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Day 1 - it’s all uphill from here  


Hi All
Really need everyone’s support right now as I am struggling.

I’m 32 and have been gambling for the best part of 14 years. It wasn’t until 4 years ago I realised my problem, I started taking money from the work safe to fund my addiction and then I would lie to a family or friend to borrow the money to pay it back, but it was a vicious cycle that I kept doing it knowing I owed money so trying to win EASY money to pay them back or put the money back in the safe. This went on for about a year and then I realised I couldn’t take no more. I went on a long walk working out how I could end my life. I felt worthless. I was a popular lad in the village brought up by respectable parents taught now to steal and knew I had let everyone down on many occasions. I couldn’t even bring myself round to end my life and I was in bits. I ended up handing myself into the police that day. I lost everything; my job, my house, my partner of 6 years, my family and friends. 

 I went to the crown court a year later, luckily the judge took pity on me and handed me a suspended sentence, i still felt like c**P, this sociable local lad that I was has just been in the paper for gambling theft I didn’t want to show my face in public again. Also well over £80,000 in debt

I finally got another job, delivery driving and it gave me a vehicle on hire and paid well enough for me to rent my own little flat, I was gambling free and weight lifted off my shoulders and then it went downhill again. I went out drinking with a friend on a Saturday, the next morning on my way to work, I got pulled over by the police and they smelt alcohol on me, obviously still over the limit from the day before (don’t worry I haven’t got a alcohol problem) this caused me to lose my driving license and my job, I ended up relapsing and started to gamble heavily again and lost my flat because of this.

My mum and dad eventually took me back in and I got a job working with my dad so I was able to get to work and back, I now have a new partner and live with her but I’m still gambling. Knowing I owe so much money and struggling to know where the next £1 is going to come from causes me to gamble again. I’m heading down the same dark path as before.

i know I have a huge problem, this is day 1 of no gambling on the long road to recovery. We are at 2.30pm and It seems like the longest day already. I need to beat this beast once and for all

Posted : 13th October 2021 2:35 pm

32 is a solid age to put everything behind you and move on gamble free. Even though you don't realise it, there will be things you've learnt that you will put to good use, but only when you are gamble free. 

I'm late 20s myself, gambled since I was 18. Had my fair share of ups and downs, turning more to downs rather than ups late. There have been times where I've won enough to shut the door on the whole thing and move on with some cash in the pocket but it never happens, every win will find its way back into the system, without fail. 

And that's why complete abstinence is the only way. Even a 1op bet can screw it all up. Block all access to gambling and plug every single gap you can. If you know you've got a site up your sleeve or a shop you can go to which you haven't blocked then block it immediately and don't think twice. Preventing all access is the first big step IMO. From there, it's about replacing the time you spent gambling with other stuff. Doesn't have to be much...just a nice walk, earning a wage, spending time with mates, etc. 

Just think in 2,3, 4, 5 years time it'll all be behind you. It'll just be that dodgy chapter of your life where everything went a bit t**s up and you got through it. 

Posted : 14th October 2021 1:10 am

Hi @ae070889.

Welcome and well done for making the first step. I'm also 32 and a lot of your story sounds very familiar. The lies, deceit, taking money from work, wanting to end my own life. I was also pushed to the brink and ended up having a full on meltdown and telling the people closest to me.

I don't want to just sit here and talk about me, but I wanted to do that to let you know that things can get better. My lightbulb moment was just over a year ago and I've been gamble free since. Still in a huge amount of debt, but gradually paying it off. It takes willpower and you have to truly want to beat it, but there are also extra steps you can take to help.

Place gambling blocks on your debit and credit cards. Download GamBan on all devices (its free in the UK) and sign up to GamStop. These will all help in those times of weakness.

You can't worry about the future or the past too much. You can only control the now. Take it one day at a time. Be proud of getting through each day without gambling. Over time, it will get easier. 

I wish you luck on your journey. GamCare also offer a great CBT course called GameChange, which helped me a lot. It helps to understand your behaviours and triggers, which lets you take conscious control over situations.

Posted : 14th October 2021 9:49 am

Hi... I echo much of what has been said... you have been through the mill that's for sure. Am approaching 50 now and still battling this compulsion after so many rock bottoms. 

I understand the mindset of not knowing where your next pound is coming from and gambling seeming like the only option but remember the bottom line..... Your actually gambling because you want to be in action, you want the thrill, you want the escapism. Your brain was re-wired itself to trick you into thinking that only gambling can bring you excitement and joy, not that different from a class A drug addiction.

As am sure you know, youv'e got this for life now, but each day you don't gamble, life stops getting worse and over time it can get better. Iv'e been through the cycle many times and alas am still very much a work in progress myself.

Regards, S.A

Posted : 14th October 2021 11:28 am
Forum admin

Hello AE070889,

You mentioned that you have debt issues, so here are a couple sources of free debt advice:


0800 138 1111


Money Helper

0800 138 7777

You haven't mentioned what recovery methods you are using or whether you are already receiving professional support for your recovery.  Please call us on 0808 8020 133 if you'd like us to facilitate a referral for free treatment sessions.  

One method sometimes mentioned by forum members is to allow your partner or a family member to hold your money or to supervise your banking and spending.  You can read about more methods here:

Take care,


Posted : 14th October 2021 11:30 am

What i habve learnt after 14 years of gambling is to share your problem. I told my husband in February this year and it was a relief even though difficult. I spent thousands on gambling.. all my savings !!! Anyway he was very supportive. He has now control of the accounts including the business account 🙉 . I now have a Monzo bank account with a gambling block on it and a £100 daily limit so i have money to go shopping. I feel much better . It has been very difficult and i am tempted but the temptations have been taken off me . 

Posted : 14th October 2021 9:31 pm
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