I've been a compulsive gambler for over ten years and over that time have lost a fortune and accumulated huge debts that I can't see a way out of. I've maxed out credit cards, have five loans and have borrowed from my girlfriend and another close friend as have not been able to pay some large bills as a result of the cumulative effect of my gambling (so ashamed of this but it is the reality). Gambling has come close to completely destroying my life causing me and my girlfriend stress and anxiety and has had a serious effect on my mental and physical health. Despite this I have continued to gamble over the years such is the hold that this addiction has over me. I have wasted hundreds if not thousands of hours of my life sat watching a reel spin whilst my money drains away.
Anyway, enough of the self-pity. It's time that I stop digging a deeper hole for myself.
I've been reading posts on the GamCare site for a while now and was hesitant at first but have finally decided that I will start to record my steps towards recovery.
I have already taken the following steps:
- Contacted GamCare (back in April) and have now been told I have access to counselling from late August
- Self-excluded from sites where I had active accounts and signed up to GamStop
- Admitted to my girlfriend the extent of my debts and handed over control of my money. She now controls access to my business account so I have to ask for payments to be made from this account. I've closed my personal account with an overdraft facility and opened a basic account to which my girlfriend transfers my monthly allowance. We review this account monthly and I have to show evidence for every transaction on this account.
- Pay the money back I owe to those close to me. I should never have dragged others into my mess.
- Commit to counselling and the work required to make progress with my recovery.
- Record my progress here. It's going to be tough and I don't know how I will get out of the financial mess I am in but the one thing I know I have to do is stop gambling.
As I started to try to tackle my issues earlier this year I have made some progress to date. I am 30 days gambling free and have my first counselling session on 27th of this month.
All the best to everyone out there facing the same battle.
Now 32 days gambling free. My OH has been away this weekend and the temptation has been there. Have kept myself busy to ensure I don't falter.
I can't stop thinking about the mess I have created. I know i can't change what is in the past but I constantly go over and over things in my mind ...... 'how could i have been so stupid?'....'if only i had not lapsed when i had been gambling free for a year previously'...... 'how could i put everything i have at risk over slot games that give me no enjoyment and continue to dig a deeper and deeper hole?'.......'how could i expose those that i care about to the effects of my addiction?'
I am not sure I will ever be able to answer many of the questions i pose to myself. Such is the grip gambling has had over me all rational thinking went out the window.
I must beat this so that I can make up for the stress and pain that i have caused to those that are dear to me.
One day at a time.
I naively thought I could just pay off overdraft on personal account and show a zero balance each month to OH. I said I’d handed control to OH but I’m a lying f****** gambler. Another one, two, three K gone. Idiot! Can’t divulge the extent of my problem to her but I’ll destroy everything I have if I carry on.
Difficult place. Have to reset as now no days gambling free.
Why can’t I take what I have? Went out this evening for a meal with OH as was her birthday whilst she was away at weekend. Lovely meal, good times, but I have ruined the time with the one I love.
Absolute ******* idiot. Nearly 4:30 am and have to work tomorrow. No idea how I explain money from account I’d hidden.
To describe me at this time. A liar who gambled his life away. Someone who loves his OH but does not have the balls to open up. I desperately want my OH to be free of me.
Wishes to all out there that are fighting the demons.
******* ***** M