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Enough is enough....
Hello everyone.

My name is Richard, i'm 32 and have a gambling problem that goes way back to when I was 8 years old. My addiction started on fruit machines, but what has really done the damage to my life has been roulette, specifically in bookmakers. I am single and most of my friends are gamblers of some description, something which I have tried to address, but failed. I've long known I have a serious problem and it is ruining my life, but only now do I see that I need to do something about it. In the past I have used both alcohol and drugs habitually but managed to give them both up, but gambling is proving much tougher. There have been periods where I haven't gambled but only due to lack of funds, if I have money I normally lose it playing roulette in the bookies. Sometimes I gamble because I want more money, but in all honesty half the time I don't care if I lose. I feel as though its inevitable that I will lose my money, but do it anyway, out of boredom. I have a low income job, and I am liable to spend every penny of my wages gambling as soon as I can access the money, leaving me having to borrow in order to be able to get to work for the rest of the week. If I win it just means I can have a bigger session the following day. I feel as though I am an embarrassment to my family, and have no control whatsoever. Because of my addiction I have absolutely no ambition, I don't see the point striving for a better job when the money is going to end up in the bottom of a roulette terminal. I am looking into local meetings and intend to go to one.

For each of the 20 questions my answer would be a resounding 'yes', in some cases I could write an essay for an answer, and some of the lies/excuses i've made to cover up my gambling are truly awful. If it wasn't for my mother, and other family members, i'd be in the gutter, or dead. Only today I got paid and went out for the evening with the intention of meeting friends from work, but ended up spending/squandering my entire wages in the bookies beforehand. I then walked home, which took an hour and a half. I can't unburden myself to my family, my mother is a good listener but doesn't truly understand, so i've registered on here in the hope I can find help and strength through others.

For openers this is just a basic post, over time hopefully I can share some of the episodes I am too ashamed and embarrassed to share right now. All I know is that my addiction is preventing me from leading a normal life.
Hello Richard,

Thankyou for contacting Gamblers Anonymous (GA). It is obvious that after having a good look around you have found some hope from the site. It does sound like you are stuck in a bit of a rut. You have turned to both drugs and alcohol in the past, possibly to numb the pain? Despite managing to stop using these substances your 'process addiction' ie gambling remains and this continues to frustrate your efforts to deal with it. Despite realising something that many people struggle with - that you have a problem with gambling and not just bookies/roulette - you have been unable to deal with it yourself. Perhaps you need to ask for some help in this area? Your sentence "I am looking into local meetings and intend to go to one." is extremely positive. Have you, now, been to one? If you have, please tell us how it was for you. If you have not, perhaps this would be the next step. You will have realised that self knowledge, regarding gambling, is insufficient for you to stop. You also describe how gambling is ruining your ambitions and preventing you from leading a normal life. Have you found much else in your search for a remedy to your problem gambling? You must have had a good look at what avenues are open. Your own personal experience shows that what you have done in the past hasn't worked. If you do not change something, then things will continue in the same vein - working, gambling, losing.......... The only 'sure thing' in gambling is that the bookmaker doesn't walk home from the races! You owe it to yourself to fully investigate the fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous. To quote the 'home' page "Meetings are the most important part of GA."
For me, the twelve step fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous provided (and still does provide) experience, strength and hope. There was none of this internet (nor virtual roulette etc) when I first came to the fellowship so I had to telephone the 'information line' and there I was prompted to attend a meeting. At my very first meeting I realised that I was not the only person who behaved as I did. I was able to listen to other former sufferers and hear that they had got better. I decided that whatever else I did I would return the following week. I often look back to where I came from, but today my life is totally different and I no longer live in the past. Recovery has by no means been straightforward, but with the help of the meetings and new friends I have made in the new circles within which I move I have managed not to place a bet for quite a while now.

I hope the above is helpful. Go to a (nother) meeting.

Oh yes, I had twenty 'yes's' too when I arrived at GA and today I haven't gambled for a long time. The Gamblers Anonymous program of recovery does work.

Yours in GA unity

'Poster' David
Hello everyone...

