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I called the helpline as Charlster suggested and was so pleased I did. Never thought or tried it before. I learnt that I was fearing my escape route being taken away and that going on this program will teach me why I needed to escape and to deal with those issues that led me to gambling.

Change is the other thing that frightens me because I know I have to stop completely what I’m doing and learn to lead a new life where I can enjoy the simple things in life and appreciate life and start liking myself again.

Gambling has turned me into a self-centred, selfish, ugly, unfit person. I was a passionate endurance cyclist who did many challenging road races, one where I was the only woman with 2,000 men as it was so challenging, probably a man’s race. But I’ve lost all my excitement for life. Gambling has ruined any motivation or interest in anything I’ve had.

When I admitted to my son about my gambling, he listened and said it’s OK, mom, don’t worry about me, just look after yourself. He said when he needs money he sells some of his things like he’s selling the iPhone 4 I gave him and suggested I sell some of my furniture as I’m on my own and don’t need all that furniture. I felt so bad.

But when I told him I don’t go out anymore or exercise, he chipped in quickly and said, ‘What mom, you’re not cycling anymore ?’ with all the shock and surprise in his voice that it stopped me in my tracks. I can still hear his voice now. That made me realise just how much gambling had robbed from me, so much more than just the money which was huge in itself !

So I’ve decided to embrace this opportunity of being given the opportunity to become ‘ clean’ and going into rehab where I will have experts to deal with the source and causes and get me healed with tools for ongoing recovery.

I took action and decided to go to my Lifegroup meeting from my church tonight which I’ve avoided for weeks and lied about excuses for not being able to attend. It did me good as they were so welcoming and I met new people. They were celebrating a Dutch lady’s birthday who I befriended when sharing a room with her at the church’s ‘ Girlz Connect’ spa weekend away.

I felt good being there and even contributed when before I just sat there and thinking what a waste of time, I’ve got better things to do ! ….. Yes, gambling….

I’ve got home and spent most of my time reading kPat’s journal and was amazed how familiar it all was. We all do the same and go through the same cycle and find ways to go back or keep the door open.

But it made me see what happens when one does fall and reminded me of the pain, remorse and guilt feeling which hangs over one like a thick dark cloud about to burst with rain with not a penny to my name. It made me realise I can’t go back there. I will never recover my losses and I will never get out of my debt and only get into a worst situation of probably being homeless.

I read of how the casinos lure you with VIP dinners and entertainment which cost you 100 times more in losses than their offer and how they play mind games and set the scenes even in decorating the casinos to make you comfortable and lose all sense of time. In fact they know who you are and when you win or lose. I remember my VIP manager calling me to congratulate me on my wins when I cashed out and then would call or mail me to let me know he’s given me a bonus to help me out when he saw how much I lost !

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I was notified that he was viewing my LinkedIn account ! The nerve ! He was probably trying to find out what I do for a living to see how much more money he could trick me into giving away !
I cut ties immediately with that online casino. They’re crooks and will do anything to turn us into addicts yet be subtle enough not to be blamed.

This forum has helped me to re-focus and accept this is serious business and I must get out now. I’ve been going around in circles far too long and have nothing to show for all my years.

The only way I will be able or at least try to achieve to own my own home again is if I stop gambling. Gambling is not going to do that for me no matter how much these demons try to convince me and come as Angels of Light !!!

I must STOP at all costs !!!!