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Advice on confessing relapse  



I was 2 and a half years clean until this January, and ive lost a serious amount of money this year. It was payday yesterday, and ive lost all my wages in less than 48 hours, and can barely cover my bills, yet another month of living to next payday, it’s getting me so down. First i felt s**t because id lost pretty much all my savings, but for the last 3 months ive basically just been in a back to back debt position and want my life back and just to start over.


I feel so down. I think the times finally come for me to re open to my parents about this, but im so scared. They never knew anything about me gambling or a problem until i was a year and a half clean, so it was an easier conversation then, but it didnt go down well, and it wasnt well recieved for inevitably breaking their trust, as they have financially supported me for my whole life and continue to do so. 

i want to tell them, i need to ask for help, i recognise that, and ultimately that was my saving grace the first time as i opened up to my girlfriend at the time and it seemed to set me on the path to a gambling free life. This time, i just dont know what to do. It didnt go down well with the parents first time and that was, in theory, after it was a problem, and i convinced them i was fine by that point. What gets me down is i during a conversation with my mum around 6 months ago (id relapsed a few months earlier at this point), she mentioned the old gambling problem, and said ‘she knew i’d never let her down like that again’. How do i approach this conversation? I feel dreadful about doing this, but i dont know what other action i can take. I worry my parents will never ever trust me ever again after this, and i’m probably going to get written out of the will and all sorts because i just feel like they will hold this against me forever. Please can someone advise me on what to do

Posted : 25th October 2020 12:13 am

First thing you need to do is hand someone else (gf or parents) the control of your monthly salary. You can't keep losing it, it is slowly destroying you and it can be avoided if you let them manage your salary. It's definitely worth a try before your next monthly wage. Think about it. It will feel alien at first but it will ultimately empower you! Best of luck mate 👍

Posted : 25th October 2020 12:19 am

Thanks - i think in the first instance im hoping for advice onto how to tackle this conversation and opening up to them

Posted : 25th October 2020 12:25 am

if you hand over all control of finance to your girlfriend,  so you have no access to your bank account, she can open up another account and transfer via sanding order a set amount for you each days for essentials and leisure, then the rest of the bills can be managed via direct debit. i think this would really soften the blow when you speak to and be honest to your parents, you can say yes i have let you down and been irresponsible, but i have put this measure in place so this does not happen again, this will put your parents mind to rest,  and more importantly it works, i have done this for over a year and managed to now have savings, had a nice holiday, and brake that crazy addictive cycle. just do it!! you wont regret it!!

Posted : 25th October 2020 12:39 am
Merry go round

Hi twizzler92

The first step to getting help is admitting you have a problem. You have done that so you’re going in the right direction.

The next thing you can do is put blocks in place. Sign up to gamstop, change bank accounts to one that blocks  gambling or speak to your bank. 

The conversation will be far easier if you are showing that you’re getting help and addressing the problem.

Call gamcare and talk to someone or get online to a GA meeting. They are online all around the world now.

The problem with those connected to a gambler is that they don’t see that they are part of the problem. We have to get help and support too. Financing you in whatever tinny way enables you to continue. Your mother’s comment ‘you’ll never let me down again’ is showing that she doesn’t understand compulsive gambling.

Money is your drug so you need to distance from it. You can’t keep taking money from your parents. Paying your debts enables you to continue.

Money is power.

Compulsive gambling is a mental health condition and the longer you continue the more depressed you will become.

 I would also suggest you talk to your gp if you think this is the case.

The conversation, the confession?

 You can’t worry about what they will say or do. You can’t control another person, what they think, say or do. The same is for them, they can’t control you.

So what can you do? 

Get some advice, make those changes to ‘show’ you are trying to get better.

Pick a quiet time, tell everything, don’t keep something for later. Make a spreadsheet of your debts if you have any. A plan on how to get better, meetings, counselling, ask the to handle your accounts.

If you continue in secret this will continue and may get worse. You can suggest if your parents need help to understand, that they talk to gamcare or go online to Gamanon.

You need to find a new pastime, occupy your brain, go walking, read, diy, cleaning, anything to change your repeat behaviour. Get off gadgets. 

Gambling is not letting down your parents. It’s addiction. Don’t delay getting help, you don’t have to tell them today, but you do need support. 

