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A Second Chance At Life

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:14 am
by Administrator
Recovering Gambler–Timothy

My story isn’t unique. As a matter of fact it’s quite common. I gambled until I was so addicted that I lied to friends and family, stole money from my job and almost committed suicide. You are probably saying to yourself: “that isn’t common, that’s crazy!!”. Let me start from the beginning and maybe it will make more sense to you...
I started gambling when I was about 11 or 12 years old, playing 25 cent poker at a friends house. I loved the feeling of going home with more money than I went with. It didn’t happen often but, when it did, it was euphoric.
I did this all through junior high and high school with the dollar amounts gradually increasing over the years. I moved to Florida when I was in my early twenties and was instantly drawn to 2 things; Casino cruises and scratch off tickets. I loved video poker and high dollar scratch offs.
For several years things seemed okay. I had a good job and excelled at it, I was married, I had a lot of friends. Simply put, life was good.
I first realized that things were becoming a problem when I started calling in to work so I could go on the day cruises. I would not tell my wife or anyone else and I would have to get back home faster than her so she would never suspect anything. I was also buying large amounts of tickets almost everyday. I would sometimes go to 3 or 4 stores and buy hundreds of dollars in tickets in an afternoon and scratch them off in a vacant parking lot somewhere so no one would see me. Sometimes I would catch myself scratching them off while I was driving down the road because I couldn't wait to get to a secluded spot.
Still think my story is unique or crazy? Nah, read on…
Passing bad checks became a regular occurrence as I was allowed to write checks for tickets at some stores. Casino cruise visits became more frequent and I started “borrowing” money from work in order to stay in action. This went on for a couple of years and all this time, no one knew the extent of my problem, not even my wife.
Finally after years of gambling (5 of which were compulsive), stealing from anyone, lying to everyone, pushing away friends and family, I decided I was going have one last gambling binge and end my life. I was going to jump from the balcony at a casino and finally stop the pain I was feeling and had caused so many people.
Well, I am writing this so I obviously didn’t go through with it. I got help by calling a number that connected me with resources. It was a tough call to make but it was also the best thing I have ever done. I haven't gambled in 8 years.
Still think I am unique? Maybe you should ask one of the millions of other problem gamblers in the United States. They’ll tell you….