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1st September 2011 - The start of my new life
Hi everyone,

My name is Michael, I'm 21 years old, and I have a gambling addiction.

I was always intrigued by winning money by gambling. When I was younger, I'd get my aunt to place bets on the football for me, and when I finally turned 18, I'd place small accumulators on the football as a bit of fun. As I got a job, I started to earn money and started to gamble more. Bets on football became bets on football, dogs, horses, virtual racing, machines, everything. In 2008, I enrolled into Uni, dropped out after a month and upon working more hours spent more time and money gambling.

I started uni again in 2009, and found myself entitled to student loans, which were mainly spent gambling. I've tried in the past to give up, but my attempts have only lasted weeks, and months at a time, before I'll get an urge to gamble and lose everything again.

I have told my parents, who were very supportive and offered me any financial help I needed. But my father has an alcohol problem which has resulted in him being hospitalised on a number of occasions. I can't say that this is the motivation for me gambling, but the way that it has affected my life, maybe gambling has been the easy way out for me. In June of this year, the girl I loved from the bottom of my heart left me, and after being with her for 18 months, that left a very big hole in my life. I had told her about my gambling and it's definitely a reason she decided she wanted to move on. We talk at times, but it's not the same.

Today was pay day, and I spent all of my wages on the horses. I didn't win back a single penny. My life is pretty much at rock bottom, and today, I have finally realised enough is enough. I want tomorrow to be the first day of my new life.

I am going to kick this addiction. I'm never going to gamble again.

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