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First timer
Evening everyone!

So, a bit of back story before I start. This is all 'Pre-problem'. 

So I'm in my late twenties and 4 years ago I met the love of my life. Obviously, being a romantic at my core, there was one other I thought could possibly have been (OMG Massive mistake!) but this one, was different. 3 years my junior, stunningly beautiful, funny, intelligent, basically everything I could ever have hoped for. More importantly, she is the most understanding and forgiving person I have ever met. Not a bad bone in her body (unless I wind her up, which I do - I'm pretty sure I was a Sprite or Imp in a previous life, playful mischief). We never argue. She can't. It just doesn't compute with her. In essence my perfect lady.
2 Years ago, I am shockingly offered a very well paying job for my age, plus perks (car, phone, laptop etc) and the ability to earn more. I'm a regional salesman by trade, very confidence orientated career which is relevant. Last year we moved into our first place together, rented from her parents (which they had bought specifically for us). We were going on holidays together, I had savings for the first time in my life, 6 months ago we got a puppy and shortly before that, this angel agreed to be my wife (the aforementioned love of my life, not the dog!) All in all, everything was perfect.

And now, the tale as old as time, I f***ed up. On a biblical scale.

I should mention - 6 years ago I went bankrupt, unrelated to gambling but more to do with being 'the big man' with my ex and spending more then I was earning. Loans occured etc etc. Hence the inability to buy a house (maybe luckily in hindsight)

So. Roughly 18 months ago I was in a car accident which causes me daily pain. Nothing massive, just bad pain in my neck which causing horrific headaches. I didn't take time off work, very much a 'Oh I'll be fine, tis but a flesh wound' kind of bloke. 

After that, everything went to shit.

I was travelling for 4-6 hours a day, which with the headaches was unbearable. Being in the car only made things worse. So I stopped travelling for that long. Didn't tell my employers, didn't make up the time, just cut back. Mistake one. I began losing sleep because of the pain and worry of my employers finding out. 

Fast forward a year to 6 months ago and I had slipped into a bad depression. Which did nothing bet infuriate me as, like I said, bar the accident everything was perfect! By this point I had gone down to 4 hours sleep at a push. My employers then found out that I hadn't been doing my job completely and promptly fired me.

Enter the betting sites. 

I found out, there is always something to bet on. No matter what time of day. So when I was staying awake till 1-2 sometimes 3am, I began to bet. 

Now, I have always gambled to an extent. But the phrase 'dabbled' being the big word. Very small value bets that would net me hundreds of thousands. Silly ones but ultimately, costing me minimal a month. Not a problem.

But, as I began to slip further and further into depression, the bets began to increase. As did the amounts I was betting. Within the first month of this, I won a couple of relatively big bets. Which of course set the tone. I began to bet more to get more back. Then, I began to bet to try win back the money I lost and so on and so on and so on. To the point I was clearing my entire monthly salary within 2 days.

Once I'd ran out of my money, I started applying for loans. But having a bankruptcy on your Credit File means I had to apply for Payday loans. Short term cash. Which would then leave me skint when I got paid because I was paying them back secretly.

Once I'd ran out of sites that would lend me money, I began to fabricate excuses to my fiancee to put money in my account. 'Oh such and such has gone out and left me overdrawn' 'Oh no, I'm going to get charges' 'Oh the council tax has gone out on a random day'. With every intention of using that money to pay off the debts I'd incurred. But we all know the story, as soon as that money went into my account it went straight onto the betting sites. Trying to double my money so I could pay off the debts AND keep gambling.

(Sorry for the essay we're nearly there I promise!)

This obviously spiralled to the point where my Fiancee ran out of money to give me, so, to my digusted and shame, I convinced her to take out a loan to pay off my debts. Which of course didn't happen. I paid off the big ones but some I left on and just used the money to keep gambling. Once that had ran out, I went back and took out the payday loans I'd paid off with her money, and reopened the accounts. 

Once again, they all ran up, I no longer had a job to pay them off myself, so I convinced her again, to take out another loan.

Rinse and repeat.

Once I'd dried that up, I convinced her to guarantor me on 2 separate loans.

Rinse and repeat.

A couple of weeks ago, whilst we were sat trying to work out how to get through the next month (having lied about the money from the second loan being tied up with the bank, and thats why she hadn't received it) She suggested I set up a betting account in her name and use a small amount on the credit card to try and win more. At this point, she had no idea I had such a bad gambling problem, only that a year or so ago I'd won a decent amount with a small input.

And well that was it, I maxed out the credit card, spent everything in her bank until it came up declined. Lied about having won a load and that it was being processed and should be in her account. 

Two days ago it all came to a head. She confronted me about it and I told her everything. She went to ask her parents for help. She came back with her father who promptly told me that I had '1 hour to get my stuff out of the house' as well as being a lying shitbag. Which, I think was a very mild response, had it been my little girl, I'd be in a body bag. My fiancee gave me the ring back and ended it there. As far as her family is concerned, I am a 'fu%^£g loser' and 'conartist' who probably did the same thing to his ex, and the relationship is over.

I feel like scum, which is right. I stole from someone who was nothing but supportive, caring and loving towards me. I have never felt so low in my life and feel physically sick whenever I think about it.

So, there it is, my essay. My story. 
I lost my career, 
extended family 
and the love of my life fiancee.

I'm Mike and I'm a Gamblerholic.
Hi Mike

Thanks for sharing your gambling experience....

Obviously you've started to think about the recovery side as you are here so have you checked out your nearest GA meeting if you want to stop completely?

GA isn't always the easy solution...anything but, however for a person who is more progressive in the illness, it may give you the support and program you need...

Any questions reply back...

Smartie xx
Hi Mike,

As a man who had no real emotion whilst gambling, over 2 years in recovery has changed me, I've actually cried reading your story mate, and I was able to put myself in your shoes. I lost 2 long term relationships to gambling, and a house, the fact that my wife stayed with me when it all came to head 2 years ago is a miracle, but she has quite openly said that if we hadn't already been married with one kid already and another on the way, she too would have been off.

Gambling addiction really does push you to do things that you wouldn't even consider in "sound mind" and working on recovery can certainly give you that. You may not get back what you have lost, but you certainly change the script from here on. Consider getting to you nearest meeting and even further afield, start working the recovery program with a sponsor, and the changes can really be felt. Whilst working on recovery, one day at a time, gambling doesn't happen.

Wishing you well

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.

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