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Four places a compulsive gambler could end up.
#1
This is a little tale of warning for all compulsive gamblers which I heard on YouTube but have subsequently shared in a meeting.
They say there are four places a compulsive gambler can end up. 
The first is homeless. Imagine gambling getting so bad, you constantly borrow money to get you through another month after you've gambled away your wages, paying back previous debts just to borrow more which eventually you just gamble anyway. At some point in time there is no more money and a landlord won't be a charity for long even if your excuses sound genuine. Family and friends eventually get fed up and unfortunately some of us become homeless. It's a huge challenge to get yourself back.

The second is in prison. Sometimes the need to gamble is so strong that some of us will resort to illegal activities to continue our gambling. We might kid ourselves we are borrowing money that we'll win with and replace what we've borrowed but that's not how it works. It might work once or twice but soon that access to someone else's money becomes standard so the risk becomes greater and eventually we will lose it all. We might steal something to sell to continue our gambling or we might come up with a scam to get money to continue our gambling. Eventually, when there is nowhere left to turn, no one to bail us out, nowhere to run, we face the consequences of our actions. Because most gambling thefts tend to involve money and we have access to someone's money, any criminal act generally involves a breach of trust making a prison sentence more likely. Even if your first conviction is suspended, if it becomes public it can hinder getting a job, or you might have to take any job, not necessarily the job you would choose. Do it again and you're definitely going inside. All of a sudden, because of an addiction, you're in a cell with someone else who could be in for any reason, told what to do every minute of the day. If you have any friends or family left you can only see them at set times a limited number of times a month for a limited amount of time. Try getting a decent job after going into prison. Employers worry about their reputation and can you be trusted? You might believe you can at that moment but remember that addiction is always waiting, always looking for an angle to get you back at it. Not having a job means little money, little hope. Depression can kick in. It's a huge task to come back from that, just because of gambling.

The third follows on from the first two places, homelessness and prison. The third place you could end up at because of gambling is dead. You could take your own life. A lot of people have, generally men, with debts and secrets, or depression and hopelessness. Imagine a life which was perfect for you, taken away. Imagine having debtors phoning every day, texting, emailing. Imagine a family gone because you put them at risk because of gambling. Imagine that dream career out of reach because of things you've done because of gambling. Imagine applying for jobs and having to disclose your shameful past, never getting a reply, let alone an interview, because employers don't like to say no, they'd rather say nothing. Imagine how depressed you become when you can't see a future. You might turn to drink, drugs, crime, anything to dull the thoughts. Think how your mind feels if you are still gambling, wanting to stop but not being able to. For some the only way out is suicide, just because of gambling.

The fourth place a compulsive gambler could end up is a Gambler's Anonymous meeting. Most people have to be ready to stop, but if you are or if you're not, compared to the other three places available to a compulsive gambler, this is the only place that gives you hope and a chance of a normal life. It's not a cure, it's a proven way of abstaining from an insidious addiction that will and has taken everything from that unfortunate addict. To the outsider it must seem incredible that anyone would waste good money on the press of a button or turn of a card, let alone throw away jobs, family, friends, even life, purely because of gambling, but the addiction is so powerful and doesn't discriminate. Rich or poor, clever or not, successful or not, young or old, left without interference it will take everything.
Gambler's anonymous is a group of people from all backgrounds that meet to give each other hope and give advice through experience to abstain from gambling, and if you are lucky enough to find a meeting embrace it. It's free. There will be someone there who has experienced what you have. Someone who has felt how you feel. Someone who has come back from where you are. Someone just like you who no longer gambles and has a life now. Ultimately isn't that what we all want, a normal life that the majority have. A job, a family, a future, a choice? GA will give you that. You have to work at it to. Attend a meeting regularly, share how you feel, help others with your story, remember what brought you to the meeting in the first place, live honestly, change your way of thinking. Quite a small price to pay for normal life. 
If it's not for you the option to carry on gambling is always there, that voice in your head always telling you it's not that bad but think which of the four endings you might meet next?

Told through experience.
How do I stop gambling?

Honesty.
Open-minded.
Willingness.


Chris.
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