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Student Gambler Finally Admits...
Dear someone/myself,

(i'm writing this for the first time, so if it seems v.jumbled i'm sorry).

I am in my 2nd year of University and have, over the course of 2 years, gambled thousands. No one truly knows the extent of my problem bar myself and it's destroying me. I am consistently failing in my exams/assignments and just choosing to gamble till the early hours and failing to get up for lectures.

I feel like i have myself to blame, i know this is probably a bad thing as this depresses me further, acting as a trigger for continued gambling.

I started gambling on fruit machines in pubs, small change here and there. I was "good" at it, and the alcohol loosened and still does the conciousness of my actions. I say i was good at it, but really i'd never won anything prior, and a few pounds won on a bandit was a thrill i'd never experienced before. SOMETHING..... FOR NOTHING!

From then on, i would pursue a win everytime I went to the pub (for a newly turned 18 year old, this was very regular). My friends would joke about it watching me waste precious beer money and it got back to my girlfriend.

Now ... my girlfriend in the love of my life. We are soul mates and rely on each other for everything. However.... I beat myself up constantly as i'm a compulsive liar. It makes me feel sick to think of how i treat her and people around me. I genuinely adore her, but i am too scared to lose her. THIS has, and i know... stemmed from gambling.

In my first year of Uni i received .. hurrah! a massive lump sum of money. My parents are pretty poor but still hold extremely high/strict/outdated morals (my dad's a vicar (although pretty modern minded)). Anyway.... this led to me growing up with little money for myself and to be given a huge amount of money along with a new independence i'd never experienced. I feel still that i'm immature because i don't take hold of my life and fulfil the potential i know i have within me.

Anyway... with this new money.. i went mad (not literally), i spent it on new things for my room and sunk into throwing money about on nights out. I'd feed it into a bandit with no return and think nothing of it. This wasn't a one off, it got worse the more alcohol i drank. (i realise, after reading some of the forums, that alcohol is one of my major triggers). Next came my first trip to the casino. I won on blackjack. OH THE THRILL! (OH NO! another win to fuel my addiction further)

After staying positive and being generally up on how much i'd gambled, i discovered online gambling. I continued to win. Ecstatic, i told my girlfriend because i thought we could spend this bonus together as we rarely got to treat each other. She was dubious, but chuffed that i would treat her. I was now addicted but didn't know it. I didn't even think you could be addicted to gambling, or at least i didn't think it was serious. My government funded bankroll slowly dwindled and likewise my overdraft grew and grew. I did well at college, it got my bursaries and my course gave me thousands in 4 months FREE. I spent it. ALL OF IT. What was i going to do?!!!

I had outgoings that i couldn't afford, i was in more debt and still i kept it to myself, even though it was breaking me.

Finally, it was valentines day, and also mine and my girlfriend's 3rd year anniversary. Because she was under the impression that i was loaded, i couldn't possibly tell her. Then, the night before i had to admit everything to her. She left me alone on valentines in my small halls of residence room. I cried for the first time in a long time. I was devastated. This was the first time it had hit home how much damage i was causing myself. Luckily my girlfriend was very forgiving and she actually had to lend me money to live off. I stopped gambling. I WAS at rockbottom. I couldn't gamble, have a social life, do anything because i had NO MONEY left. This was good for me but i shouldn't have had to live like that just because i couldn't trust myself with money (and access any).

Sadly, and i can understand why, what i'd done was always at the back of my girlfriends mind and i knew it. Also, my parents had given me no support, and i was a huge burden on her and the guilt racked up.

My next loan/grant came in. i didn't gamble. I paid off my debts, i was a free man again. No ties to anything. I felt great, but then... slowly, (a different website this time) i fell back into gambling. It was because of boredom, not enjoying my uni course, as ever.... the booze, and the subconscious greed i have within me.

I told no1 again, and started to lose severely yet again. By now i was in my 2nd year and my extensive financial plan was no longer in action. All the plans i'd made to make sure my life wouldn't fall into gambling fell through.

I needed money fast. I borrowed money off my brother who is to this day, the only person who slightly knows the extent of my recent gambling problems. I opened another bank account with an interest free overdraft and maxed that likewise.

And finally, here i am now, preparing for Easter and my oblivious girlfriend's birthday. I have very little money (which is borrowed anyway) and i am on the edge of breaking down. I have failed my exams, lied to my parents about my results, spent my bursary which was meant to be in savings, and can't get it out of my head how much i have screwed up.

