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Lanie's Hope

Hopeless, Helpless, Worthless

Hopeless, Helpless, Worthless

despair white woman in hoodie Those are the words that describe how I feel after another night at the casino. Unless, of course, I win and then I’m on top of the world until I sink it all back into the slot machines. I am a 60 year old female who discovered slot machines 4 years ago. I never gambled before that point in my life. Today, after only 5 years of marriage, my spouse has had enough. He’s paid my payday loans for 4 years and the amount is staggering. I’ve transferred money into my account from his in order to play the slot machines. I lie about my whereabouts. I’ve pawned my wedding ring for gambling money. While visiting my mother, I pawned some of her jewelry for gambling money. I’ve lost every member of my family (8 siblings), 3 children, and my spouse due to gambling not to mention countless friends. I haven’t a penny to my name and my husband told me to leave. I have no money for gas and no where to go. I’m sure this is all sounding familar to anyone who is a compulsive gambler.  

Why do people tell me it just takes self-control? If it were that easy I would have stopped a long time ago. I’ve thought about suicide but having been raised Catholic, I would go straight to hell. Of course, I’m living in hell right now. My gambling is out of control as is my life. I actually sneak out of the house at 2:00am and drive 30 minutes to the casino. I have been on a downward spiral for quite some time. I keep digging my hole deeper and deeper. It’s just about deep enough for my body! i hate myself and want help. Without trust in a relationship you have nothing. Too many promises broken to ever expect forgiveness. So many people don’t understand that addiction is a terminal disease that one can recover from but never be cured. It’s a constant battle. I feel that I have lost all control over the addiction. I need help, I want help, I can’t live like this anymore. Unfortunately neither can my husband and so I’m going to have to learn how survive. He said I love the slot machines more than him. It’s not true, I just feel like the addiction is running and ruining my life. I am taking a medication for RLS which I read causes comppulsive gambling!!! Anyone else heard of this? Maybe my insurance will pay for a treatment cener. Since this is a 2nd marriage for both of us, our children are not “ours.” He told his children today about our situation. There is no going back now. My life is over as I know it. However, there’s only one way up when you’re at ZERO.


  1. Bea AikensJuly 17, 2014 at 5:46 pmReplyAuthor

    Dear Hopeless, helpless, worthless,
    I wish I knew your name as you are so much more than how you feel right now. These are not labels that you have to continue to wear.
    I too have struggled with a gambling addiction and am grateful for the freedom from the bet that I experience today.
    I felt what you’re feeling, and your story took me back to those horrible days. It DOES pass….if you reach out for help!
    Life does get better…even when it seems there is no way out. You suffer from the disease of gambling disorder. Getting beyond this hell you’re living in requires help. It’s a phone call away! Please contact the National Gamblers Helpline at 1-800-522-4700. They have professional counselors who can talk with you right away and refer you to groups within your area where you will find others who have experienced exactly what you’re experience. The good news is, they’ve come out the other side of it to live a life free from the bet.
    Please, please, reach out for help!
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers,

  2. Kathy BJuly 19, 2014 at 4:58 amReply

    You are not alone. I felt hopeless, helpless, and worthless for many years before going to my first Gambler’s Anonymous meeting. I spent paycheck after paycheck. Reaching out for help is full of courage and strength. You are stronger than you think. Call the National Gambler’s Helpline and talk to one of the counselors there. You are worthy of living a happy, joyous and free life. You are added to my prayer list and I hope you find your way to a better way of life for you. Reaching out like this was a huge step to take and I hope you continue to reach out for help.
    With lots of love and respect,

  3. Scott SchmidtJuly 19, 2014 at 5:43 amReply

    Dear Hopeless

    Your journey will start at a g.a meeting you will discover that you are not worthless nor are you helpless you are powerless and that is the first step. The excuses we all made for our disease are all too common but much like Diabetes or. HIV you can arrest and manage this disease One Day at a Time ..Remember the lengths you have gone to place the bet must be replaced with the lengths you will go to get help ..It is available and I know you are worth it

    Scott S

  4. Margie McCahillJuly 19, 2014 at 11:05 pmReply

    WOW – your story sounds all to familiar. The lying, stealing, virtually anything for a gambling fix. I finally received the help I needed and am living a “slot” free life. It took me a long time to get to this point. Never stop believing in yourself. You can do it. It’s time to get out of hell.

  5. Hopeless Helpless WorthlessJuly 21, 2014 at 9:12 amReply

    I want to thank you for your responses, encouragement and prayers. I attended my first GA meeting on Saturday and feel like there is HOPE. One Day At A Time… I can only learn from yesterday, live for today and HOPE for tomorrow. I never understood the power of addiction. I was one of many people who believed it was just a matter of self-control. I have never felt so powerless in my entire life and now understand the true meaning of the word “addiction.” It is a horrible disease. It leaves nothing but devastation in its wake. With GA I feel I’ve been given another chance. I can do this. I will overcome this addiction with the help of my Higher Power and others. I was amazed at how many people began to reach out to me once I decided to get help. I hope one day I can give back and help others who are living in hell because of a gambling disorder. I am now feeling hopeful. Thank you again for your kind words.

    • Bea AikensJuly 21, 2014 at 1:17 pmReplyAuthor

      This is WONDERFUL news! I am SO glad you have reached out for help and have founded a recovery program! Isn’t it amazing what a difference a few days and a whole lot of caring people can make?:) So now we will call you “HOPEFUL!”
      God Bless you One Day at a TIME!!!

  6. HOPEFULJuly 21, 2014 at 10:23 pmReply

    Dear Bea,

    Thank you for your encouragement. I will beat this addiction and hope to give back in any way I can. Please let me know what I can do to help others with this disease. You are amazing and I commend you for all your work. ONE DAY AT A TIME!


  7. Shelley L.July 27, 2014 at 9:57 amReply


    So nice to see your name and not the words by which you characterized yourself. My name is Shelley. Your story is a metaphor for my own. I, too, felt hopeless, helpless, and unworthy. Today I feel hopeful, helpful, and definitely worthy. Please know, or, at least take it on faith that it will get easier. Although I still face challenges, today I enjoy a life unlike any I could ever imagine. Stay strong, stay hopeful and stay connected!

    Shelley L.

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A Compelling and Passionate Speaker
Bea Aikens couples her personal experience with extensive knowledge of the disease of compulsive gambling to build a compelling platform for civic, community and national organizations seeking knowledge and understanding of the disease of disordered gambling. To engage Bea for your upcoming event, contact her at
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Lanie's Hope
P.O. Box 60214
Boulder City, NV 89006
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