It can happen to anyone
Hi my name is Mary and I am a compulsive gambler. I am 60 years old and have been married for 31 years to a wonderful man and I have 2 grown wonderful sons. My life was very happy before I started gambling. I had to quit working in 2008 because of some health issues, I had worked all my life and I loved working. After being off for a little while, I became bored and lonely because everyone I knew was still working.
In 2010 a casino came into our area and most people were very excited as was I. I later learned that I was what they call an escape gambler. So I started going to the casino to pass the time. The slot machines became my best friend or so it seemed. Well we weren’t rich so I had to find ways to fuel my addiction. After about 1 year, I knew I had a problem and tried to stop many times but my life just kept spiraling out of control.. I had payday loans, car title loans, credit cards maxxed out, and the worst thing that I am most ashamed of today is I opened credit cards in both my sons names. I know what kind of mother does that when they profess to love there kids so much? Well I did and in November 2013 my husband and kids found out about all the lies and dishonest things I had done. I sought out GA and counseling and my family stood by me. I haven’t gambled for 4 months and I faithfully go to 2 GA meetings a week and counseling 1 day a week.
My life is becoming a little normal again but believe me I was devastated at how I had hurt the very people I have loved so much. I considered suicide at the time but I am so glad I turned for help instead. My children and I are in some ways closer than before and we are rebuilding some trust. I think that is the hardest for anyone to understand; how you can do the things you did and tell the lies that you told to the people who mean the most to you. I still don’t understand how good people can do such horrible things when they are gambling. I am fortunate to have raised such loving kids because I could have gone to prison for fraud, or lost my family, or both!
I keep a list of everyone I hurt and the money spent in my computer just in case I ever get the notion that it wasn’t that bad or thinking “i’m cured” I never want to see the hurt and disapointment in there eyes again. I have forgiven myself enough so that I can focus on my recovery. This is a horrible addiction. I gave a speech at our county commissioners meeting the other day to try to let people know that there is help out there and if you put in the work that you can get better. I am enjoying my life again.