My Gambling Story - Miss Candice M.

by Candice
(New Albany IN USA)

My addictions started way back in the beginning of 2003, and has yet to cease from existing. It started out being with alcohol - with that came drugs, though I have never shot up dope. With that no longer an issue due to the NA program that I still am going to (I'm in with Step 2) drugs are no longer a thrill as they once were.

Now what is: gambling, I have put myself in debt with my bank several times, and want to use every spare dollar for a scratch off ticket that may or may not pay out, though I still have the desire to take that chance.

I have had a boyfriend for 3 yrs off and on again many times, and every time we have had a falling out over my behaviors - lying - cheating - and stealing. These are the only 3 things that he requires me not to do, and yet I find that through this addiction I am doing most of those listed, the lying and stealing. Most recently I have been caught trying to get into his drawer where he keeps his access change that until I came around he had up to hundreds of dollars saved through his doing this. Now he cannot keep around a few dollars without having to worry, and rightly so.

I am going mad within myself to figure out how to support my addiction and try my hardest to pull one over without getting caught, but since this behavior is being closely monitored I can no longer do this successfully. So instead of just letting the disease die with the failed efforts I in turn go out of my way to find my hidden check book and write a bad check for money in order to gamble.

In the beginning of the now on again relationship I let him know everything up front - about how I cannot handle my money properly - that I am in debt with my bank due to my gambling about every nickle I had gotten
last month and lost at the casino. With that revealed to him I handed over my debit card and check books that very day. Now with me not knowing where they are is driving me up the wall because I want to spend money I don't have - write a bad check in hopes that it will be covered in time with the money that automatically comes in. I am beside myself with this gambling thing.

My thoughts on the 12 step program are this - I know that they won't work because of my failed attempts to work them with this ever growing problem. I put in the effort, but this still does not keep me from doing just one that turns into many.

I have lost over at least $1,000 this year alone. This is progressive, fatal, and compulsive for me, and I don't want to lose another attempt at the only good relationship I have ever had because of this disease. I am begging you for individual help and attention with this please. Because I have done what has been suggested with getting someone to think for me and handing over my access to my account, but that still hasn't changed my wanting to gamble. I do my best to just make it through the day without trying to get into his change or searching feverishly for my checks.

Just the other day I snuck so carefully to his side of the bed and tried to get into his drawer to fish out some change to go get a scratch off, with which I failed as the whole drawer about fell to the floor. That, needless to say, didn't go over well as I tried to come up with a lie to explain to him why I was there in the first place.

Due to all of this I am running along very thin ice and very little patience with him once again, and I don't want to lose him due to my stupidity.
Is there anything that I can do besides steps in this matter?

Comments for My Gambling Story - Miss Candice M.

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Nov 04, 2012
Please Don't Give Up NEW
by: Mark

Hi Shannon - Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. I'm no expert, but from my personal experience, I think it makes sense for your to try to get to a G.A. (Gambler's Anonymous) meeting as soon as you can. It may help you to resist the temptation to gamble when you get your next paycheck. Sharing with people who struggle with similar challenges can help you get through one day at a time.

Second, to start to address the pain you struggle with that leads you to escape to gambling, seeing a personal therapist can truly be a live-saver. Most states allow you to get 6-8 free therapy sessions, and if you have medical insurance, you can continue treatment past that for a minimal cost.

When things are really bad, even just focusing on one hour at a time can go a long way. All the best, and please to let us know how you're doing!

Nov 03, 2012
Nowhere else to turn-Casino NEW
by: Shannon

Gambling is my refuge from life. I basically work just so I can gamble. I feel like stopping is an option. If I stop I will be depressed, O.K. if I go to the Casino and loose every cent I have in 14 days when I get paid I will have more money. During that 14 days I am busy hustling up money pay bills I neglected to pay and I guess that is better than laying around on the couch thinking about all the painful things I suppress daily. O.K if I don't go to the Casino I will be depressed, lonely, sad, neglected, used and abused everyday with no end in sight. I no longer blame other people and I take full responsibilty for my actions. I need to feel good and gambling makes me feel good the only problem is I need
more money and no one else in my household has income so everybody is depending on me my husband, my childern, my grown daughter, and her kids are all basically waiting on me to get my act together so they can mooch off me and I am letting them down sound like I have a little resentment-huh. Seriously I need to stop before I start doing things i should not be doing to support my addiction.

Feb 27, 2012
Getting Help NEW
by: Mark

Hi Candice - Thank you very much for sharing your story. I can understand (as much as a non-gambler can) your struggle. My own experience with seeing my wife struggle with her gambling addiction really helped me to learn a lot about the disease of gambling.

As I've noted on this site, I'm not an expert or professional on the subject of problem gambling, and certainly not qualified to give professional advice. However, from what I've learned, I can strongly encourage you to seek out a therapist who can work with you one-on-one.

Professionals say that there's virtually always reasons why people seek escape by using drugs, alcohol, or by gambling, and uncovering and treating those pains is the most effective way to really help yourself and to find peace within yourself. If you can take that journey, it will ultimately help you, and as a result, will help to improve your relationship as well.

Please read the Help With Gambling Addiction
section about Therapy for more details.

As for GA, I have heard stories from people for whom GA has saved them, while it has done nothing for others. Ultimately, going certainly is unlikely to hurt you, however, it is my unprofessional opinion that without individual therapy, even if GA can help you to not gamble, it won't help you truly recover. That said, until you find a good therapist, I would encourage you to stick with GA, and to get a sponsor. Stick with it for a year or so before determining that it can't help you.

Hopefully you have health insurance that can cover most of the cost of therapy. If not, many states offer about 8 free sessions for problem gamblers. Although that's not enough to really get into the recovery process, it's a start, and you can often get approval for additional free sessions.

The good news is that by understanding that you're gambling is a problem in your life, and reaching out for help, you're already on your way to beginning the recovery process. Many people never get there at all before it's too late. Keep pushing forward in that vein, and don't give up! Please report back and let us know what you end up doing, and how you're doing. All the best.

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