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A life beyond my wildest dreams
My name is scott (34) and i am a recovering compulsive gambler,
My problems started about 29yrs ago when my mum and dad split after a relationship from hell due to my dads gambling addiction. I was 5yrs old at the time and remember treading on egg shells around my father not knowing weather he was going to lash out at the slightest thing i said. Looking back now i'm so glad they did split but for many years afterwards i foolishly blamed myself for their seperation and became very insecure, worried that my mum was going to disappear as well. Straight after their seperation my dad used to see my sister and me every other weekend by taking us off to the seaside to spend 10 hours in a slot machine arcade (very exciting for a 5yr old). Over the next few months he stopped seeing us, probably due to the inconvenience to his gambling lifesyle. I believe that having my dad disappear at that time in my life i found a crutch that took away my feelings, fears and anxietys. As i got older my mum re married which i rebelled against. I became very angry with life and everyone around me, i would be spiteful and nasty if i didn't get my own way. My mum says that she could always remember the temper tantrums i would have when i ran out of money in the arcades on holiday, she always used to give me more money to keep me quiet and i think i would have done the same in her position back then. When i left school and got my first job it felt great to be earning money and not having to steal from my mums purse anymore. I remember getting the barman from the local snooker club letting me out the back door at 5mins to midnight so i could get my wages out only to return to blow them in the slot machines. My gambling took a big hold of my life at this time and it wasn't long before i was stealing money from not only my mum but also my employer. It wasn't long before i was sacked for theft and also kicked out of home for stealing my step dads wallet. My mum was still secretly helping me financially behind my step dads back, she also tried getting me help with my gambling by contacting ga. I was 18 at the time and thought that i knew what was best for me even though i did attend a couple of meetings in weston super mare to keep my mum off my back. I remember attending my first meeting all sat in a circle with a 60ish yr old man telling his life story of where gambling had taken him (to hell and back). I came away thinking that i would never get that bad and he was far worse than i would ever be. I attended a few more meetings before i convinced my mum that everything was under control and i no longer needed to go (fixed)! Shortly after i turned 18 i started going into the bookies betting on anything i could. I managed to get another job after getting sacked from the last one and started stealing again. I was making good money from my job but it was never enough even with the theft. I decided to get a bank loan which was for a car which i blew in the matter of a few weeks. At the age of 20 i was mixing with some very unsavoury characters who were keen on me joining them in a bank robbery, which thankfully didn't ever go ahead. I was struggling to get enough money to gamble. I was needing more and more of a buzz and that meant more had to be wagered. I was swapping women every couple of months, once their money had run out. I carried on this path of destruction for the next 7yrs. At the age of 27 i met my wife. I thought it was xmas, the pound signs were rolling round in my eyes like slot machine reels. She has a very well paid job and seen her as a very easy target for money. Within 3 weeks of meeting her i had moved from somerset where i was living to leamington spa where she lived. The access to money was instant, she was going to work whilst i was sitting in the slot machine arcade for 12 hours spending a lot of money some days. I believe that she fell in love with me some how and i was just using her for her money. Being in the slot machine arcade was becoming boring with low level jackpots so i decided to persuade her we should go to the casino for a night out. As soon as i started playing blackjack and roulette i was instantly hooked. i ended up attending there daily from 2pm til 6am. Whenever my wife got paid bonuses of several thousand which would be a couple of times a yr they would be gone within the weekend. I eventually got a job due to the pressures from my wife but gambled that as well as her money. After 5yrs of highs and lows i finally hit rock bottom and didn't want to live anymore. I went to the doctors who put me tablets and forwarded me to see councellor, it was such a relief to break down and be honest about my life of hell. I ended up going to a rehab clinic in coventry that helps people with addictions understand why they do what they do and the behaviour patterns surrounding their addiction. It was the best investment i have ever made. Over the 12 weeks of rehab i learn't so much about who i am and what i have to do to have a life beyond my wildest dreams. I was very closed minded to the 12 steps of recovery at first but i can honestly say that it has given me a new life. I would be lying if i said it was easy, it has taken lots of honesty and commitment from me and my sponsor but has been worth it. Anything that comes easy to me are bad for my recovery! Today my beautiful wife and i no longer live with fear anxiety and stress thanks to ga and all the people who continue to help.
Living one day at a time we can all feel happy, joyous and free!!
Thanks for taking the time to read.
My name is scott and i will always be a recovering compulsive gambler.
Hi danny,
Thanks for taking the time to read my share. The best advice i could give you regarding you journey to recovery is to attend as many meetings as possible, don't be afraid of being honest about how you feel and what is on your mind. One thing i learnt very quickly is that keeping things in my head is very destructive to my thinking pattern, i seem to suffer from having a magnifying mind which blows the slightest thing out of control. I have had to learn to let things go and not have resentments with others as that is one of the biggest reasons for relapse (very hard to do at first but it gets easier especially if you talk to someone else in recovery so it's out of your head). When i first started my recovery i was very judgemental of others, putting myself higher than everyone else. i have had to practise seeing everyone as a equal to myself. I am ABOVE or BELOW no one. I always had to be the best at everything i did in life and always had to be right, nowadays i ask myself the question of how important is it compared to my sanity? I haven't found a occasion where it has been. I found myself being very competitive in everything i did in life and that was due to not feeling good about who i was and what i did, so i had to boost my self esteem with being competitive. It's funny how we judge other people based on our own way of living. When i was gambling, cheating and lying i assumed that everyone around me was the same so i found it very hard to trust anyone, but now my life is based on different foundations, i find it a lot easier to trust other people and be honest. When i walked through the doors of recovery i was self will run riot, i was impatient, insecure, angry, resentful, self seeking, self centered, egotistical, fearful and full of guilt, blame and self pity! These are the characteristics i have had to work on to enable me to find happiness otherwise the washing machine cycle continues. What happens for me is that when i feel these emotions i have the urge to escape them by running away to the fantasy world of gambling but the trouble is that because the buzz we get from gambling and escaping reality is so great we are not able to leave until every penny has gone, once we are skint reality kicks back in and all the feelings we felt in the first place come back 10 fold so the desire to return is even greater. Self pity was one of the hardest defect to work to work on. I try not to be bitter about what i haven't got and be grateful for what i have got. Writing a gratitude list helps. I found myself always dissapointed in life and this was because my expectations were always set too high, if you lower the later this will help.
This may sound like a lot to work on but you have the rest of your life to practise these principles in all our affairs (we are not striving for perfection)
Today i do the right thing in life and accept the outcome whatever it is after all i wasn't put on the earth to play god!
I continue to work on this way of living daily one day at a time.
I hope this will help you on your journey to happiness.
Take care.
My name is scott and i am a recovering compulsive gambler.
Hi jessica,
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I read a lot of your posts on the forum and it's great that you put so much effort into passing the message onto the newcomer and offering them hope beyond the life that gambling has brought to them. I find it amazing how much effort you put into your recovery and hope with all my heart that you find a life of happiness that you deserve.
Take care.
My name is scott and i am a recovering compulsive gambler.
I had not read your post till now and thanks for laying all bear. I really do believe that insecurity and whats happens in our childhood can effect this desease greater. I let my mother read my post a few weeks ago and she cried as she read, I know why she cried as she felt she never helped me, she did by her love.

