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Mum to my Son
I'm so sad tonight. I think of my 24 year old Son being eaten alive by the cancer that is gambling...he is over a thousand miles away from me and today he broke down on the phone and cried for the 1st time when I begged him to get help. I pray every night that he will go to a meeting in Manchester, I found him the address and pleaded with him to do this for himself, I'm afraid for my Son. He is such a good person, online poker is his nemesis or going to the casino which is less than a mile from where he is spending his last week before he is thrown out on the street. I'm so sad that I cry myself to sleep as I pray with all my being that he'll make it out on the other side eventually. He asked me for money today which I could have given him but I said no, it was so hard to say no, I can't be an enabler, as easy as it would have been to send him the money that would have only been to make myself feel better for a few moments and then I would have been filled with guilt for my weakness. I'm sorry I'm rambling I just need to somehow get this out and hope whoever reads this will think of the families that are being torn apart and the utter sadness a Mother feels when she is helpless to do anything that keeps her child from this disease. I love you Michael, always, no matter what.
Hi Lorraine

I am a compulsive gambler.
Sorry to hear about your son's gambling woes.

You have done the right thing in not giving him money. What would he have spent it on?
You and I both know the answer to that.

I know this is hard for you, for any family member to see someone you love destroy themselves due to this addiction. All you can really do is offer to help in a non-materialistic way.
You have already urged him to seek the help he needs at a GA meeting. There are other options in the UK such as free online/telephone and face to face counselling. These options are not available via GA.

We often refer to a person reaching his/her "rock bottom"... a point wheer the gambler admits to themselves that "this is as far as I want to go & I need help". This rock bottom varies with each compulsive gambler...your son may not have reached his limit yet. Some of the "lucky" gamblers do not need to reach this low point before they realise they need help, and ask for said help.
I hope your son is in the latter group.

For your info, GA has a sister fellowship called GAMANON. It is attended by family/friends of the gambler. This meeting usually takes place in the same building & the same time as the GA meeting, but in a different room. Have a look for your nearest GAMANON meeting. I think you will gain an insight into our world, and also get a lot of support & help from these members.

Best Wishes
Hi Lorraine,

I would advise getting help for yourself just as you rightly advised me, it's hard to practice 'tough love' with those you love and you do need support.

The first time I went to counselling over my partner's gambling and cannabis problems I reaslised that even me finding the name/comtact details of a counsellor for him was 'enabling' - I was not making him stand on his own two feet and find it out himself which is something he would have done if he was serious (and indeed he did do it himeself when I told him this).

I think sometimes you need to be selfish and look after yourself - though completely appreciate how much easier that is to say than do.

Good luck
Thanks to everyone for the support. I have hope, when I talk to him now I see a crack in the door, that he is finally coming to terms with the fact that he has a problem so I am much more optimistic. I do realize that until he admits his problem there is nothing anyone can do, we cannot change what we don't acknowledge. I appreciate everyone that has given me advice, I really do listen to it and take a serious note of things that I feel will guide me in the right direction. The internet has opened up so many more temptations for quick and easy money, he got a job this week which is wonderful. I have hope.
Hi Lorraine

Never lose your "hope".

This addiction which can never be cured, can be controlled. We, the CG have to exert that control. It becomes a battle of wills....I want to gamble...but I won't.

One of my fallow GA members expressed it very well...

" we will always be compulsive gamblers....the day we stop being compulsive gamblers is the day they lay us six foot under."

As long as we are aware of our addictive problem, and we do not have that "first bet",we can,
and do lead normal healthy lives.

Never give up!

Best wishes
I'm a mum in the pretty much the same situation as yourself. My son is ruining his life. He an his partner have just had a beautiful baby boy and if he is not careful he will lose them.

GA were really helpful to me on the phone last night, theygave me loads of information and useful web sites.

Do I confront him over his gambling? He broke down to his partner last week and she wants to help him to recover. We cannot force him to admit he has a problem, only he can do that, but we cannot stand by and watch him self distruct, can we?

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