taking the child I loved with her.

for three years I walked around in a daze, determined not to gamble for me, but masking my failures with more gambling until I realised its me, its me I go to GA for, its me I want to be a better person for, its me that needs that in my life, its me that needed to get myself together.

You cannot mask the fact it was YOU who was throwing the money away, it was YOU who put yourself in this situation and it is YOU that better put every barrier in place and remember that day, remember that day you nearly lost your home.

If you do not treat that as rock bottom, your rock bottom will arrive, like it did to me. Because I lost everything I ever had, everything I ever worked hard for and found myself with the same as a begger on a street.


After that happened I sat for the first time in my life down with myself and anylised myself and where and what I should do, I looked at all paths, that time I took with myself then told me what I needed to do.

Fortunately in that I found the courage, to say that is NOT me and there is only one thing in life I cannot do and that one thing is "gamble".

What I lost will return over time, I cannot mend the broken hearts, cannot fix the broken promisses but I can fix me and for me.

So in this moment of Crisis where you are right now I urge you to sit outside for 30 mins and ask yourself all the questions and I hope you find the answers.

The GA group will sympathise and offer advice but this is about LONG TERM fix in that I mean LONG TERM FIX and ensuring that you have the strength never to return to gambling.

Take Care and hope you get through this dark phase.

Look after that lady!! but take that 30mins to ask yourself the questions in peace.



Went to another meeting yesterday and didn't feel as "comfortable" as I had in the other location.
I'm a very vocal person anyway, but in this branch it felt like there was no quarter being given. If your name was written down on the register,then you were there to speak. No sitting on your hands or listening to other people's woes, whilst you sit there saying nothing.

To be honest, I actually felt like I got more out of last night, than the previous group I had been attending in my area. I will continue to try and get to both meetings (and others), but last night hit home to me what my addiction is all about. No-one's illness is greater than another's, regardless of the monetary amounts they may have wasted on roulette, horses, dogs, fruit machines, casinos, etc. We are all in the same boat. But I saw guys last night that were truly broken from gambling and for a brief moment, I thought I had walked into an AA or NA meeting.

I know that is a very ignorant thing to say, but that's how I felt. But on reflection, is somebody who has gambled their last pound in a bookies and made their family homeless, any different to someone who has destroyed their life through drink and drugs? Probably not.

As for the home front, nothing much has changed. My wife's attitude towards me changes by the hour and the inevitable situation with the bills and the house is still going to happen. There's been a few times where my wife has shouted at me over trivial things, but what can I do? I've made it this way.

The hardest thing of all is looking my daughter in the eye. She'll be 2 next week and she's at that age where she's talking for England. I picked her up from nursery yesterday and as we reached the front door of where we live, she said "My house!"
My house? Not for much longer. What an utter scumbag I've been.

One last thing. I went to the doctor's yesterday and told her what I'd done and how I was feeling/my state of mind etc. Her answer? Go back to work immediately, starting from tomorrow. Wasn't expecting that, but maybe I need the harshness in my life and to stop being bailed out.