First of all I'd like to thank those who replied, its good to get a perspective from others. When I last posted I was in the depths of despair over my addiction, and keen to seek out a meeting. I found there was one in Norwich, an hour away, and by coincidence on the same road my nephew lives. The meeting is held in a church, which put me off slightly as it gave me the impression of ties to religion, something I have no interest in at all. I then realised I was just looking for excuses not to go. I still haven't been, because the despair I felt when I first posted has subsided as payday drew nearer. Having been paid I have already spent a portion of my wages in the bookies. I went out shopping with my sister yesterday but was reluctant to purchase anything unless i'd won the money, so I went to several different bookmakers, attempting to win a small amount in each one. Shortly I found myself hundreds down, and then borrowed more off my sister to 'buy some shoes'. Lost that as well, and had to endure a miserable journey home having explained roughly what had happened, as my 11 year old niece looked on with disapproval. I woke up this morning feeling utterly worthless and angry. I've paid my sister back and still have wages left but I know its a matter of time before I'm skint again. Its what i'm used to, and seem resigned to it happening. I've identified boredom as the main reason I gamble, but its many factors. I didn't need to gamble whilst out shopping, I wasn't bored, but part of me thought 'how can I screw this shopping trip up?' combined with not wanting to spend my wages on clothes etc, when I can gamble with it.

I look at people around me, happy couples, groups of friends enjoying themselves and individuals who look confident and focused. Then I look at myself. I do things alone, gamble alone, eat alone, shop alone. I'll probably die alone. Women used to take a casual interest in me, but I used to deflect the attention. 'Why would anyone subject themselves to a relationship with me?' I'd think. Now i'd quite like to meet someone, but realise I don't have a clue about women, because all my life i've immersed myself in gambling.

For me it seems to be about the risk involved, I was up a small amount very quickly, but I felt I couldn't stop as I hadn't really started yet. I wanted to experience not only the thrill of winning, but the full range of emotions, the joy of hitting my favourite number on roulette, the relief of nearly going skint but clawing the money back, the sense of control I feel when I'm in good profit, even the sick misery of losing it all. Its like a fairground ride.

Anyway I have changed my hours at work so that I can go to the next meeting, and I will happily report back with my experience of it. I'm not expecting any miracles, but to leave their with the feeling that I can beat my addiction over time will be good enough.

Hi Richard,

Im in the exact same boat as you my friend... im 30 years old this year and have been hooked on roulette machines in bookies for the past 8 years or so. The gaming industry calls them a fobt- fixed odds betting terminal.

I need to stop right now and take what I've lost and not put a single penny back in them. They eat you up and spit you out these machines. You cannot win on them in the long run. You might win at first but a cg can soon become addicted.

Best way is to stay out of the bookies full stop. Lets not waste lives playing a wheel and move on from this terrible addiction. I've managed to stay away this weekend and got my dad to put a coupon on; that's all im doing a week now. Then hopefully nothing. Stay away mate all the best damo
Hey, I apologise I came in late on this thread but feel I should share some things.

These are mainly for you. I roll my life back some 10years and I was just like you deflecting women as I didnt want to get them involved in my gambling, living the rollercoaster, always skint, always high, low.

I felt I gambled just for this emotional as the rest of life was boring. Like you said a loner, alone to eat, alone to sleep, alone in everything.

To me at that time life was ok, I had associates not friends because friendship is different. A little later I finally let a woman into my life and messed that all up also, why? my failure to recognise I was a compulsive gambler and failure to take measures to stop that.

However: I didnt even realise the change I made to my life and me when I said enough was enough at rock bottom, its not something you can see at that time. However day by day I went to work, focussed on that work and slowly things have changed.

im still deep down a gambler, I know that, but my ideology, my thinking, my personality has changed, hopefully for the better.

It took 1year free from gambling to buy a car, not on HP, but cash, saved through diligence. It took some time to set other things up in my life and now I am a different person.

I also in not gambling met a girl that instead of deflecting I told openly and honestly about former problems and I hope we will be together for ever as I dont wish to be a lonely man.

All for one thing! Admission and looking into my heart to see what I truly wanted and to say "God" however much I believe or not in him like you, that he granted me the serenity to accept the things I couldnt change the courage to change the things I could and the wisdom to know the difference.

Go to a meeting: Gambling truly is not worth it.

Hi Richard

My name is Hazel and I just went back on this site today after a long long time. I am addicted to roulete in Bookies and know exactly how you feel. I have tried everything to stop and my social life is nothing - I arrange to meet friends and dont turn up because I have been waylaid at bookies.

Today I am sat at home with no money till Friday and even then still cant stop but tonight think I wil go to a meeting and try again - been to a few meetings in the past but never really wanted to stop. My life at the moment is awful - dont eat right dont sleep right and dont feel right. I am 55 and have been gambling for long time - since 7 years of age - but dont give up trying.


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