18 March 2013 at 6:38 pm #11033glenharknessParticipant
My name is Glen I am 32 from Blackburn (lancashire) in the north west of England.
I started gambling as an 11/12 year old placing £1 bets on fixed odds football coupons which started off as a wee bit of fun. This apparent little bit of fun turned into a real obsession and from 18 years old and this nieve, shy and somewhat innocent boy became this locally well known brash gambler.
My whole life was a gamble. I gambled with relationships (I ALWAYS LOST), gambled with my career (I LOST) and gambled with my liberty (And LOST again).
Don’t get me wrong at times gambling did bring me the exitement involvment and buzz that cannot be anywere near matched? At one point I had a huge win that gave me the cash to purchase a simple house outright. But come on, this is just more stake money isnt it? An inevitable bad streak evolved and my whole bank balance had gone. Any opportunity to gamble i would. Gamble all day football, horses, dogs, tennis whatevers on and then the Yank sports at night, which i know nothing about. Gamble on baseball, I always called it silly boys rounders whats that all about? still would gamble on it with 4 figure sums. Up all night and then go to work without sleep, how did i do it?
The game must go on though? Loans, credit cards etc…, not an option for me. My previous banking activity gave me a credit rating that was and still is that bad, I am lucky to have the authority to pay with cash!
Somehow my existance (not life) enabled me to hold down a good and ever improving career that gave me another choice. Luckily (as I thought) being an accountant for a highly regarded and well known car company, gave me the access and authority to company cash. My next bet was all i thought of. The hole in the company accounts can? and will? be sorted out in time. (well thats how i justified borrowing? no stealing this money).
Somehow this operation continued for 4 years. Year after year I found the ways and means to manipulate auditors and company accounts giving the false appearance that everything was in order.
Constant worry that each February (company financial audit takes place) that i might be caught this time. Each christmas whilst others are merry and happy, I worry for the potential of what i might be facing in the short impending weeks. The existance and purpose of my life was becoming more and more unbearable.
Each time i had the accounts passed by auditors felt like a big win. (it’s a gamble I have won for the time being). I had another 12 months to get it sorted!
Inevitably my time came and 4 years after my first company fraud I was caught. My unpredictable manner arose suspicion with a collegue and i was investigated and subsequently challenged.
I immediately confessed to my crimes and although i had impending punishments and mass exposure of my actions, the feeling of relief was my overwheming emotion. I didnt have to hide anymore?
Despite the heartache this situation put my family in, I continued to gamble, I was still in denial. I was aware that my life situation and impending bleak short term future at the very least, was dowm to my very unhealthy gambling habit, but was still incapable or unwilling to address this. Still needed to hide away from responsibility and acceptance.
I was eventually given a 16 month prison term (reduced from 4yrs with the help of the prosecutor) from which i was released in January 2012.
To the masses you might expect this to be a realisation point and that prion life would surely bring me to my senses? However not with me I gambled whilst on bail up to the day before my sentencing date, I gambled in prison also and again on my release.
My reputation was in tatters front page of local newspaper for everybody to see, and given my prison record found it impossible to gain employment. My life cycle at this stage was receiving my fortnightly benefits, speculating with this via gambling and eventually and inevitably losing this, and then relying on my family for food and warmth by turning up on there doorsteps like a useless beggar.
This continued life cycle led to severe depression and envy of others experiencing good life styles, whilst i wollowed in a self pitty lifestyle. I ask myself what am i capable of in order to get money to gamble? Could I end up back in prison, but this time for longer? That scared me! I still dont know what I would be capable of in a certain frame of mind!
On 6th November of 2012 after losing my money again I got the feeling and realisation that i was sick and tiered of feeling "sick and tiered". I had previously been given the forms for Gordon Moody association rehab programme earlier in the year as a suggestion from my probation officer.
I was not ready at this time to face up to my situation but believe my subconcious allowed me to retain these forms knowing i would need them when i was ready to address my problems.
I attended the Gordon Moody project in Beckenham (nr London) in Novemeber 2012 and returned home last week a much better person.
I put 100% into the programme, allowed myself to be challenged constantly and with the help and guidance of the staff at Gordon Moody and return in a much enhanced frame of mind.
I have explored a number of emotions, feelings and have taken a real good look at myself at what dispicable acts I have undertaken in the past and the consequences of these acts on myself and others close to me.
I realise I need to make amends to both myself and others by living a honest gamble free life with the piece of mind that I am currently experiencing.
The gambler me is a selfish and manipulative person who I never want to materialise again. I am aware that as i try to rebuild my life I will inevitably envisage problems that are apparent for any one of us, but I am hopeful that my current frame of mind and grace can carry me through to a new and successful future life.
I am very lucky to still have the support of my family and friends and believe although they do not understand the problems and thoughts I often experience they can help me build the future that I envisage with the love and loyalty they do show.
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