It’s hard living up to expectations of others and even harder to admit when gambling is controlling your life. Facing up to the truth and acknowledging what is really going on is one of the first steps to dealing with gambling addiction. Below is a story I recently received from Anon…
I have been gambling for approx 4 years now. It started small but as time has passed the amount I gambled has exceeded a lot more than what I can afford. I know its bad when I have to lie to my parents about where my wage has gone when secretly I have either gambled it or paying of debt from gambling. I estimate in 4 years I have probably gambled $80K if not more……Sure I’ve had some great wins but certainly not won back anywhere near the $80k I’ve spent. As a teenager growing up I was always such a role model – I would hate for anyone to be following in my shoes right now! Tonight is the night i will turn my life around.
What starts out as a bit of fun and some wins, can lead you down the slippery slope of financial and emotional ruin. What encourages me about Anon’s letter is the ackowledgement that they were once a role model. You know, with what Anon is facing now by taking steps to address this problem indicates to me he/she still has all those qualities.
Gambling is often a symptom of something lying in our subconscious we don’t want to think about, I could be wrong but after 5 years of working with gamblers and witnessing my mum and ex partner’s behaviour, I understand that most people who gamble are trying to cover up their sadness or anger, or escape and ignore what is really troubling them.
I hope Anon will seek out a counsellor who may be able to better support him/her in controlling gambling. Friends and family can be great but often they don’t get it. Cousellors do! As for the lost money, it’s important to accept (though it is hard) that it’s gone and we can rarely win it back.
Build on your strengths, look forward and tackle this problem head on.
Check out the Gambling Helpline website for information on counsellors in your area. It’s free and confidential – click here – http://www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/GamblingHelp/HelpNearYou/Search.aspx
I have a sense that in time with determination, some support and self belief Anon will be OK.