I’ve written before and want to give a bit of an update. I lost everything to poker machines, my relationship, my savings, my financial freedom. My routine was simple, sleep, work, find nearest pub, drink beer and play the pokies… sometimes I would collect a massive win, but mostly it was losing and making frequent trips to the nearest ATM, until my account would reach a zero balance. After only 2 years I lost over $20,000 and had accrued a c/c debt of up to $13k. Earlier this year, after months of knowing I had to stop and multiple failed attempts at quitting, I turned a corner. For me, it was hearing the voice of an old friend. The conversation didn’t really touch upon gambling, but suddenly I saw all the negatives in my life and it was clear how I had let everyone – and mostly – myself down. Since then, it’s been a slow rebuilding process, slowly paying off debts, re-wiring my brain the best I can. I still gamble on sports, but at least it gives me some sense of control, I’ve taken to weekly exercise and other more productive routines … while I haven’t touched a poker machine for about 6 months I am conscious of my feelings of addiction when I am lonley & have nothing to do… as well as those times where I am short on cash… it’s a major struggle as I know the highs the machines can give you… but I just always force myself to remember the lows. The nights where you can’t sleep thinking of how to get money for bills for the week ahead… the growing c/c card debt that cannot be paid… the physical effects of stress and worry… never having cash in your wallet… I just really encourage anyone who reads this that the addiction can be broken. No matter how difficult the debt looks now, it will only get worse if you do not stop! Don’t let this beat you. Set your goals, engage in positive routines, and win your life back.