Ready to start over


Sorry this is such a long read, but:
If I don't get control of my gambling addiction now, I will be flushing my life down the toilet. I live in Las Vegas and this is how the problem began. When I first moved here in 05 (company is based here), in my boredom, I ventured over to one of the local casinos and started messing around with slots. At first the stakes were small and manageable, but I soon lost control and chased losses until my bank account was dry. Back in 05 I had just started with my company and my bankroll was pretty light because I only was making about 45k a year. My gambling progressed to video poker and became so bad that I became delinquent on some debt. By mid-06, I somehow inexplicably just stopped gambling. I estimate that I lost about 10-15 thousand dollars in the period of about 8 months before I managed to stop.

Years passed and I got married, started a family, and my income grew significantly. One day, business brought me to a casino in Laughlin Nevada and I threw a hundred bucks in a video poker machine. After losing most of it, I hit a thousand dollar jackpot and cashed out and went home. I thought little of it and was elated about my victory.

I bought a house in 08 that needed work and sunk nearly 25 thousand dollars into renovations. Because of this expense, times were rather tight. On a whim I decided I'd pop into a casino and pull out some cash to try an "win some padding" for my dwindling bank account. Smart logic huh? I'm experiencing hardship and I turned to a casino as a possible solution. I wish that I had lost my ass then and there. Maybe things would have happened differently. I won a trivial couple of hundred much needed dollars and confirmed my illogical rationale that THAT was a good idea. Keep in mind, I'm well educated and hold a job with significant responsibility, yet I believed this was a GOOD IDEA. Fool.

Fall 09
It started small again, and slowly built up to a couple time a week habit. Sometimes I'd keep going until I maxed out my daily atm limit of 500 dollars. I was making over 100k a year now and I was blowing a lot more than previously. I soon discovered "the sports book" and a new obsession began. I'm a football nut to begin with, but the rush of watching 3-4 games a day with hundreds of dollars at stake was too exciting for me to handle.

All in all, I wasn't that bad a sports better, as I'd venture to guess I won more than 50 percent of the time, but the problem was that the sports book is IN the casino, and I often pulled an "extra 40" out to play video poker. This would lead to uncontrollable loss chasing that often left me in a deep hole EVEN IF I won some football bets.. The really disgusting thing is that on a few occasions, I collected several hundred in winnings and immediately pissed it away on the machines (and craps which I also discovered in the last year).

This has been going on now on and off for almost a year and a half (more on than off) and in the last month its gotten so bad that I actually bankrupted myself twice (almost 3000 dollars in 2 weeks). I've been increasing my wagers in hopes of "one nice win" so I can stop. Idiot...

I'd venture to guess I've lost 40 or more thousand dollars this year.. It makes me f 'ing sick.

My wife and I have separate bank accounts and believe it or not, I'm so f 'ing cheap with other things, I have been able to actually hide my gambling from my wife. I'm sure she wonders why I claim I never have any money. We used to travel, eat out a lot, I'd buy her nice gifts, and not worry about dropping money on stuff I or she wanted. Now I f' ing gamble.

My moods are terrible 90 percent of the time and I attribute it primarily to gambling. (Specifically losing!) I have a pretty stressful existance (2 step sons who are wild, one has special needs) and a toddler of my own. Wife and I fight a lot and its almost always my fault. I'm constantly stressing over money, and disgusted with my uncontrollable gambling. I know its a bad idea before, during, and after, but I can only describe it as its like I'm standing on the outside looking at myself **** up day after day after day after day and banging on the glass saying, wake up man you idiot! But I'm unresponsive. May as well be a f 'ing vegetable. I lay in bed at night wondering if I will survive this. All I can think about is the money that I will earn at work, and how it is destined for the damned casino no matter how badly I don't want that to happen, but it always seems to end up that way.

To boot, I've been smoking again (quit years ago) and that is progressively getting out of hand. I've stopped working out (used to spend 3 days a week in the gym) and I eat ****ty. I've discovered my cholesterol and blood pressure are getting in the high range. I'm only in my mid thirties and NOT overweight at all. Yet. I'm noticing more and more physical signs of aging since this began.

I love my wife and my kids. More than ANYTHING in the world. I'm 90 percent sure that right now my wife would definitely leave me if she found out. I'd lose everything, including my boys. I know that if it continues, it will inevitably lead to losing them, or me losing my life.

I feel so trapped. Inside my own body. Its like my brain is controlled by some invisible power. Like I'm possessed. I hate the sight of cards, the smells of the casino, the sounds.... **** I'm even starting to hate 20 dollar bills... My atm card, the fact that I can make an atm withdraw blindfolded and upside down in 6 seconds.... I hate it all and yet I continue to do it. I'm so embarrassed too when I go to the bank... I know they see all the atm withdrawls and know what a loser I am.
I need to change and I need to change NOW! It's time for recovery and I hope to hell I can beat this before it gets me for good.