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How my Gambling journey began - Road to recovery  


After many years of gambling I am hoping I have finally come to the realisation that I will never win and the saying that `the bookies always win` is actually true. This is more of a blog for my own well-being as I am sure no one has any interest in my story.

Gambling for me started at quite a young age(around 13-14) where i would bet with my brother £10 and £20 over a game of Fifa. My brother is 4 years older than me and i remember whenever i used to lose i would go crying to Mum and beg her to tell him that he couldn`t have my money. She would always take my side and i would never have to pay up where as if i beat him he would have to pay me. There are many other situations I have been exposed to gambling which probably led me down the path i have gone down the last few years so i wont name them all but i believe this was the real catalyst.

I cant remember the exact age i opened my first online betting account but i believe i was about 15. I would sign up using my mums details and then use my debit card to deposit and withdraw money. How i got away with this i dont know and i feel like these betting companies should be ashamed of themselves. I believe it is a lot harder now a days to open an account under another name but it is definitely something that needs to be looked at.

At first i would obviously bet low stakes like £1,£2 but for someone who has no income whatsoever it can end up being money you cannot afford to lose. I was winning some good bets at the time, winning £20, £80, even up to £250. For a kid of my age this was a lot of money to be winning. I don't have to many memories of losing back then which i obviously did but at the time it seemed to be going well for me and was a sensible hobby.

But as you all know as humans we always crave more so i started to up my stakes to £10, £20 which was a hell of a lot of money to be spending back then when i had no income. I would obviously get money from Birthdays, Christmas and pocket money from Grandparents and things like that and would blow it all away on betting. At the time losing £10 would feel like losing £100 now and winning £100 would feel like winning £1000. So at the age of 16 i was well and truly a betting addict. I am now 22 and as you can imagine things have got progressively worse and worse.

Since I left sixth form at 18 thing have gone from bad to worse. I have lost not just thousands of my own money but thousands of my parents money as well. As i wasn't working i was now looking for betting to become like a job for me where i could earn the money of someone who was working a full time job but not have to get up and do a 9-5 shift in something i absolutely hated. I wasn't a complete b*m as i had aspirations of becoming a pro footballer and would go to the gym everyday and make sure i was in good physical condition. I would start staking £100, £200 on bets and yes you do win some but in the end i would always lose. And when i lose i dont know when to stop so would do anything to get my hands on money even if it involved stealing from my own parents which to this day still affects me more than anything. I would get pay day loans as well so would be in debt from them with no way of paying it back myself. There would obviously become a point where i would have no way of getting my hands on anymore money so would have to come clean. In a way i was lucky to have such supportive parents but this may have been a negative also as it sub consciously made me think that no matter what s**t i got in to they will always be there to bail me out. 

Luckily a year ago a managed to find a job so i am able to fund this myself now so it is no longer affecting anyone but me financially however this now means i am able to keep it as more of a secret as there is no need to tell anyone.

There has most definitely been times i have contemplated committing suicide but have never actually gone through with it. It just seems to be a constant cycle of hit rock bottom, seek help from loved ones, stop for a couple of months and then something convinces me to start up. I do well for a month or so win quite a lot of money and then go all the way back to square one again. I am really fed up of this constant cycle now. It has been 7 years and i want to live a bet free life as i feel this has really affected my relationships with people and has taken away my up beat personality that i used to have. This is why i decided to make a blog so i can share my thoughts with similar people to myself and if there is at least one person out there who i can help then that will make me very happy.

This time i am going to get some counselling and look for other ways to avoid gambling at all costs so if any of you out there would share some tips then it would be greatly appreciated.

If any of you did actually take the time to read this then i hope you dont think i am a bad person as i whole heartedly regret some of the things i have done but i just thought it would be good for me relay what has gone out in the last 7 years of my life as its something i have never done before.

Speak to you all tomorrow where i will start day 1 of my road to recovery. 

Posted : 20th June 2021 2:43 pm
Forum admin

Hello ltfcsam,

Welcome to the GamCare forum. I am really glad that you have joined and shared your story.

A lot of people find that over time they feel the need to increase the amount of money that they bet to receive the same satisfaction from gambling, and it is also common to try to win back money that has been lost, which unfortunately can turn into a vicious cycle as this tends to lead to further losses.

It is positive that you have recognised that the more you gamble over time, the more money you are likely to lose, and that gambling is not a safe or reliable way to make money.

I am sorry to hear that there have been times where you have felt so low that you have contemplated ending your life. There is always support and help available, and you are never alone in this. If you are currently experiencing any suicidal thoughts, please make an urgent appointment with your GP or call 111, and if at any point you feel you are at immediate risk please call 999 or go to A&E.

The Samaritans are also available 24 hours a day, you can contact them on 116 123 or at .

