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      About 8 years ago I started seriously gambling.  Before, I’d played slots a couple times over maybe a 4 year slot.  But once I got introduced to online gaming, it was the beginning of the end.  For years in the quiet of my own apartment, I’d spend hours, sometimes days, playing and playing slots, winning and mostly losing, excited and disappointed in self, crazy highs and lows… gambling my life away.  Of course no one knew.  It was my little "secret" and as long as I could scrape by (pay my rent and utilities, find a little food to eat), I was fine.
      Years passed.  I was losing tens of thousands.  Perhaps hundreds of thousands.  Who knows?   The total collosal loss is too difficult for my wind to wrap around, so I don’t quantify.  I have been blest and have always had the ability to make good money but I had ZERO to show for it.  I wondered what people thought I was doing with money for there were occasions I would end up having to borrow a little here and there from friends.  At that time I never accepted I had a problem.  Never formulated thought about what it meant—- this consistent going onto online casinos,  depositing thousands of dollars, clicking my mouse to see what would happen to my hard-earned money… leaving mostly empty handed. 
      I am an optimist.  That very fact which is nromally a blessing proved to be a curse for I would be down for a day or 2 after a binge, but by day 3 I’d have put it behind me and moved on. Not to thinking I needed a gable free life, more to thinking today would be the day I would win thousands from slots.  One weekend I surpassed even my own limits for myself and wasted $10,000USD.  I was mortified.  Had thoughts of worthlessness, self-disappointment, suicide.  I responded by calling the online casinos I was a member of and self-banning.  This loss took maybe a week for me to get over… but once I did, I spent the better part of the following week finding new online casinos to play in.
      More time passed.  Finally after another binge I but in betfilter and that seemed to work for a while.  I was sometimes able to secretly use someone else’s computer to gamble but for the most part I was unable to.  At the time I was living in NY.  Then my mom got ill. She’s Jamaican and lives in Jamaica so I moved there into a great job with lots of new opportunities, to be closer to her to help take care of her. Wow. That was 2 years ago.  In those 2 years slots machines became my best friend.  It was no longer online gambling. I was in the 2 main casinos here like they were my home.  I left my job and started my own business.  It was going great and gave me independence and more free time.  So yes, more gambling time.  I was losing soooooo much and during that time began to realize and admit that I have a serious gambling problem.  A month ago I lost about 12,000USD in a weekend.  I don’t use credit cards so this was all my money.  Actually money for my business.  I decided I HAD TO STOP.  For myself.  Before it was too late.  My business would go bust if I didn’t.  That thought lasted a day or 2 and I was back at it, losing another $5000USD or so.  I felt like a zombie.  A robot. Like I had zero control.  Like gambling was my master and ruled my mind, thoughts and actions.  I no longer believed my word.  Did not know if I could stop.  Still don’t.
      My boyfriend who was the only person who knew about my gambling, left me 2weeks ago.  I was devastated and gambled even more.
      Last Thursday (11/10/11) I hit what must be my rock bottom.  I was in one casino gambling away the last money I had, trying to "recoup" my losses for the past month, knowing I hadn’t paid any bills.  When I returned home after losing of course… my electricity got disconnected.  It was for $250USD and I didn’t even have the money to pay that.  I borrowed from a friend and went back with that to the casino to see if I could win some on that.  I lost most of that too.  Ended up having to negotiate with the electric company for a payment plan.
      On Thursday I made a decision.  I will not gamble again.  I found GT and other online resources.  I am using them every day.  I self-banned from the casinos (which is really un-heard of here because there are no self banning laws).  But thankfully I was able to convince both casinos to deny me entry.  I have sent my debit cards to my mom.  I have joined GA here (went to my first meeting on Sunday).  I have started gambling therapy, went to my first session yesterday.  I am putting in all the barriers I can because I do not yet trust my word.  I am trying to take this thing one day at a time.  This is DAY 5 gf for me.
      My intro is long, yes. Sorry. I just want to put it all out there. I will take any support I can get.  I believe together we stand, divided we fall.

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