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I have just been accepted to the GMA rehab programme and i wanted to share a little bit of why i have got to this place and hopefully figure out what the future holds for me.

I have gambled from the age of around 14 going from fruit machines to casinos and over the last years i have been addicted to FOBT machines which have seen my downfall.

There has been many twists and turns throughout this period, failed businesses, relationships and many other factors, but just for now i am going to focus on what has happened this last 8 weeks as this is why i have taken this step to not gamble and to change my life.

In March 2015 i had a gambling binge, i spent money that was not mine, i took from other people and lost it all in various forms which has led to chaos in my life and mind.

At the start of April, when i am being chased for money, i am being attacked verbally and losing long term friendships i took a bag of clothes and walked out of my home with nothing. I felt nothing but despair, this was the end of the road, i was fearful of my sanity and i just wanted everything to stop, i threw my mobile phone away to cut myself off from further calls and being chased and i set off on the train to no where.

I spent my first night on the streets in a town in the East of England a good 200 miles from my home, i was scared and confused and i could not work out my next step, all these years of lying to people, running away from problems have come to a head of me sat on the floor frezzing in tears outside a train station, this is all through gambling and i had no one to turn to. Early in the morning i boarded a train to keep warm and continued my journey to who knows where.

I got off the train and at the other end of the journey, i sat again outside the station and a lady come over and asked if i was ok, she was very kind and asked me if i had any money, i said i did not and she gave me a bank note. Within that second, i was looking for a bookies, i was up and buzzing, i no longer thought about the fact i was cold i looked a mess, i just wanted to push that note into a machine as quick as i could. I am at the stage now i do not care if iu win or lose, i just want to push as much cash as i can in any machine, i never cash out, i never play to win, i don’t think, i am a compulsive gambler and i i dont care how it happens.

I met the kindest of strangers for the next week or so quite often, i was given food a sleeping bag and money, i was almost taken this for granted, getting given money by people everyday as i am useless, it felt like i was doing something right, which is so far off the mark. Every time i was given help, i gambled, as i mentioned i never won, i did not care, i was out of control in every aspect of my useless life. There have been many twists with this but it came to ahead one morning when i was rough sleeping on the station platform and i could not take anymore of everything.

I got on the train back to my folks house and on the way i stopped off a library and i went online and found the NHS gambling clinic, i sent my ref. off to them that minute and on the email back they sent the details for the GMA, which was a great relief and i feel blessed to have this support.

I am 5 days gamble free, i have surrendered my bank cards and i have a smal support network in place at home to prevent further crisis.

I said yesterday i am tired, i want some peace and i want to get on with my life. I am in my 30’s and if i can make changes then now is the time and with hard work i can enjoy the rest of my life gamble free.

Thank you for reading.