Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Desperate Daughter wants to see Mom get her life back

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    HI everyone- I NEED HELP to HELP my mom. She came to me yesterday and said I want help, I want to stop gambling but I don’t know how.

    BACKGROUND STORY: My mom had had a gambling problem on and off again for years.

    She was completely drown in debt, and divorced my stepdad dad. Her and I moved out and got our own place. I am almost 30 and I am pregnant expecting a son in a few months. She pays majority of the bills and I help with rent and where I can, when I can.

    When we lived with my stepdad, she was attending a 12 step program for gamblers. It seemed to have worked for her, and from my understanding she quit up until this year. (WHO knows if that is even true but that is the truth I am getting from her.)

    She had been working full time and hated her job (NOT GAMBLING at this time) so she decided to resign and drop down to part time so she could find something else to do for a career as she is very experienced and an overall hard worker and awesome person!

    When she went down to part time, we started struggling a bit financially, meaning that most of our combined paychecks were going to bills. (So they were getting paid, $ was just tight)

    I too have been living check to check, but not stressing it, just making it happen.

    Anyways- YESTERDAY: She came into my room crying, I need help., I want help, I’m so sick,.. I have been gambling again, and we are going to be evicted tomorrow. I paused for a moment and called my boyfriend to loan us the $ to pay the rent which I personally went and paid the rent. (Aside from that she owes another friend $800, and my grandparents $500 that I know of. )

    After that, we sat down and talked about some changes, I would take over her finances, direct deposits would go to me moving forward, and I will take over paying the bills and she would go back to full time at her job until she finds something else she wants to take on as a job. (We spoke about this as a team, I did not attack as I realize this is a disease/ addiction…I went to some meetings last time she did the 12 step.) I told her I couldn’t deal with this alone and that I would need to confide in some family or close friends, we together decided to tell my grandpa and her best friend. They have been morally supporting me since yesterday.

    My question for you all is, being that this is the first time I have actually had to be her partner in this, and clearly something didn’t work for her before, how can I support my mom in quitting for good??????? SHE is extremely depressed now, and told me she thinks about suicide, but would never do it, and that scares the shit out of me.

    OH & really hard part, WE LIVE IN LAS VEGAS. There are literally slot machines EVERYWHERE.

    I love my mom with all of my heart and soul, she is my best friend and my rock, and she is so powerful. I know she can overcome this, I just don’t know what I am doing or what to do to help!

    Thank you,




    Hello Mb

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
    situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about you!

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    The Gambling Therapy Team

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    I think the best thing would be to suggest she get back to a GA or other 12 Step Program. Unfortunately this addiction will be with her for life so she will need to work on her recovery daily.

    You are doing great. I would suggest trying a Gam Anon group for your own support. Here you will learn how to support without enabling.

    Take Care



    Hi Mb
    When a CG really asks for help there is always hope. Unfortunately if she is only asking because she has got herself into an awful mess and thinks that off-loading it on to you is the only answer then she is not truly accepting her problem.
    Well done in not attacking – it is so easy to lose control when you are confronted as you have been but you did well.
    Taking over her finances is good and talking as a team is great but she needs more support. As her daughter you have your own life to lead and it is important that your mother’s addiction doesn’t hurt your life. Looking after you is vital for both of you.
    Is your mother’s best friend the one to whom she owes $800.
    I think you deserve a lot of ‘on the ground’ support and Worriedmama is right – Gam-Anon could offer that support. It is the sister group of GA and it is for the friends and Family who are affected by gambling. I think it would be great if your mother returned to her group too and this time doesn’t stop using the support because she thinks she is either controlling her addiction or fooling herself that she is cured.
    A CG (compulsive gambler) cannot be cured but they can live wonderful lives in control of their addiction. It is tough to know that they can never place a bet again and many feel a void without it but I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t know it can be done. Your mother would do well to find things to fill the void such as new hobbies, or interests that she used to enjoy, seeing friends and enjoying you as her daughter and not her carer.
    Sadly the threat of suicide is common and the one thing that those who love CGs fear the most. It is a call from the depths of misery but your mother can save herself and bring herself out of this mess.
    I cannot tell you what to do I hope you will not clear her gambling debts or give her cash – your mother has to take responsibility for her actions and clearing her own debts is one of the ways to do this.
    Keep posting, your mother is lucky to have you looking out for her.

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