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Telling family about CG and GA
I nearly had a huge step forward today but chickened out although the door was open for it. 

One thing I've not done yet is told any of my family except my brother that I'm a CG. This afternoon I had some time with my mum on her own. We had been talking about money as she was worried I was going to ask her for a loan to get emergency car repairs done and as mum and dad have just come back from holiday they are understandably skint. In the conversation I said that I know the feeling as I'm really strapped for cash myself at the moment and have been for a few months, which she knows anyway because she has seen me being very careful with my money to make sure that my bills get paid. 

I had the opportunity as it would have been a good time to slot it into conversation to tell her that I'm a CG, especially as it is just hours away from being a month since my last bet - something I can't quite believe myself and keep having to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming! 

I chickened out of saying anything though although I was thinking about it even before the subject of money came up because I knew I had her on her own for a bit. I think it was partly because I just don't know how to tell her and partly because I very much doubt she will be able to even vaguely understand. The other reason I'm hesitant to say anything though is a lot more emotionally charged. 

Over the last few years, maybe getting on for 10 or so now tbh, I've taken my family on a real rollercoaster ride with trying to deal with me as I've gone through multiple breakdowns, failed relationships, bankruptcy, suicide attempts, police warnings, and all the major turmoil that goes with each and every one of those things. I've literally taken them to hell and back and I've spent the last year or two trying to rebuild a pretty broken relationship, especially with my parents. Despite my gambling the relationship has got a lot better and I'm therefore very reluctant to do or say anything that might jepordise the progress that has been made. 

I really don't know what to do, but I wish I could say something. They already know that I go to a "self help" group as I had to explain why I had to leave their house earlier than I normally would after going shopping. It was the first thing that jumped into my head and I have just gone with that since I mentioned it. I feel terrible about lying about where I am going even though it's more an omission than an untruth but I just don't know how to say that I'm going to my meeting without causing more pain to them. 

I'm going to bring this up at my meeting soon, maybe at my next one, but it's eating away at me as I know it will be a big step forward for me when I finally tell them, but I just don't know how to and unless I have an idea of what I'm going to say when I do tell them I'm going to chicken out every time even if like today I had the opportunity. Of course, like pretty much everything big, I'll probably tell just mum and then she will tell dad when she gets it sorted out in her head. It's always been that way simply because she is a lot easier to talk to than dad - unless it is something practical in which case I talk to dad not mum. 

I know this is different to telling your partner, and as I don't live with my parents it complicates things more as they don't see the things that go on when I'm not with them, but if anyone has any advice as to how I might be able to tell them I would appreciate it. I don't think mum has ever gambled in her life apart from a weekly lottery ticket. I know my dad got hooked on scratchcards for a while and mum had to get him to stop as he was burning a lot of money on them, but even then he stopped by himself and since other than a lottery ticket doesn't gamble any more. 

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give, or sharing how you told your family. 


(PS Sorry mods - it's another long one. I just can't get them shorter when I start explaining things. I'll keep trying to get my posts shorter though!)
To everyone reading this,

Please take the time to understand 'you cannot not tell someone, once you have told them'. Please think long and hard about your motivation(s) before disclosure.

Yours in GA unity

'Poster' David
I got a lot of good advice from my meeting last night after I asked them for their suggestions. I've spent most of today thinking about it again and this evening I got my opportunity to speak to mum without any interruptions. I grabbed the opportunity and in as gentle a way as possible while trying to make it as easy as possible to understand I told her the basics and that I'm going to my meetings and that so far it is working for me. Mum said that she thought I was going to some sort of anonymous program but hadn't been able to work out what for. She's been very understanding about it though and I told her about gamanon too for if she wanted to discuss it with other people who are family and friends of gamblers. I don't know if she will ever come to an open meeting or gamanon but if she does then I've opened the door for her.

I'm feeling a ton better for doing it as she knew something was up but didn't know what. Whether I live to regret it or not time will tell but I really feel that for me it was the right move and importantly the right time.
Hey and thanks for the share...

When I first went to GA I thought "wow" there is no shame to tell anyone and everyone I am a Compulsive gambler and I rued that a little for the new found openness at the time.

Because I went round telling nearly everyone...I told my parents obviously and they were actually very "proud" of me as they are the ones you realise love YOU the most.

But I made some mistakes in that openness and also told my fiancee's (at the time) parents and they were only then going to judge...I know the secret conversation was "what is my daughter doing with a CG"....

It coupled with a few failures on the programme led them to push her to leave me...not that she wanted to as she knew 100% without this desease I am a "good man".

Anyway she did just that.

My friends stuck by me, but I was open about gambling and they knew when I was "at it" but it was very difficult to control on my own and get on the programme.

Now I believe differently...maybe I was a little young and just looking to answer my behaviour with a simple "oh its fine im a compulsive gambler"

Now everything in my world is different...I did what I needed to do day by day...I kept fighting urges and will continue to do so,...I will live by my means and live just for today.

All those who did judge me by my openess have no need to judge anymore as they can think what they want to think, its me who realised, its me who is living by my rules (programme) and they can look and say "oh him" but I know and thats what is important "I know" my parents love me, I know I have changed.

Thats all that matters.

If you need support sometimes its difficult from those who are not CGs as they do not understand what we need.

Just concentrate on your meetings and staying free from gambling thats all that you should need.


Hi Barrie

Thanks for sharing your experiences of opening up and telling friends and family. I've only told three people, although I should probably count it as four as mum will no doubt have told dad. The people I've told directly are my mum, my brother and my boyfriend. However, telling my boyfriend was a big mistake as the relationship was not the easiest for either of us to start with due partly to a big age gap, partly due to the distances involved (I'm in greater Manchester and he is in Derbyshire) and partly because I'm always very over cautious in relationships due to past experiences where I have been hurt in the worst ways possible. Since I told my boyfriend we have only seen each other once and he has stopped taking my calls, replying to my texts and replying to my emails so although it hasn't actually been said I'm sure it is over.

However, I know that I need my parents and my brother to be aware of my situation as not only are we very close but they have always been my rocks in times of trouble and without them and all the support they have given me through things that have happened over the years I have no doubt I wouldn't even be here today. Although I don't expect them to ever understand or even totally accept that I am a CG, at least I know that if I'm struggling then I have the option to be able to say so, even if it does come to the stage where I need to hand over my finances, although I have so far been able to manage them very well and am working hard at getting my debts paid off while making sure all my bills are paid and that I don't have cash on me other than what I actually need for the day.

In terms of telling other people, such as friends or extended family, I'm not going to be doing that as I don't want to add to the rest of the families worries and I don't really have many friends, although the ones I do have are all online anyway abd so it's not like we socialize or anything.

I feel so much better since I have told mum though, even if I was q bit unsure if it was going to be awkward when I saw my parents today. It wasn't which in my mind means one of two things - either they are accepting it and are just relieved I've told them, or they are in denial about it. Either way though I know it's going to take time and only as I can make changes to my whole being as part of my recovery through working the steps will it be outwardly clear that changes are happening inside me.

Taking one day at a time


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