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I need help!
i am 42 and have been a compulsive gambler for the last 10 years since my mum died. I am married and have 2 great boys but the gambling has ruined everything and i am now at the point where i feel there is no way back and i keep contemplating running away or ending it all.
I have gambled on horses and football but for the last 5 years the roulette machines have finished me off. I have remortgaged 3 times and lost in equity that i had made on house purchases - i am now in negative equity, have debts and now owe thousands to online payday advance companies which i cant pay back. I have borrowed and lied to my family and despite logging onto this site and having been to a couple of meetings i cant stop. It is now 3 days after i got paid and i have nothing left - cant get to work so will have to go off sick - how crazy is this?
Whilst my wife knows and she has stood by me i havent told any opther member of the family - probably as i dont want to be embarassed and ashamed but i know i need to let my prode go - my family think i must have loads of money in the bank and equity - the truth would just lead to them disowning me.
My main worry is never being able to get a life back and have money - i cant see how gambling will go out of my life - last Friday i was up - now i have lost that plus more - Madness !!!
Please help if you can appreciate my story and thanks for reading
hi mike,i relly feel for you mate, youve got the same illness we all have, we are compulsive gamblers. the important thing is not to panic. try and get all the help you need. meetings phone lines etc,talking it through is a massive positive. your story is very common. ive gambled for twenty years, and ive done things that would make the devil blush to have a bet. i recently have had to silips, having been cleaned of gambling for over a year. ive been hanging on to the coat tails of my addiction. you must put every barrier in place to stop,any money hand over, ban yourself from the bookies or casino and block on line betting. try and attend meetings and really listen, i know youve got it in you mate to stop. god speed and may you remain bet free.
Hi Mike, Now that you are reaching out for help you need to do something about it. Firstly, you have to stop thinking about what you have lost. All of us compulsive gamblers have had many and varied losses due to our gambling - some more than others but you need to get yourself to a GA meeting as soon as possible. Don't let false pride or ego keep you back, you can go much further if you don't stop now. Your wife already knows about your gambling and you also need to make sure that she knows everything - don't hold anything back as little lies, deceipts etc can hold us back from recovery. Maybe a good idea for your wife to go along to a Gamanon meeting as she is also a victim as must be hurting as much as you are. Your extended family can be told later on when you are well into recovery.
Other people will come along here later and give lots of other help and advice - Please take note of what they are saying.
These people have been where you are and we understand what you are saying and how you are hurting.
Take Care and come back and let us know how you are and what steps you have taken to get help. We all care!
Hi Mike

Do you want to stop?
When my family first found out ( after a failed suicide attempt), my first words were " you don't realise what you had until you have lost it". An old qoute I know, but that is exactly how I felt. <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarrassed" /><!-- s:oops: -->

Embarrassment is a small price to pay if you get the help you need. Having said that, if your wife already knows,
there is no need to tell anyone else, unless you want to. It is advisable however that close family members know that you at least have a gambling problem. They do not have to know the extent however.

You have finally asked for help, that is a good first step. Often the hardest step.
I am biased because I firmly believe that without GA, I would have fallen off the bandwagon again.
However there are other services available in the UK. Gamcare is one of them.
Whilst I am an ozzie ( Brisbane), my understanding is that Gamcare offers free counselling as well.

Compulsive Gamblers must have limited access to money. This means your wife should control the finances.
Don't worry about the male pride thing...Women are generally better with money management anyhow.
Allocate yourself a daily allowance...nothing more, and stick to it.

The only advice I can give you re paying back your debts is to work to a strict budget. If you cannot pay the debts back, I would suggest ringing the creditors & trying to work out a repayment schedule that suits you
better. They would rather get there money off you than bother the court system.

I have been clean now for 12 months, and whilst it hasn't been easy living on my budget, at least I can pay the bills & feed myself. Plus I no longer hate myself. Give yourself time & you will start to like yourself again.

Keep it simple...One day at a time... <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Best wishes

To begin your recovery you first of all have to admit that gambling has you licked. You are beaten. You will never win back the money you have lost. It has gone - forget about it. You will only end losing more.

You have to admit to yourself that you are a compulsive gambler. Compulsive gambling is an illness. The first stage of your recovery is admitting your problem and wanting to overcome it.

The next stage of your recovery is finding your local GA meeting and going at the next avaliable oppurtunity! You mention in your story you attended a couple of meetings in the past but stopped. GA Meetings are your medication! Without your medication you will not beat your illness. It will consume and destroy you. Go to your meetings and do not stop going - no excuses.

Tell your family EVERYTHING. You state you are afraid of losing them. They will be shocked, disgusted, confused, upset. They will feel many emotions but you are family. Families stick together in times of need. In time they will come to terms with your actions and as you recover, they will respect, love you and learn to trust you again. Invite them to GAM ANOM support group. By attending these meetings, they will gain an understanding of why you do what you do and be able to help you in your recovery. You need to swallow your pride and tell them everything. GA promotes a personallity change from within. A huge part of this is being honest and open about everything. Telling lies and attempting to cover up debts will only lead you back to gambling. As for being worried about losing them - eventually you will lose them anyway if you carry on as you are - I guarantee it.

Any amount of debt can be sorted - one way or another. There is no quick fix. There are charitable organisations that will assist you in managing your financies.

Ultimately your life is in your own hands. It is down to you to stop. All the advice and best will in the world can'y cure your illness without you wanting to cure yourself.

Find your nearset GA meeting and attend urgently. You will not cure yourself. These forums alone will not cure you. The only place that will is a GA meeting.

12 months ago I was a wreck. I hated myself. I hated life. I was on the verge of losing everything. Family, friends, job. Years of gambling had changed the person I was. I'd gone from being happy, honest and carefree to a lying, cheating lowlife.

In one week I will have gone 12 months without gambling. In 12 months I have turned my life around. I am slowly becoming the person I was. Everything I ever wanted through gambling but couldn't have - I now have. My fiance', family and friends love me more than ever. GA gave me the support I needed to achieve this.

I hope you listen to the advice you are given.

I wish you well.

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