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my story
Hi, I'm 28 yrs old and have been gambling in some form from around the age of 14, dazzled by the bright lights of bandits or simple coin flipping games. I would think nothing of losing the money I had worked all week for in a matter of minutes. On nights out at the weekend, when i started working, i would spend all night on the bandits to the annoyance of my friends and my then girlfriend, lying about the amounts i won and asking them to lend me money constantly. I look back now in embarrassment and disgust with how i treated them and how i took them for granted, mad when they refused to lend me more money when i was convinced the next spin would get me back even. It brings tears to my eyes when i think how many times my loving mum has bailed me out and the amount of times i have used her leniency to my advantage. I'm a constant disappoinment to myself and the people close to me. I hate the person i have become. I don't gamble every day - i never have. My problem is when i do gamble, i cant stop.I discovered online roulette and could gamble in my own home, away from the embarrassment i felt whilst losing in front of others. To start with i won big - weekends away and designer clothes. I saw how happy this made her and when i lost, i tried justifying the gambling by reminding her of the good times we had, resenting her for been ungrateful. I know now that they are the classic signs: blaming others and trying to justifying my actions. I decided not to be completely honest about the amounts i'd lost or borrowed from my mum to replace money from my account, lying to the person i love and who trusted me with her heart. It brings tears to my eyes now when i see her lovingly smile at me, knowing she doesnt know the true person i am - she trusts me completely. I've now accepted i have a problem - maybe i've always known, but its only now i truly want to tackle this evil 'illness' before it ruins my life and i lose the ones i hold close to me. I've read the other posts and i realise i'm lucky enough to have people around me to help and i'm truly blessed for that. i know its not going to be easy but i'll take it one day at a time. They say admission is the hardest part. Reading other peoples' stories and relating to others helped me realise my problems and i thank you all for sharing.
Hi crada

Welcome, sadly to the forum.

On a brighter note, you have now admitted to yourself that you have a problem. That is crucial, because unless you admit you have a problem, you will never do anything to rectify it.

The GA forum is a great start, but the ultimate source of help/support for most of us comes from attending our GA meetings. I would sincerely suggest you do attend GA meetings ASAP.

Have you told your "other half" and your mother of your problem with gambling?
You have to be honest with them, after all they are your family.

Can someone look after your finances for a period? ( generally 6 to 12 months)
My finances were controlled by a friend for 12 months. It can ease the pressure on you.

Allow yourself a daily or weekly allowance. Only carry money on you that you need.

Limit access to credit cards, bank accounts etc.

Stay away from gambling venues, and from people who gamble.

Most importantly... go along to a GA meeting.

Best wishes
hi, thanks so much for the advice. my mother and girlfriend now know about my problem and are unbelievably supportive, i think deep down my mother knew and shes aware it takes courage to own up to an addiction. ive not gambled since ive visited this site, the stories of others are not only heartbreaking to see but they really put things in to perspective on how this illness destroys lives. believe me i know its a long road but i feel confident i can do this and i know the support of others is crucial - actually talking to people and realising its an illness and not a sad existence that controls this gives me strength, im more focused than ever to beat this. i felt so embarrassed to talk to people but telling them has given me hope and a determination to not to let them down. i no longer feel alone with the world on my shoulders.. please if anyone is reading this and battling it alone ,speak out it helps so much. admitting i have a problem has been the key for me.. i know i speak as if its easy but believe me i know it isnt, its just i havent felt so confident in a long time.. thanks for listening and ill be back tomorrow without fail..
Hi crada

You are so right about "unburdening". Just by telling others of your problems, especially when they can empathise with what you are going through, seems to help.

Don't know why really, but it does. Maybe it's because you/me are finally admitting to ourselves that we have this problem, and with that admition comes a form of peace? <!-- s:?: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_question.gif" alt=":?:" title="Question" /><!-- s:?: -->

Also it does help when you finally realise that you aren't a "freak". We are all normal everyday people (most of us anyway <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> ) who unfortunately have an addictive tendancy.

Hope you are attending a GA meeting.

Best wishes
just to update people on my situation ive not gambled since first visiting this site, for that im truely grateful. reading everyones stories really hit home how close i was to potentially loseing everything.. im dealing with my illness day by day but i can honestly say ive not enjoyed life as much for the last ten yrs, im spending my hard earned cash on myself and the people i love. be strong everyone..
Hi crada

Well done!
We all know it is not easy.

Best wishes

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