Like you I have seen people to address my issues because I really didnt couple all of my issues purely and simply down to one solitary thing, ie being a compulsive gambler.

I sypathise with anyone who is a child to a compulsive gambler, because I know the person that gambling made me. For me it was very very different, indeed. When I was young everyone liked me but for my father I was always wrong and I often believed he didnt love me at all.

I grew up very very insecure as my parents wathched as I was savaged by a dog at three years old, from that day my relationship with my father was very tough.

My father will never admit some things that happened in my life, but I cannot change those things or times. I was always wrong in everything I did, culminating in being dumped on my own at 17yrs old to fend for himself.

I like you found a path of destruction to mask my internal feelings of insecurity and issues. I however have found a "New Life" brought to me by the realisation that I am not wrong, That GA is a path I can take and most importantly I am able to admit my failings.

I dont wish this illness on any man or woman and I certainly used to look at others and think how "simple" there lives are with the love and support family gave to them.

However in my time now of total abstinence I have found a slightly new direction in my character brought around by some of the 12 steps. One of the greatest feelings I can ever share true from my heart now is that I do not blame anyone for anything that happened, because hopefully with GA and living my life "one day at a time" I have realised totally who I am and I am no longer afraid and no longer resent.

Good news for all...I hope is last weekend I got down on one knee and asked my GF who knows my past to marry me, she said yes, we have some issues to deal with but I know she loves me for the real me, not the one masking his life surrounded by a false world.

To say "gambling was the only place I felt safe" was an under statement for me...because it was. But today I feel safe outside in the real world that can be a beautiful place.

I dont know if I will prosper, I dont know if I will succeed, I can only however hope today I do not gamble.

Thankyou Scott..I hope life continues to bring you what you deserve.

My name is barrie and I am a compulsive gambler.


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