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My story

I don't know why I am choosing to tell my story to people I have never, and probably never will meet. I do so I think because it will help with my recovery, but also maybe because it may help someone else. I am a 29 year old man, I had a good job, a loving family, and a beautiful girlfriend who loved me very much. I still have a good job and a loving family but unfortunately my partner of 4 years has chosen not to be part of this journey with me as more than a friend, whilst this makes me sad I respect her decision and understand that I am facing the consequences of my own actions.

I don't know when my addiction started, perhaps with fruit machines as a teenager, perhaps with the odd football accumulator, and I am not sure it matters. What does matter is that I have a gambling problem, for years I have convinced myself that it has been under control and its just when I don't concentrate, don't focus or lose control that I have a problem, I convinced myself and those around me that I knew what I was doing.

Over the years, on many occasions I have bet money that I couldn't afford to lose, and have been bailed out by friends and family. Between the 23rd and 27th of December this year I hit rock bottom. Whilst I didn't gamble every single penny I had in the bank, I did lose everything. I stopped before I lost everything, and straight away told my partner. My partner is my rock and my best friend and has stood by me on two previous occasions while I have done this before, this was one time too many.

The 27th of December 2011 will be remembered for it was my last bet. I am confident that with the help of my family, friends and Gamblers Anonymous I will never repeat my mistakes. I have lost too much and can't loose any more in life. I really have reached rock bottom.

My first meeting is on 4th January 2012, but I hope I have already begun my recovery. So far I have confessed my addiction to my ex-girlfriend, parents, brother, best friend and 2 work colleagues. I still have other family and friends that I need to tell but so far I think I have taken steps. I have reluctantly, on doctors orders taken a week from work on sick leave. This week I aim to get my life back in my hands. I will get my job and my life back on track, even if my relationship is beyond repair. I will be remaining friends with my ex-girlfriend, we are best friends anyway, and I thank her for agreeing to help me as a friend. Maybe in time I hope our relationship can be mended but this is about her learning to like and trust me again and for that I have to respect her wishes if she never can.

I would like to add that whilst I have never stolen or committed a criminal act to finance my addiction, I committed something far worse when I destroyed the sacred bond between myself and my partner, and I will always hate myself for the pain I caused her. I know that I will always have a problem, but from now on I will control the problem, the problem will not control me. I have lost a lot, but now i start again.

This post was not meant to sound self righteous and I apologies if I have upset or offended anyone in writing this but if one person gets as much out of reading this as I did out of writing this then I know it was worth it.

Let me end by saying....

"My Name is Terry and I am a compulsive gambler"

Good luck people.
Hi Terry,

Great to hear your story mate...and thank helps me so much to hear from those who are struggling, but are working on their addictions....

I hope you did get to the meeting and maybe you will share your experiences with us? I remember my first was a total blur...but the best thing i did was return the next week and continue my recovery journey...

I also remember the pain i put my family though...The best way I felt to repair that damage was to make sure I recovered from this addiction a day at a time and in GA i get all the support to making that happen...

Give your family a chance Terry...looking forward to hearing from you soon
The meeting was the most enlightening experience of my life. If ever there was any doubt in my life, and there was, that I was a compulsive gambler then by 30 minutes into the meeting that was gone. I did eventually tell as much of my story as I could, but I was choking back the tears and the chair of the meeting saw this and stopped me. At least I did enough to admit to a room full of strangers that I am a compulsive gambler.

The help, support and advice given to me in just 2 hours has given me the belief that this is the start of the rest of my life. I feel a sense of happiness I haven't felt for a while and for the first time in god knows how long I slept the night.

Thank you Paula and Jess for responding. Between this site and the meetings I am sure I am in the right place.
Hi Terry,

Really glad to hear from experience of the GA meetings was a positive one and I hope you continue to enjoy the fruits of your recovery...

Please keep in touch...its always good to hear recovery therapies in action

In unity

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