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    I have friends at GA who tell everyone about their addiction.  It works for them – they have more people looking out for them, more people who would comment if they played a slot machine in the pub.  Less people who would lend them money without questioning why.

    Myself, very few people outside of my family know about my addiction.  My family knew anyway but it was important to come clean about everything. I was accountable for both my time and money.  This helped me stop gambling, also helped rebuild the trust.  Just as importantly it helped put their minds at rest – being completely open and honest meant they knew I wasn’t out there doing it again.

    Whilst not many people know about my addiction or that fact that I go to GA, EVERYONE knows I don’t gamble.  These days ot many peole know that I ever gambled but when i first stopped I just told everyopne I was fed up with losing.  This is important.  It ends the gambling invites, the lottery syndicates the big race sweepstakes.  it also ends the gambling discussions.  A few “I’m not interested”s and those conversations dry up.  If they are real friends then there are plety of other things to talk about.

    So other than those close to you who need to know it is up to you who you tell.  Make sure that everyone kn0ows you have stopped/don’t gambel though.  Don’t do the “I ca’t this week because……”  thing.  If you do that then there would be no reason for them not to ask you the following week.

    “I don’t gamble”  “I’ve decided to stop gambling”  Either of those works.

    Whilst not gambling is a BIG deal for us it isn’t for most.  Many people don’t gamble for lots of reasons. 


    When I was compulsively gambling – it very much was my “dirty little secret.” I didn’t tell anyone – looking back, I guess if anyone had asked me if I liked a play on the fruit machines, I wouldn’t have denied it and some friends would see me play in the pubs when I was out with them. But I wasn’t proud of my gambling – I hated myself for being unable to let go. At first I didn’t even see playing slots AS gambling. Gambling was going to the bookies or playing Roulette as a high roller – not tossing 50p a time into a machine (that dates me!) Then when I did come around to admitting to myself that it was gambling – then I felt worse, because it wasn’t even gambling where you could say there was any skill involved – at least to my way of thinking.

    As part of trying to recover – I started to tell a few people – one or two friends – and then when I started co-counselling; to one or two people within that (although they were sworn to secrecy / confidentiality.)

    Eventually though I came to see that keeping it secret wasn’t doing me any favours. Not only was it still a part of me that I felt “ashamed” of … it was denying a big part of who I am. Gambling took over my life for a while. Not to admit to that to me – feels like I am hiding a big part of myself.

    In 2017 – friends of a friend lost their son to suicide. He was just 24. His last message to them was “I’ve been gambling all day. The point is, I’m past the point of controlling myself and I’m not coming back from this one.” That shocked and saddened me – and I felt that I have to let people know that you can stop gambling and you can stay stopped for several years. I don’t want anyone else to give up hope. So although it’s not the first thing people hear about me … if you do get to know me, you will know that I am a recovering compulsive gambler and I have not had a bet in quite a while.

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