Posted : 25th October 2020 8:59 am

Morning Twizzler

After 24 days of not gambling I confessed to my wife yesterday, whilst we were out hiking. I had made a clumsy, dismissive attempt during the 1st 2 weeks of not gambling, in part due to the shame, guilt and embarrassment I was feeling. On average I relapse every 2-3 years, because quite simply I become complacent. Without a doubt, complacency is my achilles heel. I had to be honest with myself, no more self-denial. I told my wife that I was an addict, pure and simple. Gambling addiction (in our heads) always seems more ridiculous than being a drug or drink addict. In my experience, people (without gambling issues) are less empathetic to a gamblers plight compared to those who have issues with drink and drugs. Consequently, it's more harder to open up about it. Nonetheless, I'm an addict. It's tough to accept, but it's true. For what it's worth, if you're willing to accept that you're an addict it's an approach you may consider if and when you choose to tell your parents. For me, relapsing every couple of years wears me down completely, I get in a stable position, but I press the self-destruct button. But this time, I will work tirelessly to stop for good. It's going to be a tough journey, but I've got to stop the complacency. I hope things work out for you. All the best.

Posted : 25th October 2020 9:12 am
Forum admin

Hi @twizzler92

It sounds like a difficult conversation for you to have with your parents and you have had some great advice already. If there is anything that we can do to support you or if you want to talk this through with one of our advisers on the helpline, please get in touch. There are lots of different options of support available to you. Our helpline operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week and we are here to listen and support you in every way we can. 

Warmest wishes


Forum Admin

Posted : 25th October 2020 11:26 am

Call gamcare and talk to someone or get online to a GA meeting.   Then tell your parents what you have done.

Ban yourself online and at the bookies - you don't say where or how you gamble so I am guessing on advise. You need to put blocks on online immediately.

There is no easy solution to how to man up and tell your parents - just tell them and tell them what you have done about putting in place blocks to stop it happening again.   I think that your mother might already have known that you had started gambling again or why would she have made such a remark???   Be brutally honest with them and tell them everything so they understand all the sneaky tricks an addict uses - hide nothing. Be brutally honest about the deceit.

Trust me - once you have unloaded everything, you will feel such relief.

Sassaman nails it - we are addicted. We are addicts. We will always be a small bet away from a major relapse and love it. Want it.  You will end up bankrupt and in debt but you have a chance - never have a single small bet. Ever. Never mind your mates are doing it or any futile excuse so you can join in - its a slippery slope and you will slide back down.   

You either pack it in forever or it will ruin your life. Trust me, I am an addict. I know.

Posted : 25th October 2020 11:55 am


So your question was how do you tell your parents? 

You take a deep breath, you talk to whomever you feel closest to first or both together, and just do it.

This is a stepping off the top diving board moment.No turning around going back down the stairs, just a deep breath, step forward and jump!

You don't need to worry about their reaction, you just need to get it off your chest. This is a selfish habit and a selfish recovery program. Do it for yourself.

Tell them everything and worry/deal with the fallout after.  If you aren't doing it because you'll feel that you would have let them down again, you'll keep using that as the excuse to carry on with your life of misery.

As a parent, I am always telling my children that they can tell me anything. Will I be disappointed sometimes by what they tell me? Probably. Would I be angry? Probably. But would I regret that they couldn't talk to me rather than live their life in misery and end up doing something awful? For every day of my life. Your parents are your parents and as long as you put the effort into your recovery afterwards, what an they say other than well done for trying.

If you don't want to tell them because you'll get cut out of the will then more fool you. That is a pathetic reason to not reach out for help and your addiction will take every penny anyway so it wouldn't matter.

Do it because it is the right thing to do.


Posted : 25th October 2020 2:23 pm

Hi Twizzler,


I've been in the same position you find yourself in now a few times. My best advice is to not over think having the conversation to much and just go and speak to them, trust me the thought of it is worse than the actual conversation. just tell them you need to speak to them, your have done something you regret but you are willing to put your all in to make things right. At the end of the day they are your parents and they will still love you and trust me being honest about it is much better for everyone. im sure they will appreciate you being honest and at least this way they can help you get through it

Posted : 27th October 2020 3:51 pm
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