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18 and addicted
I have read a lot of the stories on here and can see that I am not to disimilar from others. The only big difference being that I am only 18 years of age and probably a much bigger gambler than people twice as old as me. I started when I was about 13, as I used to play a lot of snooker in my local snooker club, where gambling was the norm, so I would get others to put small bets on for me down the bookies just for a bit of fun. By the time I was 15, I was already going in to school with hundreds and would go to the bookies after school to bet as i could get served.  My parents at this point having no clue, as I would just say I was playing football after school. I has access to a bit of cash that I had saved and been given and lost my first thousands in the space of a couple of weeks at the age of 15. My gambling then continued at a steady pace througout my life, with alcohol taking up some of time when I was 17. Stopping me gambling as I would go clubbing instead. And recently since I have turned 18 has spireld out of control. I bet everyday, and will literally bet on anything. Horses, Dogs, Football, Blackjack, but with Roullete being my main vice, both machine but mainly at the casino. 
Its not that I lose huge sums of money, it's the ups and downs. In the last month I have won about but spent it all back, and for a college student working part time that is disgusting. I go to the bookies in my lunch break and have even been known to bunk lessons for a spin on the roulette. I have good people around me that can help me to stop with my older brother having gone to prison as a result of his gambling, and all my friends who are double my age have hit the highest highs and lowest lows try to help me, but I cannot stop and need help.
All I see is more and more betting shops, and hope more young men my age do not become like me.
Dear Bradley,

Although you do not realise it at present you are very lucky!

When I was eighteen I was addicted to gambling too, but I didn't realise it. As a result I continued to refine my strategies looking for a way not only to enjoy my gambling but also to make it pay. I wasted many pounds, but more importantly many years looking for the elusive "system". I never found it I have to say. I searched in various gambling media - horses, dogs, football, the pools, the lottery, bingo, card schools, casino games.........lots of wasted time and money. I will save you some of both now - even on a 'straight' table, there is no bet in roulette where the odds are on your side. Try adding up the numbers on the wheel, 1+2+3+........+35+36=?. The result should be a number with a depth of meaning. Do yourself a favour and stop trying to win. Admit you've lost. Move on. Easy to say, difficult to do.

You are very lucky since, at the tender age of eighteen, you have realised that gambling is a problem for you. Having realised that you have started to search for solutions. You have already found your way to this website. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about their own gambling and to help other compulsive gamblers to do the same. Come, attend meetings and join us in a better life.

Get yourself to a GA meeting and start living a better, easier, life.

'Poster' David
Dear David,
Hey mate, young man to come on and admit all of that, it takes some courage so I sincerely hope you come back and read my post.

At 18 my mother and Father moved 200miles away from me such was my lifestyle, my father was a short tempered man and I had run away from home at 16, i didnt get very far and it was only a cry for help.

My world was a muddle of thoughts and one thing that I had was a burning desire to gamble, to escape into an arcade, I didnt understand normality, study, work etc...these are all tough things in life.

See I was right, never wrong, but sleeping in a borrowed tent in some woods one xmas at 18 was "just me".

I had already introduced myself to the world of theft by this time, I stole a few hundred pounds from a guy at 17 none of which I am proud of.

Anyway, I didnt have the courage of admission then and my life went wherever the money took me, always confident, but underneath a burning issue, I had zero control over gambling, a good lad but with so much emotional issues it was unreal.

I will not divulge the next 12yrs of my life to you but a lot of it was gambling, situation after situation, I was ultra devious and very much a control freak this is where gambling had taken me, hiding the desease that is a compulsion to gamble.

All the traits of a compulsive gambler I had, lack of patience. frustration, lies, waisted time...I could write a list.

Anyway at 30yrs old my world came crashing down around my ankles, no money, no wife, no gf, no career, what I deem as my rock bottom.

From this time I said "enough" no matter what I do I will not gamble, or give myself the saying "just for today" I will not gamble.

Now I am not the most completely rounded person in the world...I do not have a wonderfull house now or super car, however I AM and have been totally honest with what I am and what I wish to achieve.

I cannot change the past but now my hatred of gambling is very strong indeed, the roulette wheel if you add up all the number comes to 666...and that is my feeling of gambling, its the devil, the one solitary thing that holds us back in life..

Each and every day I go past saying that my money I earn will not be wagered on a spin, a flip of a card, a push of a button then the in that day I win.

Someone could say to me "i won ten million" but for me I was just be happy for them and sit in reflection and say if I won ten million it would bring me untold misery.

Today aged 35 I have slipped in my recovery three times, the last being last April where three hours of "my interview with the devil" said to me I do not wish for my mind to be there...gambling that is.

For the few days afterwards I was like a punch drunk boxer retiring to my corner such is the power of this desease.

I will leave you with this last point:

Some of us who are surrounded by GA and talk often always say we are not bad people we just let something take control of our lives we could not handle.

So in that I apologise to the women I hurt, the broken relationships and people I hurt along the way.

At 18 if you realise what I know and keep knowing everyday I can make one promiss which coming from someone who created so much damage may not mean to much and that is you will do very well in life.

Today I dont surround myself by people who gamble, its not my thing, I just live my life, I gain friends slowly and embrace GA the most important thing i can say is Just for Today I did not gamble.

Find a GA meeting and go with an open mind.



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