20 June 2013 at 2:25 am #9505pmckee1979Participant
After spending hours looking through the web seeking help I have came across this site. I am hoping coming on this will give me some help into the disaster of a life I have been living for the past 17 years. I need all the help I can get and I’ll start by giving you a bit of my backround and to where I am today.
I’m 33 now and have been gambling since I was 18. It was actually one thing I never thought I’d ever do before then, even although my granda owned a bookies and my dad etc all worked there for years. The bookies closed when I was about 15, but all that time it never appealed to me in the slightest. Then when I had left school and was being a ‘man’, out drinking down the local club a few times a week, I befriended an older crowd be it still in their 20’s. They played the poker machines, fruit machines, done footy and horse bet’s and played poker. All of a sudden it was all around me. It was one saturday afternoon I can remember having my first ever gamble. It was a football bet and I had staked £5. Then that £5 was pretty precious to me as I wasnt on a big wage and I thought of it as 3 pints. Low and behold my bet won. I got £135 back and that thrill was the start of a long and painful journey. The reason I’m mentioning the stake is because it reminds me as to what way I lost respect for money. After that bet I tried my luck on the fruit machines, and again to my amazement I hit the Jackpot on my first time, the same happened played my first game of poker….I won. It didn’t take too long after that for me to get hooked and I can see why. I always think to myself, I wish I’d have lost. I know I wouldnt have chased it back then. For a couple of years after my stakes went up slightly, but even at that it was still more than I could afford. Finally came the days where I was getting my apprentice wage of £120 a week on a thursday and come that eveing it was either all in the fruit machine or lost in poker, bar the very odd win.
The shameful acts started not long after I realised I had a problem. But instead with dealing with the problem I let my life and health get much worse. I started borrowing money I could not afford to pay back, using money my dad had left me when he passed away and spending most of 2 claims I had, and worst of all I stole some money, and not even from a stranger, from my family. I will never live that down. My close family is small, mum and 2 sisters and late grandmother. It took a very long time before my mum discovered the extent of my problem even though she knew I had a ‘flutter’, but my father was an alcoholic and a gambler also. only when I told her everything she could empathise with me in some respects and knew it was not just a problem but an illness. She has bailed me out so so many times I can’t count now, but I continued to hurt her and lie to her along with the rest of my family. I’m a worthless piece of crap and have been since this all started.
at around 23/24 the online casinos and poker rocketed. I had been quite contained for a while before they came on the scene, but they ended up being the thing that drove me to rock bottom on so many occasions that I was considering taking my own life on a few occasions. I lost thousands upon thousands, sometimes in days, sometimes in weeks. credit cards, loans, wages. everything was going onto gambling. Lies upon lies where told to family and friends for years about this and all I could think about was getting more money to gamble and try to win back money I’d previously lost. Gambling for the last 10 years hasn’t been in any way fun for me, I was treating it as a way to make money quickly and recoup losses. A losing battle as we all know. How can we keep doing it though I will never grasp. I can fully understand why more and more people went on to take their own lives over gambling, but I know it is something that can be controlled with a lot of effort.
I thought the turning point had came in my life when I was 28. I was holding onto nearly £5k of money from friends for I holiday I had booked. Just 2 days before I was to pay I lost every single penny playng poker. I had built up over £2500 that week from just £20. I am a good poker player, but my sickness came on and I went onto the highest staked tables and lost it in a matter of 48 hours. £7500 gone and no holiday money. I thought about ending it all that night but I know doing that would crush my mum. I called her and the family sat down to talk. I was bailed out but felt so sick with shame. That week I went to my first GA meeting. It was strange for me but comforting knowing I was not alone. I attended for 6 months regularly, and I will not lie, I had few slips during that time. At that time I had a great job with a good wage and started seeing some benefits off it, and finally I had stopped gambling altogether. I had stopped attending GA and was till holding my own. Just as everything was going good, a kick in the teeth, I was made redundant, I was down about this but kept my head high and got another good job and things picked up again, then another kick when the same thing happened again in this job. After the second lay off I got really down and depressed and could not get any job. I used my redundancy to pay off some debts. I’m sure you know what happened with the rest of my redundancy…….Being out of work for so long and gambling anything I got my hands on changed my into a different person. selfish, disrespectful, not caring about anyone or anything but money. Prob one of the lowest acts in my whole life, if no the lowest, was my mum finding a black woolen hat with the eyes cut out. I was so depressed I had it in my head to rob somewhere. I know I wouldnt have went through with it but even thinking about it makes me sick and a disgrace to my mum and everyone else. She brought me up a different person than what she has had to deal with over the last ten years. Straight away I tried GA again but this time it was no use what so ever.
I don;t know how or why I started again but I did. And with GA not doing anything for me anymore I was in a dark place. I have seen a pattern over the years that when I have been very depressed, I gamble. Is this a common thing?? I did eventually get another job just over 2 years ago. It pays less than half my old salary and to this day I struggle to meet ends meet. I still gambled though be it smaller than before. winning some here, losing more there. My family of gf didnt know and thought I was still doing ‘ok’, but the lies had started again and got worse and worse.
So this takes us up to more recently. Over xmas I won a few bets etc and it was enough to do me for a good xmas and some more. I did have a good xmas but then I went back to that person I was those few years ago. Gambling wages, getting loans of sharks, payday loans etc. I started blowing the lot again with big stakes. I had turned into the nasty piece of work that I didnt think I would ever go back to. It caused problems in my relationship with my gf that I can only thank her for understanding and still loving me. It was in April that I hit the bottom again. I counted up and I had lost thousands again, money I did not have to lose. I called my mum and told her. The hatred I felt for myself this time was beyond words. I cried and cried over this wondering how I got back to this stage and why I hurt the people closest to me. I have been bailed out again by my mother who is my angel and rock. For the last two months I have been managing ok but still feel sometimes the slightest urge. when I do I think back to april and how I felt then and it has stopped me. I still feel I need more help though and by coming onto this and talking I hope it does so.
I know this has been a long read but I felt I needed to get it all out because I do like relating to other people on this. It is really helping me. I did buy a scratch card today so this is going to be my day one without a bet.
Not going to be a loser by gambling, but a winner by living.– 6/20/2013 3:00:37 AM: post edited by pmckee1979.
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