I started gambling when I was 16 years old. It was the pull handle, hooked immediately. I lied 2 my boss that very first day- said I was too sick to come back to work. I lost my job, gambled every time I got my dole cheque. 4 years broke up with my partner due to gambling. Went on gambling during my pregnancy. Had two children, lost them docs removed them from my care. I had my freedom, didn’t need a babysitter. Found Kings Cross, gambled and drunk nights away. I became homeless, in and out of detox and out again. I have had a 20 year relationship with my partner- he has put up with it, don’t know how? Had my last gamble on the 5th of March this year. I called GA after a suicide attempt, went to hospital, came out and got a pen and paper and wrote a list: destroy any club cards I had, looked up GA meetings. Went to my first Gamblers Anonoymous meeting and haven’t gambled forĀ 14 weks and 3 days. Since then I have had urges to play but I have fought the urge and it passed. I have accepted I have this addiction and a day at a time I can arrest this illness. My relationship is better. There is food in the fridge now, not just water. My finacial debts are paid and I feel that the urges lessen in time. I will go to any lenghts to stop gambling. I hope that recovery from this insidious sickness will make me a more honest and worthwhile person. No longer do my two dogs have to go without. RECOVERY no 1 prority, abstince is the key, go to meetings get counselling, do what ever it takes, considering self exclusion. I’m a fighter, I will STOP and I will stay stopped. If I can do this, so can you.

Dear Sharon,
thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. I’m sure what you have written will resonate with a lot of people out there, as the history you’re describing are very common with gamblers. It really feels like being stuck in
a trap once you have started gambling. But it is great that you have found the strength to give up gambling and that you are committed to making a fresh start in your life.

It is great that you have found support with GA. But we also wanted to let you know that free counselling from trained professionals is also available. If you want to access this free help from experts who are trained in assisting people who are having the same troubles that you are with gambling, you can call the Gambling Help line on 1800 858 858, where they can direct you to free confidential counselling services throughout NSW. They can also provide you with 24/7 telephone counselling. You can also look for free counselling services in your location through the “Need Help?” section of the Gambling Help website- http://gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/

Wishing you all the best,
Counsellor Sam

Did you find
this useful?