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Why i gambled to begin with.
Hi all,  i know i gambled to begin with because i was bored with life. I found something that excited me.  It was enticing,  elusive,  electric and easy to be hooked by.  It took me about six weeks to become addicted to gambling,  after losing my first bet.  I didn't gamble for six weeks after that initial big bet.   Looking back i am surprised it didn't take a grip on me much quicker.  

After the second losing bet and only about the third bet of my whole life,  then i became addicted. My first bet was on a greyhound or a horse.  It lost. I didnt gamble again for a further six years.  Now that is incredible to me.  But that's how it was.  I was a student in 1996 and i thought losing my first bet was a waste.   How much smarter i was back then?!  Astute even.  Then i got married in 2001 and started gambling in February 2002.  I started small and it just snowballed.

When i gamble i delude my self into believing i am smart. Perhaps i am to a certain degree. Looking back now i wish i had never started.  Eighteen years later and i am in some small manageable debt,   but i feel more depressed than ever. 

The truth is i now have children and i need to think about providing for them.  I have no choice but to quit now.  It is going to be a few months before i get out of this debt.  I have to try though.  I have been addicted to gambling on football predominantly but now i recognise footballers are multi millionaires and they don't care about gamblers.  

I have attended hundreds of gamblers anonymous meetings but i feel the time is not right to attend.  I will go again in my own time. 

My name is Toby and I am a compulsive gambler.  Thanks for reading.

I use to think that gambling was fun and exciting and that life was boring.

The addictions and the obsessions were a form of escape for me, I was escaping people life situations and how I felt with in myself.
In time I would understand that the addictions and the obsessions were just the symptoms of how vulnerable I was long before my addictions and the obsessions came in to play.

I would lie to myself that if I won money I would feel successful in myself, if I won the money I lost back would undo all the pain I had caused myself and other people.

I was so vulnerable I was so inadequate and insecure from day one walking in to the recovery program.

Sadly over time I would help myself slowly very much baby steps taking things  slowly, over time  gt more honest with myself.

I was not a stupid person, I was not an evil person, I was not a bad person, I was a person who had given up all faith and hope in myself.

In my recovery I would understand that my emotional age and my physical age were not the same.

In my recovery I would understand what my emotional triggers were, but more importantly how to deal with emotional situations when they occured.

I am a non religious person yet I certainly do embrace spiritual values in my life today.

The addictions and the obsessions were a form of escape for me, understanding when I was vulnerable and no longer wanting or needing to gamble was took time.

Of course the ideal situation is for me is to be emotionally detached from all feelings and emotions towards gambling in every way.

In time I would understand that every fear I had was a consequences of the many pains I had experienced in my life.

I was able to heal many of my pains yet not resolve my fears due to the pains.

I was able face to my fears even without healing many of my pains.

I was able to understand how I ticked, I was able to understand that by going to my addictions and the obsessions was a form of self abuse, self inflicted pains and also fears.

One saying use to cause an unhealthy reaction in me, honesty is the best policy, I use to fear being honest, I use to think that if I was honest would be painful, if I was honest people would leave me or abandon me, that fear of rejection and abandonment was from a very early age and early time in my life.

In my recovery I would get honest with myself in the first place, only once I was honest with myself could I get more honest with other people.

Earlier in my life I was a victim, then I then became a perpetrator, today I understand that I no longer want to be a victim, today I understand that I no longer want to be a perpetrator, and I no longer want to be a rescuer.

Money was not going to heal my pains, money was not going to reduce my fears, money was only going to give me more choices in my life.

From day one in my recovery I use to think that lack of money was my problem, I use to think that gambling was my only problem, in time I would understand how emotionally vulnerable I was, I would give up talking about money and my addictions and would steart to give deeper and deeper therapies, I would expose my vulnerability to people and the world.

By talking about my vulnerability was a sign of my growing inner strength.

A person once said that he was glad he was a compulsive gambler, on him saying that I had an unhealthy reaction, then he followed up by saying that because of his addictions and because he attended meetings and got understand how unhealthy he was.

Today I would say the same thing myself.

The recovery program was not going to control me, the recovery program was not going to stop me gambling, the recovery program was not going to stop me lying, the recovery program was not going to stop doing any thing I did not want to do.

The recovery program is very much like mountain climbers, by being connected to each other we get help and advice to deal with life and risky situations in healthy ways.

Each time I disconnected myself from the recovery program in time I would go back to unhealthy thinking and to unhealthy reactions.

No matter when we last gambled keep going to meetings, no matter if we do not have any money keep going to meetings.

The healthy people in the recovery program was going to help me make healthier choices in every avenue of my life.

Love peace and serenity to everyone.

Dave L

AKA Dave of Beckenham
Very interesting reading, Dave. I am in a very vulnerable selfish mood today. I needed to ground myself and reading your story helped me. Many thanks

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