I have been reading through this site for a while and have decided to tell my story after a few months.
I am 39 and up until a year and a half ago I had never gambled. In September 2015 I went on an extended holiday to America visiting various cities and had a week in Las Vegas. As you do in sin city, I sat down at the slots for a bit of fun. It was exciting and though I didn't spend much money, I walked away a week later slightly up. Fast forward a few weeks later and I am back in the uk, sat at home and thought I'd see what online gambling is like, started on bingo sites and quickly went down hill. I gambled hard and fast and after 4 months had gambled £20000, all my savings and £20000 of the banks money! I felt awful, went to GA for 6 weeks, but it wasn't the right place for me as I am very shy. I stopped gambling for 4 months which was great but then blew £1000 on a Sunday night and it hit hard. To prevent a reoccurrence I gave control of my finances away and contacted Gamcare, who offered counselling. I was nervous when I started the sessions but this quickly subsided when I realised there is no judgement and a real desire to help. I had 4 sessions with a student counsellor that dealt with manly the stopping gambling and now I am having sessions with a trained counsellor to deal with underlying issues. I suppose I always knew I had anxiety and always worried too much what others think of me but being able to talk through things has really helped. At the the time of gambling the anxiety was really bad, I wouldn't go out or see friends and perhaps I had depression. I am still in counselling and the thoughts of gambling are subsiding, I'm paying off my debts and completing little goals to improve my anxiety. I think now about the future whereas at the time of gambling I was probably not thinking at all. I hate the fact that there is so much advertising about casino sites on tv, as it puts gambling back in my mind. I think I am doing ok and progressing well.
Hi Loxxie thanks for your message, and well done for a week clear, I know for me as soon as I stopped I constantly thought about gambling. I would suggest the counselling provided by gamcare as this really helped me, though I know it's not for everyone. I wish you all the luck on this journey as I know it's not easy.
I'm awaiting assesment for the counselling...hand been near a slot for 10 days...all blocked and the thoightvof it makes me feel sick...I'm struggling with guilt..ashamed...and feeling so low...mortified at the hurt it will cause hubby...not told him yet...want to get my head around all I've got in place so far...my daughter's know but are a bit distant with me since finding out and are pushing me to tell hubby..I need to be stronger emotionally before I let the bomb go on him
..I've realised our life was a circle
.he shout rant about everyday things...i hit the slots..and that is not me saying I blame him as I know I hit the buttons
.but it's all so entwined as to why I was doing it...phew..sorry didn't mean to go on....I hope your getting on each day and still have plenty of strength