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My Story
Hi All

I thought I would share my story with you in the hope that there are people out there who have a similar problem to mine and have overcome it. I began gambling when I was was sixteen and have been gambling since, when I think about it, I just cant believe I have gambled such a large part of my life away, I just cant believe it.

To be honest with you I don't even know why I do it, because I well past the stage where you realise you are never going to win anything. In fact for such a long time now it actually doesn't matter whether I win or lose, the feeling is more or less the same. I hate myself so much for it but I just cant stop. I have tried all the usual stuff like self-exclusion, letting my partner handle my money but I still cant do it. When I walk into betting shop its like go into a trance and my brain justifies everything that I am doing, I know what I am doing and I know I am going to lose everything I have but I just cant stop myself. Its only when I have walked out that I start to think of all the things I could have done with the money I have wasted.

Its bad now as it use to be actually since my partner has started controlling my money I haven't gambled as heavily but I think that's because I havent haven't had any money to gamble with. Many a time I find myself gambling money which I should have used to eat on my work day and go hungry all day so I can feed a different hunger one that is greater than the hunger for food. I am compulsive I know, in fact if there was a higher stage to compulsive I am probably at the stage higher than that. I cannot explain why I do what I do, but find myself always thinking about procuring the money to gamble and when I have the money I spend my time pondering on how I am going to gamble it. Its constantly on my mind.

Gambling has made into a compulsive liar, something I hate and ironically a trait I hate in other people. I lie to my partner every day, because one lie fuels another, then the other and then the other and your whole life becomes a revolved around lie. She knows I gamble but has no idea about the extent of it, I can never tell her my only hope is to extinguish this daemon inside me before I lose her, which would be something I cannot even imagine.

I have destroyed my credit rating, stole money to fuel this disease which has taken over me like a terrible cancer. I no longer live with my parents but I told my mother once and saw the tears roll down her face. At that moment I told myself never again and really meant it but enough time passed and back I am to my old ways. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have such loving people around me who love me and I love them but despite this I cannot stop. I even dream about gambling on the roulette machines mostly, and despite it being a dream I still lose.

I've been good for a few days and have not been to play those dreaded machines for a few days. But I know sooner or later I will be back tapping on those numbers. I something I really don't wish on anyone but most of all I don't wish upon myself but hey I have the disease so what am I to do. I hope some reads this.

Hi London,

I just wanted to say a big YES. There are other people with similar if not identical problems as you have. Read some of the posts and you will see just how big the problems are for some people.
I can so relate to you. Me lying, and hating others who lie, the spending on gambling and then hating myself for it, not really caring if I win or lose, as long as I get that trance, isolated feeling which comes from gambling, not eating, spending a fortune on machines, but not wanting to spend a few coins on food. Oh yes, I know where you are because I was there 18 months ago. I couldn't stop myself. It was like an elastic tied to my middle. If I tried to walk past a bookies, it would pull at me stronger and stronger until I weakened and went in. Stuff the consequences! <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: -->

But I did just a few things that have transformed my life. <!-- sConfusedhock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt="Confusedhock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- sConfusedhock: -->
1. Decided I had a problem and genuinely wanted to stop. I believe you are there already?
2. Admitted I have no power over this gambling thing. It controls me! Are you there yet?
3. Went to a GA meeting and continued to go every week if I could.

I realise it is a whole life problem and have now come to terms that I can NEVER gamble again. It was not about giving up for a week or month or year - just until the money was OK again, it was about recovering from my illness. Never again.

I tackle this illness one day at a time. By not gambling today (and I haven't) I make progress. Tomorrow I will not gamble. I will deal with the day after that when it comes.

It has kept me off since Oct 26th 2009 so far and I am so content, less angry, less prone to lying and I am starting to like myself. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->

Trust me, you are not alone - and thousands of people find GA and meetings are the way to give strength to tackle this cr*p in our lives.

I hope this helps.

My name is Chris, and I am a compulsive gambler.

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