It sounds really positive that you are going to access counselling. If you are interested in having treatment with us, we offer free, confidential, one to one treatment from a practitioner who specialises in supporting people to recover from problem gambling. We can arrange this if you contact us on our helpline on 0808 8020 133 or on Netline.

We are here 24 hours a day and we can additionally discuss other options that you may also find helpful.

Best wishes,


Forum Admin

Posted : 20th June 2021 9:59 pm

Hiya. I've read your story. I don't think you're a bad person. This addiction makes good people do things so out of character.  I lied to my wife . Used her phone and her money to gamble . I became devious and sneaky. I didn't recognise myself. 7 days ago I came on this site looking for help and I have found it in so many ways. It's now up to me to follow the advice . You have asked for help and that's the biggest step to make. Good luck. 



Posted : 21st June 2021 12:56 pm

Definitely not a bad person, but a person stuck in the throes of addiction, an addiction that I know made me act in a way totally alien to my values and beliefs. But you can get it back, 383days ago I reset my life and I've regained my self esteem , my core values, I wasn't brought up to lie and deceive but I did, over and over again. Writing your diary is a good thing, I view my diary as part of taking responsibility for my actions. Stand on your own, ask your parents to support you but with love and understanding not money. No more bailouts, think about handing your finances to them. Alongside blocking my access to gambling not having access to our family finances has taken a huge temptation away from me. Make things as hard as possible for you to gamble, it works !! I wish you all the best, you can do this !! Keep posting and it helps



Posted : 21st June 2021 5:43 pm


I am 25 and started gambling when i was 16. I started heavily gambling when i got to university and had access to online gambling sites. I first accepted i had a problem when i was 21 and went to GA. When i walked into the room all i wanted was someone to give me the easy way out. Tips and advice on how to be cured for good or can you believe it for them to give me money!!! When i went in to GA i thought i was in the worth position of my life "Rock Bottom" people like to call it. But someone said something in the room that has stuck with me forever. The only thing that can be considered "Rock Bottom" is death. Apart from that it can always get worse if you carry on gambling.

Like i said when i first went to GA i was 21 losing my wages every month, a small amount of debt but in general the rest of my life was kept in tact. Fast forward 3 years and i lost nearly a million pounds, gained massive amounts of debt, lost friends, lost relationships, lost family, spent 3 years in a dark bedroom not wanting to interact with anyone or anything and ended up in and out of rehab 3 times. I sat there at 24 in rehab for the 3rd time wishing how i had packed it in at 21 when i first entered GA the life that seemed so awful and out of control for me back then now looked like the life of the main character from Wolf of Wall Street. I don't want you to have the same regret in 3 years time. The only way it gets better is to STOP gambling. The urge to gamble your way out of trouble is the addictions way of keeping hold of you. Sadly it will always be there, in the back of our minds, scratching away trying to get us back to the holy hell which is gambling. But there are things that we can do to stop it rearing its ugly head.

For 2 years i lived the good life. Holidays, pub garden, dinners, takeaways, bought nice clothes, bought the new Xbox, went to football etc etc and one moment of weakness and complacency from me lead to a week of carnage that ended on the Sunday just gone. Lost the £9500 which i managed to save over the past 2 years. Gone in what felt like a click of my fingers. I got complacent. I stopped doing the things that kept me gamble free. I thought i had beat it. I thought i was better than it. I allowed myself access to one of the 3 big no no's TIME, MONEY, ACCESS.  Now i have lived both i can tell you hands down gamble free is the life for me.

Old me would of chased these debts till i was dangling off the edge of a bridge trying to muster the courage to jump off. But new me is determined to get back to the happy place. The place we can all get too. It feels a long way away now because we are impulsive people. We want everything now. Everything to be fixed NOW, All our debts to be paid NOW, our friends and family to forgive us NOW. But in reality all these things take time. Eventually the minutes turn into hours the hours turn into days the days turn into months and the months turn into years. The longer you are gamble free the better it gets.

Just know your not alone and the only way your life will get better is by stopping gambling. If you want some more practical advice about debt etc let me know. In reality though the only person who can start this recovery is you. Whether it be the illusion of being able to win the money back to pay your debt or just not wanting to live through the hardship for a while you need to let go totally of all things gambling.

Posted : 22nd June 2021 12:00 am
Posted by: ltfcsam

.In a way i was lucky to have such supportive parents but this may have been a negative also as it sub consciously made me think that no matter what s**t i got in to they will always be there to bail me out. 

Be careful Supportive and naive are often easily muddled when it comes to gambling

the addiction will feed off your parents safety net

at 22 you have time to turn it around when i was your age i was in a fair chunk of debt only now i am out of it (29) 

There was no safety net for me thats part of the reason why i knew i had to stop 

Posted : 22nd June 2021 11:08 am
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