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I would like to share and in advance thank you for listening.

I have been gambling for around 25 years (now 40 years old), I never admitted I had a problem until I was around 35 years old (ish) and that’s when I decided I had enough and really wanted to stop gambling. I went to GA meetings and made some really good friends and over the first year or two things were getting better, I didn’t slip very much and had some good recovery time and really worked hard at trying to fix the “bad parts” of me, I was working really hard in my job, attending a couple of GA meets a week and on the other evenings would just sit on my computer attending online recovery groups and sharing on forums until the early hours, I started to grow further apart from my wife and kids, she even said I had replaced one addiction with another, I don’t know and I know I only have myself to blame for all this mess but I just couldn’t get a happy medium and find that right balance.

I eased off the internet a little and dropped down to one meeting a week but it just wasn’t enough for me, I am a compulsive gambler and I cant explain how badly addicted I am, gambling has and still is ruining my life (because I let it), I do want to stop I know that because I try and before I didn’t care and didn’t want to stop, I have been there and therefore know the difference.

I work a full time job and always have (like many of us I am sure), I always look after my family and although I mess up many times I work bloody hard each time putting it right and sorting everything out, I know when I gamble I am a bad man and I see that, the other day when I gambled the regular cashier (a women in her 60s a very nice lady who is always very pleasant) said to me after I had a heavy loss “you are a lovley man I have seen over the years, why do you do this to yourself), I just answered “I don’t know” “I am a compulsive gambler” and left.

Gambling has taken a lot of money from me but even more it has taken a lot of time, I cant say I will never gamble again because I cant seem to get back to where I was around 5 years ago, I was in a zone, a happy place, not gambling but spending every free hour on recovery, I need to get back to spending every other free hour on recovery and the remaining other free hour on my family, I cant stop this addiction and need to spend time on containing it but in doing so I must find that balance.

I still owe loan sharks a lot of money (only because of my gambling) and I know it is my fault and I am weak but they make it too easy for me to lend the money, I will be honest on here and the only reason I share this is because I hope and pray it stops and stronger person than me to not get any deeper than we are as it never gets better if we keep on gambling, so I owe the sharks a lot of money and I am struggling to pay it all back (but was just about managing) haven’t told my wife and I cant not because I am hiding it for my benefit but for hers as she would worry herself to death, so last night I made a payment and all was ok until they told me my balance lets just say the rates are not like the bank of England, I just wanted to clear it all off and not owe them a penny (wish I had never borrowed it in the first place) anyway we were talking and cutting a long story short I borrowed some more and put it all on Barcelona to beat Juventus last night to get myself shot off them, well after the result there is no getting shot of them and in truth only probably going to get shot, sorry poor joke I know but this is how my sick evil compulsive gambling mind works, last night after the chain of events I was nearly suicidal and really didn’t want to face anything at all, had a really bad nights sleep and total depressed, I could have borrowed more again today (as had the option), I didn’t and have worked a payment plan out over the next 6 months, I can sort it and I can do it, just one simple thing I need to do (DONT GAMBLE – DONT PLACE THAT NEXT BET)!

I am holding onto life by the skin of my teeth and really fighting hard to stay in this world, I don’t share this for pity, I know I have brought all this (everything) on all by myself and I am the only person to blame, I except that and take all responsibility, I share this in the hope that it may possibly help just one person in the world and if it does then I am so happy I have taken the time to share.

Thank you for listening and letting me share, just for today I didn’t gamble because if I had it would have killed me.

Finding Laura and Micky as always thank you for your kind posts, your ongoing help and support is always greatly received and thank you for being such good friends, I wish you both well and hope life is treating you fair.

My wife has just called through the kitchen saying we have ran out of milk when just trying to poor milk for the kids and give them a couple of biscuits as we do every night, I am just going to pop to the shops and get some (with money out of her purse that she has given me as I haven’t got a copper coin) I promise you when I don’t gamble I am not a bad man!