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Lanie's Hope

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.


  1. Bea AikensApril 9, 2014 at 7:57 pmReplyAuthor

    Dear Mary,
    I am SO GLAD that you have found a path to recovery! Thank you for having the courage to share your story with Lanie’s Hope AND the county commissioners! That was BIG!!
    I once heard someone say “the problem with gamblers in recovery is that they are so ANONYMOUS that they’re INVISIBLE!” If the world can’t see us, they don’t know the problem of gambling addiction even exists and that RECOVERY is possible.
    One Day at a Time:)

  2. Herby BellMay 17, 2014 at 10:02 amReply


    Your words and genuine, heartfelt desire to enjoy your life again are profoundly inspiring.

    Thank you for bringing to light this devastating brain disorder and how it is very possible to recover and thrive.

    • Bea AikensMay 31, 2014 at 8:52 pmReplyAuthor

      Thank you for your encouraging words to Mary! When we dare to be authentic and share the challenges AND victorious, we connect at a beautiful authentic level. This is what community is all about!
      Welcome to the Lanie’s Hope community Herby and thank you for sharing!

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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
Contact Info
Lanie's Hope
P.O. Box 60214
Boulder City, NV 89006
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