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At it Again, Time For Change
From the age of about 14, I have regularly placed bets on sport. Specifically, football, cricket and tennis.

I’m now in my early 30’s and feel it’s time to acknowledge that I have a problem. I have lost an inordinate amount of money throughout my 20’s and have rarely been in a position where I have been in the black and spending real money. The habit has prevented me from experiencing a lot of great things.

Like many, I have been in many holes, relapsed many times and have been stuck in the cycle of payday loans, credit cards and borrowing from family. I’m convinced that without the support of my family and fiancé, I would be on the streets or if not worse.

I have had many sleepless nights, letting the gambling take over completely, meaning that I can bearly focus on day-to-day tasks. The addiction has at times made me a wreckless person and I have been lucky to escape without a criminal record. Some of the things I have done to obtain funds to gamble are unspeakable and completely out of character. Not only this, it has made me aggressive, negative and completely focused on the past and ruing opportunities that I have blown.

As I write this, I have abstained for just 1 week, but my mood and productivity are at an all time high. I have been in a simlilar place before when I stopped for 9 months in 2015, but it is easy to forget the pain and horror that gambling can cause me and those that are close to me.

I have been to just one GA meeting, but plan to now attend on a weekly basis. I have signed up to GamStop and have been completely open with my fiancé.

What advice do people have for staying on the straight and narrow? I love how I feel right now, I have cleared the large manjority of my debt, get married this year and have a decent career. I don’t want to be the deceitful beast that stole my 20’s from me.

Any words of advice would be gratefully received.
Hello. Firstly well done for recognising you need help.
There is so much advice and guidance there's not enough room here to put it all but the first bit is to find your nearest GA meeting so that you can talk to like minded people who understand. We don't judge others, we are just like you, taking it a day at a time to recover from our illness.
The second bit of advice is to be honest, really honest, with those nearest to you as it will be a huge weight off you after sharing a secret. This will help long term with recovery. Good luck. Please ask any questions you like.
The future is bright

The best suggestion I can give to you is, go to as many meetings you possible can in the first 90 days, or even longer if you need to. I also got members numbers and was making contact regularly, this was a big help for myself.

There is a lot of very good literature on here for free, I got myself very familiar with it, reading the booklets daily. I would recommend "towards the first 90 days" as that's the first mile stone in your journey.

If it was myself, I would get a sponsor and go through the 12 steps, because it requires 2 people, that will help with your recovery after you have managed your abstinence from gambling.

I wish you all the best for your journey, and feel free to keep sharing on this post with how your progress is coming along, and how your feeling.

All the best
My name is Martin, I am a compulsive gambler, my last bet was 29.9.2017. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Hello Chris, thank you for your words of support. 

In the past I have really struggled to be completely open with my fiance. On this occasion I have been extremely honest with regards to finances and the level of deceit I have reached in my last relapse.

I went to my first GA meeting last week and came away feeling a sense of purpose, I will be trying to attend once a week and follow the 12-steps, as I write this, I feel really positive. Just need to stay on this path.

Bye for Now
Hello Shoeboxhead (feels odd addressing you like that) Smile

Thank you for your advice, I have had to read about sponsors  as I didn't know what that was, but it seems a great idea and it definitely makes sense. Hopefully I will have the confidence to speak with some of the group in the coming weeks.

As I have said to Steve_B, I'm in a great place at the moment and really need to stay focused. I know how easy it is to slip back into the old habits.

Thank you for your time
Hi Thefutureisbright..I'm glad you're feeling positive. I'd like it if you could update this site with how you are getting on with your recovery, when you feel good or bad and how you get on at meetings.
If not for us to read but for you to remind yourself of what brought you here in the first place. Good luck.
It's hard to get it right... One thing I hear a lot from members of the group I go to is "it doesn't matter how many slips you have, it's learning from them and putting barriers in place to stop the same thing happening again" 

As gamblers we tend to leave a window of opportunity open even if it's subconsciously and its about closing these windows to keep the gambling away and your house safe

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