I am sitting here on my sofa at 2am wondering how I got here. I started gambling at uni, which was 18 years ago now. Although I had a pretty good life, I was mostly single throughout my life and seemed to use that as an excuse for self pity and gambling binges. The gambling slowly only got worst when four years ago I had racked up 35k debt. With no where else to turn I ended up telling my parents. This was the first time they helped me out. I started repaying back little by little. They would also check my bank account now and again to see everything was ok. About 2 years later when I had kidded myself I was recovered, I met a girl and we started dating, finally I had everything my self pitying self dreamed wasnt possible. I was the happiest I had ever been. About a year ago we moved in together. But the gambling had never really stopped it had just moved to high street bookmakers for a while. Looking at the prospect of buying a house together, I used this as an excuse to really ramp up my online gambling again. A year later and i have lost over 50k. With my parent bailing me out in part again. The money is one thing, but it's the lies that really do the damage. Two years ago I met the girl of my dreams, and she only ever really wanted one thing from me, honesty. She gave me ample opportunity to come clean, even after she knew I had a gambling problem and I still only fed her half truths and lies. I used to think I was an honest man, but this disease has turned me into a compulsive lier. I will never forgive myself for what I have done to her. The gambling is bad, but it the lies that really do the damage. I have not gambled for 17 days. But much much sader than that, this is my first honest day in 18 years. Its just not worth it.
Well done for not gambling for 17 days. It does get easier with time, but have you put the relevant blocks in place? Have you banned yourself from these high street bookmakers? You should also sign up to GAMSTOP to ensure you don't move back to online gambling.
This addiction feeds off of the lies and deceit. The best thing you can do is be open and honest with your loved ones and tell them everything. Get that weight off of your shoulders and it will make your gamble free life easier. Yes there will be some difficult awkward conversations to be had but it's worth it, trust me. I'm nearly 17 months free from gambling and I wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of my loved ones. I don't mean them bailing me out with money as that makes things worse, but they were able to help look after my money etc. My partner had access to my credit report too, and I knew if I were to gamble again I'd lose them all for good.
You are winning every day you don't gamble and I promise life is so much better without it. I remember that 2am feeling oh so well and it's not nice. It will affect your mental health in the long run. Keep your head up and get far away from that feeling as you possibly can.
All the best.
@begin-again I feel for you, the hard part is done! By that I mean, you’ve actually been honest and now you’ve done that the recovery process can really start properly! I tried and failed 2 times before I was actually completely honest with myself and then my family and husband! Once I had been completely truthful I felt as if I could actually think straight for the first time in 2/3 years. Once I could actually tune into my own thoughts and feelings is when I feel I truly “turned a corner” so to speak! Do you feel that you could be completely honest with your partner and parents, maybe have them sit down with you and have a proper conversation about what’s been going on, why you’ve felt the need to gamble and be honest with them? I know it would be the hardest thing to do or even think about doing, but I think you would find that your partner and parents would appreciate the honesty and I would even go as far to say the money would not be their real issue or concern & I’m sure they would all support you on this journey!
All the best jadie x
Thanks for the responses.
Honesty really is the only policy going forwards, regardless of the consequences. I just wish i could have realised that sooner. Lying to myself and others only feds the addiction. I have to be honest with myself to fight this. One day I hope to wake up without the fear of being caught out.
Stay strong and honest
Absolutely a big one Begin again - this turns us so often into compulsive liars. My last stint of lying must have gone on for about 10 years, but I'd had a previous set of about 12 years for an earlier debt before that too! I hated the lying and one massive positive is stopping that part of you. It can be a great feeling to help balance the bad feelings.
Hindsight is an amazing thing! If we could all go back I am 99% sure everyone would, even as far back as the penny machines when they were small! I believe you have to draw a line in the sand and say what is done is done! I cannot change the past but from this day onwards I have to be completely honest! I will be honest! From my experience my husband hated the fact I’d lie not the money, he told you might as well of cheated on me & that broke my heart because I know what the consequences of cheating do to a family! My dad left my mum after 30 yrs for a woman he had known a month!
I would just add that being honest with yourself also includes those dangerous moments in which you might get an urge to gamble that comes from nowhere. Be ready to take a step back when you get the urge and really question what you think would happen if you gambled and also accept the fact you would be likely to lose some cash, and then you would likely lose more cash by chasing the losses...etc,etc, familiar story for all of us.
Sometimes counting to 10 before you follow an urge can save you literally thousands of pounds.