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    Hello everybody.
    What a pity that we have to meet under these circumstances 🙁
    I am 30yrs old, very happily married, mum of 3 (and no.4 on the way!)
    Nobody would ever think that it could be possible,- but i have been struggling with gambling addiction since 2006.
    For me it started with online poker. When I was young, our family often enjoyed playing poker with the change in the change tin around xmas time. I was pretty good at it, but it was always just a bit of fun and i could take it or leave it no problem.
    In 2006, i watched a documentary on people who play online poker for a living and thought  ..’Hey, I could give that a go!’ …Big mistake.
    The poker itself wouldn’t have been so bad, as i have a grip on that now, (meaning i can enjoy playing a game or 2 fairly responsibly) – but it was the door to a whole world of instant wins that got me hooked. I started playing the slot games, and as it goes i made a fair bit pretty quickly,.. got hooked, lost the lot – and started chasing – and chasing…
    We had to take out a loan to clear our maxed out credit card, and not having learned my lesson, 6 months later we took out a second loan 🙁
    I felt so terrible. We had only one child at that time, and i was really struggling to concieve no.2 which only added to the devestation. I thought that ‘I don’t deserve another child’ I would sit up very late, often with alcohol and gamble whilst my husband was working a job he hated to provide for us. Just thinking about that time now makes me sick.
    Fortunately, things turned around somewhat. I got a new job, fell pregnant and we moved house. The gambling was very infrequent during this time until after child no. 2 came along and i found myself doing it more and more regularly (this time during the day – with baby on my knee!) What the hell was wrong with me? I decided to come clean (again to my husband, who was naturally very angry.. That stopped me for a while, I lost my job due to cut backs and then i went to counselling for being abused as a child ( the most difficult thing i have ever done!)
    During that time, the gambling wasn’t really an issue, although I did still have the urge (probably more often than before)… The next thing i knew, i was expecting again and decided to knock the counselling on the head because it was too distressing, and i felt i had accomplished what i had set out to (confronting my parents), and that i now just wanted to move on with my life.
    My husband, soon after was made redundant, which was actually a real blessing. Finally he could go back to college and do something worthwile (instead of the dead end factory job he hated) We also got enough money in the redundancy to upgrade our car and clear the credit card (not all me this time!)
    Since then i have been gambling secretly here and there. My husband has no idea of how bad my addiction really is, as it’s me who deals with the finances mostly. We finally cleared all loans recently, and i swear that i will NEVER be in that position again, (although the c.card and overdraft are both maxed out, partially due to my gambling, but mostly from xmas, bills etc..) The trouble is that i find myself going back again and again, with what little we have – hoping to make some serious money, which i know won’t happen. I feel like a complete failure as a wife and mother and overall person. I just want to stop. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. My family deserves better.
    Anyway, That’s my lengthy life story lol. I am really looking forward to connecting with some of you in the hope of working through these problems together. This is the most positive step I have taken with regard to this dredded addiction, and i actually feel really good right now.
    Here’s to a gambling free future for us all 🙂

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