Just by writing this account is a start, and if anyone has attempted reading this then i'd be hugely grateful for any response. I apologise again for it's sheer length but i needed to go in detail for my sake.

It's the 19th of March and potentially, this could be the last day I gamble. That in itself brings a very rare smile to my face.

Hi Jake

I would suggest that you get yourself to a GA meeting ASAP. At your age you have your whole like ahead of you so although things may seem pretty bad right now, you will be able to sort things out with the support of other ex gamblers that trully understand.
Be careful with your triggers like alcohol, but also remember that its a progressive illness, IE, you pick up where you left off because we are always chasing a bigger buzz/our losses. Also remember that most compulsive gamblers are not able to stop long term on their own, you need peoplw who have been through it and understand this illness.

Try not to be to harsh on yourslf but take positive action.

Hi Jake,
Thanks for being honest and you have expressed yourself well. Compulsive gambling is recognized as being a mental illness and it needs to be treated and taken very seriously. You have one thing in your favour - that is you are still very young. Today look up your nearest GA meeting and attend - you will not be judged there as everyone is in the same boat, some more than others and old and young. You cannot deal with this alone or on your own. Drop everything and go along to the very next meeting. I lost several good relationships through my gambling and it went on for around 20 years before I went and got the help that I needed. We can't expect 'normal' people to understand this illness - it's just too big a thing.
Take care and come back here and let us know how you are doing.
God Bless
Im in the same situation, ive lost thousands and im only 19 and a student, with a girlfriend for 3 years, yesterday was the first step for me to stop gambling. i went to see a counsellor and im gonna try to get straight, but the main step is to be honest. HOW honesty, open and willing you apply these and u will become succesful it works for me and look at my situation i couldn go a minute with out gambling for 2-3 years and would lie to everyone. hope things get better for us all but dont beat yourself up it is a mental illness.
Hi i am also a student gambler. Spend nearly all day and night gambling and raaarely think about anything else. I need to snap out of it as my university work is going downhill and to be honest i dont even know what is going on at university now. The sooner i can get out of this the better. Its the boredom during the days more than anything
Hi. My name is Danny. first thing i can say to you, is tell your family/closest people to you. This brings it all out in the open you can talk about how you feel, and you will guaranteed start to feel better. They will not abandon you..i promise. They probably know something is wrong already and will just be glad that your trying to get help You then need to find your nearest G.A meeting. Where are you from? The last time i gambled was July 27th 2009. My family knew everything. The next day i went to a g.a class and have been going every week since. It is now 9 months today since i have gambled, it hasn't been easy but i now lead a normal life, the most important element is to not stop going g.a. otherwise you will gamble again. If you go g.a. you will build relationships back up with your family, friends and girlfriend. Get rid of debts and be able to buy things for yourself, you will start to enjoy life and enjoy being you again. P.S i started when i was at college, and then i went to university and had to leave half way through my 1st year because of gambling. Late nite casino's and not going lectures hey. i know how u feel. write back, i am willing to give any advice i can
Hi again.

It's been a while but I thought I'd show some appreciation for people's posts. Thank you those that replied, I am doing well.
I was honest and told my family and girlfriend. It was rough and it made me stop again. I went back to uni after being diagnosed with depression etc etc. I stuck with my GA group in Wakefield for about 5 months before I was due to return to uni in Sept 2010. Unfortunately I didn't then go to GA meetings in Newcastle where I studied. That, combined with being a general arrogant smart-alec, I ended up inevitably slipping. I recognised that I was in a much worse situation than before and took stock a bit. I managed to man up and confess to my brother again who demanded I gave him what money I had left, which was hugely liberating. Since then I retold the truth to people and am back at GA in Wakefield. My bet date is 6/6/11. Unfortunately, cutting a long year story short, I messed up a lot with my studies via gambling and have failed again. I now won't graduate until 2013 after starting in 2008. I guess I'm posting this because I've realised that I cannot fix this problem, there isn't a magical cure, and I am indeed a compulsive gambler. For anyone who reads this and thinks they know best (like I did), or thinks this fix is only temporary then I'm, along with many others, a prime example that you will at some stage need to understand and embrace the problem rather than 'cleverly' cure it. In my opinion, GA meetings provide the best place for that to happen, however until you admit to yourself that it's incurable then no matter how many meetings you go to, you will eventually convince yourself you're better again. I know I'm still an amateur in gambling abstination but I've had good experience of slipping, and I ruined so many lives of those close to me over and over. It's much worse if you go back to it.


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