I have a serious gambling problem and although I am only in my 30s, I can already see how my life is doomed.
I would like to share my experience as this is something I share with no one and hoping that this can help someone to stay away from gambling. Funny thing is that it doesn't feel like an addiction, I can spend days and even months without even the need of playing, but every time I have money I feel the urge of spending all.
The beginning - sports gambler.
I started gambling around 13 years ago. I didn't have any source of income at the time other than the money my parents would give me for the weekend. A friend from class used to gamble in some sports betting site and having fun with it, so I gave it ago. I would deposit €10 that would keep me going for long time, with bets no higher than 1 euro. Not long after that I got tired of always being up and down or spending so much time for winning only a couple of euros that would be later lost, so the deposit became higher and more frequent.
The consequences of this stage: I didn't go out much with friends. Eventually they all met new people and I was left behind. Also I lost what I still consider the love of my life, for different reason, but still I think that these would have been different if I was using that money in more healthy things and if I was in a better mood thanks to a better financial situation.
This left me alone and completely bored and found in gambling a refugee to get all the excitement life wasn't giving me. I started working in a very bad paid job but still all my money was going to sports bets. Before I used to gamble with some strategy, thinking carefully where to put my money. But this was over. I would bet to sports I didn't even know they exist, strange leagues from all countries around the world. All my free time was going into betting.
At some point I decided to excluded myself for 5 years on these sites. Good news. But not for long.
However, I was never happy with winnings and I would continue increasing my bets with no respect for m bankroll. Losses and more losses.
Eventually I stopped playing for a while. However, I would spend all my money in things with no saving at all, trips, goods, parties..it's like I was afraid to have money in my bank account. This has always made me stressed and probably caused that every relationship I had has going to waste.
Around 3 years ago, I started playing slots games - very dumb, I know -. I like the design of some of them. and it was my way of making big winnings in very short time. Month after month I've been with practically no money just after my payroll, having to survive with very little for a whole month.
Around that time, a friend suggested me a long trip for which I would need quite a lot of money - around €5000 -. I know I would always regret if I didn't go so I started saving up with discipline. Soon before going I had a breakdown and gambled all of it. Lucky enough, with my last €x I was able to win back around €x but I had to ask for a loan to cover the rest.
From then I've been always spending all my money just after getting paid. When my loan is almost cleared I always end up asking for more to just lose it in a couple of days. During this last year, I've been surviving with a budget of 1-3 euros per day...eating really bad, not going to any party, and just laying on my bed depressed.
On february I took a big step and installed a blocking software on phone and laptop. This was good at the beginning, but not enough. I got an ad for a new casino and access wasn't blocked so I again lost it all until I had the strength to self-exclude me from it.
This month. I got paid a few days ago and I knew I shouldn't spend anything this month as I was again planning a long trip for next month and that was all I had. However, I got an offer for another new casino that it wasn't blocked on my laptop...so I went in...lost it all... in the process I said ok, I can't go lower than €300 (and that's already too little for surviving whole month) and I deposit 100 more..then 100 more...then 100 more leaving me only with 20 bucks for the rest of the month...
The last €x got me up to €x. Too good to be truth...I lost them all.
I ended up asking for a new €1000 loan (now that I had only 5 months left to clear one of my loans). I promised myself I wouldn't touch this and will just forget about what happened. But what harm could do to play 100 more? maybe I could raise it and recover the loan I just asked for. And I did...I raise them to €x...I really should have take them out and pay off that loan.
I didn't I lost all and then almost everything I had in my bank. I'm left with €100 for the whole month with no way to asking for money. I just can't even work because of this.
Overall, I just can't see a way of turning things. I can see how most of my friends already bought a house or have lots of money saved. And me? I owe around €5000... I would need to spend the rest of the year doing nothing just to be able to clear that... and then, I would need to spend at least 5 whole years saving every dime only to be able to pay for a deposit in a house (considering they grant me a mortage as I probably hae a bad credit record). That means no social life during that time...possibly no girlfriend...and all I could think of is that I would end up alone, with no belongings and with the only excitement of spending all my money gambling every month.
I don't feel addicted. I can be strong minded and say I won't play next month, and the one after that, the whole year if I want to...But still I will see my bank account in red numbers and that makes me really depressed...so I just know next month, when I get paid, I will try with €100 once again hoping to be able to win enough to reduce my debts...probably that will never happen and instead it will take me 2 years to clear my debts - that if I don't ask for a new loan at some point before that.
Hi badwolf. A few things struck me as soon as I read your post. Your life will only be doomed in your 30s if you don't stop this destructive behaviour. You want to help other people by telling your story that is very admirable and a good trait to have in a world where people seem less inclined to help each other. But what about you when are you going to help yourself, do you think you don't deserve all those things your friends have attained, a nice partner, a home a family ?? Ok you don't gamble every day but where does it say that to be an addict you have to gamble daily/weekly etc. Keep an honest log of how often you gamble probably more often than you are admitting to yourself. As gamblers we lie to ourselves as well as others... It was only £20..... I only gambled twice last week... I didn't gamble funds meant for bills, food, clothes etc. I don't know you whether you are addicted or not but you are already planning your next binge with money you haven't got for a good few years I didn't gamble daily but eventually I did. Gambling is progressive you eventually need bigger deposits bigger bets to satisfy the craving. Try stopping now before you get to daily gambling before your in the spiral where you would sell everything you can to get money. If you want to stop post again read our stories ask for help there's no shame admitting you need help. I did and I got it in buckets full. Best wishes
Hey my friend.
You are in your 30s and talking about your life being doomed. Please trust me. There are individuals on these forums that are decades older than you, in much more debt than you, lost houses, lost wives and husbands and children, etc...
You have to take some control of yourself now because actually in relative terms you are still quite young to be in this situation and being young is a huge advantage IF you can get some assistance now in curbing your gambling. It may seem all doom and gloom and yes you will need to get blocks in place and take some control over the urge to gamble. But if you do this and endure a number of years of gradually paying off that debt then you will eventually turn from the red into the black and still be young enough to think about mortgages and families and happiness. It really is still within your *** and I sincerely hope you don't waste this opportunity and end up posting updates onto this forum in 10 years time.
You can do this but it will take effort and will power.