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New to the idea of talking about this.
Kinda thought this was something I could deal with internally but, like others, talking about it seems to be the best (or maybe the only) way forward. I don't know what kind of feedback this will receive but I'm gonna take a leap and post it anyway.. I tried my hand at writing a poem to best describe the way it has affected me. Comments welcome.

1 am at a service station 
Drinking coffee alone with an urge
Telling myself to get back in the car lest the familiar beast should emerge.

Forcing myself to the street, pulling a smoke from my jacket, I puff while I watch the end burn.
 I count the coins in my pocket, then I open my wallet, allowing the beast to return.

Before my lungs feel fresh air, I am straight back inside with every penny to my name in my hand,
I'm drawn to the lights like a moth to a flame believing I'll walk straight back out with ten grand.

Of course this won't happen and I know that's the case but the beast has infected my brain, 
It burrows, grows, stows within woes, and delicately drives me insane.

Secreting confidence and faith intwined with all hope, it's a dangerous cocktail, for sure.
For it's aware of its mission in destroying the soul as it forces me up to the door.

Unforgiving, persistent, convincing and such, it sits me, comfortably, down on the stool,
Where it will knead then proceed to feed on my mind. It's the master and I'm now the fool.

I am now face to face with the machine of my dreams, for tonight is the night I deserve.
The former contents of my wallet swallowed in seconds, no less, holding back nothing at all on reserve.

I take the first spin, DEAR LORD, IT CAME IN! WHAT A SPECTACULAR WIN, this is great!
Here rests any laughter, as every spin hereinafter is designed tactfully just to negate.

 'Insufficient funds' in bold CAPS on the screen bears emotions that won't go away. Hatred, embarrassment, guilt, I'm ashamed.I can't fathom why that didn't pay?

My pockets are silent as I bury my fist, no clinks, nor ruffles of notes.
The frenetic display of a person so desperate is the way that this foul creature gloats.

Dazed and confused with a child to feed and the rest of the week to get through, it's 5 days of worry, with 6 nights awake, asking 'what on earth is wrong with you?!'

The beast gently slips back, deep down within, it nestles softly in a wallet once full,
Now with space to stretch out for a comfortable rest it won't be disturbed, not at all.

One hard week goes by and I'm happier now, I've forgotten the gut-wrenching feeling-it's true!
But there's cause for alarm as there's cash in my palm, and the beast just awoke for round 2.

If just one person can relate, I'll know I'm not mad. Either way, thank you for reading. 

My names Joe, and I'm a compulsive gambler. 
Hi Joe,

What a fantastic poem, I can 100% relate this, over and over and over again until I finally waved the white flag.

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.

Opening up is a sign of strength.

As the fears in us reduce the trust starts to grow.

There were no healthy emotional answers found in money or being in action.

A time comes when we stop beating our self and give more time and energy in to our recovery.

Love and peace to every one.

Dave L

AKA Dave Of Beckenham

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