Anna, a mother with a young son shares her gambling story…
I have lied to my family about where I have been at night after work and my days off. After work I will go to the pub near work and gamble for about 3 hours a night, if I don’t win I will then go to the next pub and try my luck there. On my days off I would spend 7 to 8 hours in a pub or club on the pokies. I also have a 8 year old son,which I do not spend alot of time with,due to my gambling. It now has to stop as I am withdrawing money from my homeloan to feed my habit. I think over the past year I have spend hours and hours on the pokies a win here and there but spent over $90,000. I do have a great paying job, but nothing to show for it. And my poor son who never see his mother. Today is the day I stop gambling before I lose everything…
I am so glad that Anna decided to share her story. And good on her for making the decision to stop gambling. It sounds like her gambling has been taking up so much of her time, money and energy, that she and her family were all missing out.
If you really want things to be different, and are willing to make the changes necessary to bring happiness and security back to you and your family then implementing these changes will really help. You might have already had a think about what changes you would like to make, or how you plan to put them into place.
Having a plan is important and can be a great support while you make these changes. You might like to consider making plans for the times you would normally gamble (so after work and on your days off) – maybe you could book in some time to do something special with your son. Lots of people I see say that making plans ahead of time really helps as it takes away that opportunity to gamble and offers an enjoyable distraction from any urge to gamble that might pop up.
Another thing to consider might be to take the withdrawal option off your home loan so that you don’t feel the temptation to dip into it. Rearranging your finances so you don’t have such easy access to large amounts of cash can be a really useful strategy!!
If you would like to chat to someone about how you’re going with stopping gambling, or would like more tips that might help, head to www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au or phone 1800 858 858. The face-to-face, telephone and online support options are all free, confidential and non-judgemental. Remember support is available – you don’t have to do it alone.