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Originally posted by bettie

Today is my first day here. I was really suprised that so many people feel like they want to die after binge gambling. I am just shocked, I thought it was just me!
Of all the things in my life I must say I’ve never felt lower than I do right now. I am being threatned with forclusure and I haven’t been ontime with a bill in months. I filed bankrupcy last year and have to face what got me there.
I have loved to gamble since I was a child. Pitching pennies was the start for me. I went to Atlantic City when I was 19, I looked older, and spent the whole day on $50 bucks, food included. What a blast!
I played video poker in the bars at 21. It’s not legal but if you are known at the bar all you did was ask the bartender if they "paid out". They took a note of your score on a little pad of paper, shut the machine off, then paid you out.
Now you might get the impression that I have gambled all my life. Not true. The occasional lotto ticket was really the most I ever did. I made my first trip to Vegas 16 years ago when my sister paid for the trip. She got married and needed a sitter for her daughter. I got to play "Real" machines and loved it!
This went on for a few years, the annual trip, 100.00 a day budget. Controlled, fun, hoping for a big win. About 16 years ago the "boats" open in Indiana. I had offers to go but declined. I knew I didn’t have the money to spend and somehow I knew I liked it too much. This changed about 5 years ago when a group of work friends were going and invited me along. I was hooked! It started with going 1-2 times weekly after that. I started racking up debt but refinanced my home, took a home equity loan, and built a great credit record. Credit card companys gave me ten – twenty thousand dollar limits and cash advance checks with no interest for a year. I would gamble, get crazy, then cover it with a check.
I think the real problem came about 4 years ago. I won ten thousand dollars. Like every other gambler I was going to do great things with it. It lasted about a month. I paid some debt, gave some to my daughter, and blew the rest. In the last 4 years I got about eighty thousand dollars in debt, all credit cards. You would have thought they would have cut me off. Not their fault, I knew just how to move that debt so it was building my credit up.
Since the bankrupcy I find that I barely make enough to pay just the basics. I was living on those credit cards. I started working a second job but I don’t have any money for food and gas this week.I spend money that I need to pay bills. My daughter has been helping me out, not realizing she’s been supporting my habit. I lie, sneek around, avoid family and the few friends I have in order to gamble. I know I have to quit, I have never tried before. I keep thinking I can go back to the yearly trip to Vegas but I know that’s folly. I don’t want to ban myself because I want my free hotel rooms and steak dinners. I know this is false, they have never given me a thing, I paid for it all and then some! This is the start of my journey. I don’t want to EVER feel this way again. I am ashamed and just want to hide from it all. I planned to try a meeting today. I am making excuses and won’t make myself go. Maybe Thursday, I only work 1/2 a day. Thats a trigger time for me. I won’t gamble today. Tomorrow I work both jobs and won’t have the desire then either. Wednesday is a problem. I will find a meeting for then too. You all sound like friends. I hope to be in your good company too. Thanks for reading my book!

Hi Bettie,
Be strong.  I am in the same situation as you.  I am now jobless for I was terminated.  Keep your head up and be strong for each day will get better.  I am now two weeks in without a gamble.  I have had many urges but I am saying no for I can not afford to lose anymore money.  Keep high spirits and keep checking in with all of usI want to have my life back