I have never written a post like this on an open forum, but i hope this helps someone out there and also myself. I have been gambling from the age of 18 and now 29. It started like most gambling does. Small amounts with friends at a pub. Pokies, sports or horses.
A few weeks after turning 18 in 2008, I was gambling 5-10 bucks max in total while with mates. One night I hit a feature and won 300 or so dollars on a machine from 2 dollars and a 30 cent bet and from there I was addicted. From then on it increased to putting 20 dollar notes in, then 50s, then multiple 50s within 12 months. It turned from gambling with mates and having a beer to gambling by myself when my mates were there and also after they left. I found myself going out and not even spending time with mates and just pressing buttons with a screen in front of me. Even had friends tell me to come join them instead or gambling. But I was hooked without even thinking of it.
5 years on it was getting to the point that I was going to pubs or where ever to just play pokies or place bets on TAB. Also I had started to place bets online with betting Apps. The combination of all of them resulted in me never having a savings and just have a constant debt. Up to $18000 at one stage.
I meet my now fiancée in 2014. Date now is March 2019. I first told her about 12 months ago, after a night of heavy drinking and gambling. I was a wreak and broke down in front of her. I had never admitted to anyone I had an issue. Between that time and know didn’t gamble for about 4 months. Then slowly but surely it came back. When ever I was at a pub with mates I was gambling. At least $250 to $750 at a time. Digging myself deeper, knowing I am not telling my partner was the most horrible feeling. Trying to act like nothing was wrong each time I would come home. Not sleeping and feeling like I’m letting both of us down and not being honest with her. Having something that you do not have control over is such a horrible thing to admit too.
I told my partner 2 weeks ago. One night she asked if i was gambling again and i had to tell her. We sat down and spoke about it all. Even though it was so upsetting to admit, it was such a relief to finally speak to her about it all. She was so supportive and understanding about it. Obviously was upset that I couldn’t just come and talk to her about it, but when it started back up i thought it was a one off time. Then it happened again. then before i knew it, it was months later and felt like I had dug myself to deep. Thinking I could gamble myself back to being ok. I was so wrong. The guilt and anxiety of not telling her early was stopping me from just coming home and admitting again i had an issue.
So I have told her. I have started reaching out to chats and forum to see what help there is out there. I am planning on seeing a face to face councillor to see how i can really break the addiction or to even have a way of it not taking over. I know there is help out there so I know i am going to be ok with both my support from my partner and also professional help.
I hope in some way this helps some out there know it ok to admit to having a addiction and ask for help. Its hard, trust me i know but its harder to go home each time knowing you have just spent all your money on something that doesn’t even for-fill you in any way except a quick dopamine hit.
Be brave and ask for help.
Thank you and will update you on how I am travelling in the future. (Apologies for any spelling and grammar mistaskes)