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    • #13749

      Not sure what to expect here.  i’m hoping someone else can see this and offer some advice or some words of encouragement.
      A few years ago I had a very serious gambling problem.  I blew through a few hundred k over a few years and almost took my own life at the end of it all.  I instead went through some intensive counselling, took a real look at my triggers, my ego, my past, my thought processes and found the strength to stop. 
      For the past three years I have been virtually free from gambling.  It has taken me three years to repay all the debts, buy a house, put money in the bank and start fresh.  I now have a happy wife, two beautiful young kids, a high paying job and everything seems to be going they way I thought it could.
      The problem now is that the urges have come back stronger than ever.  When I said earlier I have been virtually free from gambling, it is because I took up poker about 12 months back.  I had convinced myself after watching it on tv, studying the odds, learning the game inside out, that it was not going to be a problem.  I convinced myself that it was a "sport", not gambling.  The hard part has been that I’m actually pretty good at it.  I have won more than I’ve lost, have been doing well, have built up a bankroll from playing and have managed to buy lots of nice things along the way.  In the past week though, I have done two things that have shaken me up completely.  Firstly I chased after some losses from a very bad session.  Up to now I have thought I was in control of what I was doing, but this time, I went on auto-pilot drawing out more money to chase again.  The second thing I have done this week is take time off from work to go and play poker.  Up to now it has been regular Friday night games, never interfering with work.
      Of course with chasing and with skipping work to gamble has come the lying.  Lying to the wife about where I have been, lying to the kids about having to go away for work, lying to myself about how this is really different from the last time.
      The truth is though, I know where this is heading.  I will lie more, I will take more money, I will up the stakes, I will miss more work, I will let everyone down, I will crush our finances, I will lose the wife, I will lose the kids, I will lose my self respect and I will hate myself for doing it.  The only thing that will be different this time to last will be that I would follow though on taking my own life.   
      I don’t know what to expect from posting this, but it felt like the right thing to do.   

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