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Lanie's Hope

Suicide seemed like the only way out from gambling addiction

Lost in my Gambling Addiction
Tammy P

November 12, 2012
I awoke in the hospital and l remembering looking over and seeing my son. I thought I was dead, because I had not seen him in over three months yet we live less than five miles from each other. Earlier that week all my lies had finally caught up with me. I hated myself and no longer wanted to live. I have only one child and had no relationship with him due to my gambling addiction. If I didn’t have him, I though, I have nothing. My gambling addiction was so out of control that I would look in the mirror and not even recognize myself. I was on high blood pressure medications because my blood pressure was so high due to the stress. I was lying, cheating stealing, whatever I could do to get the money to go and gamble and it was all coming to an end. I could not take the pressure of my actions. I had been found out by friends. My shame was so great. I needed an escape and I thought dying was the best solution.

I came home from my counseling appointment that day and decided I couldn’t do this anymore. I had no control over my gambling addiction. I wrote letters to my son and a few friends apologizing for my actions over the past few years. I remember thinking my son deserved a better mother than me. I thought he had a great wife and two beautiful children and he would be all right without me. I had hurt so many people in my life, some that do not even know yet about my addiction. I remember thinking before I closed my eyes on that day, after taking 110 pills that I was scared and I didn’t want to die. I thought it was too late. I had taken all those pills and I was going to die. I didn’t even get to tell my son I loved him, only through a letter. Well as I closed my eyes I felt I was finally going to get some peace, something I had not had in my life in a long time.

I looked over and there was my son, I had died. I had to be heaven since that would be the only way I would ever see him again. I fell back to sleep and woke a day later. When I finally awoke the doctor asked me what day it was and I didn’t know. I could tell I was in a hospital but not which hospital. I knew I had survived. I do not know how, but I did. There is a reason why God let me live. To tell my story.

After coming home from the hospital and resting for a few days. I decided I was going to take recovery seriously this time. I was going to fight this disease with everything I had in me. I was going to reach out to the people out there who could help me, like my GA members, friends who would understand, and my son.

I survived. It has not been an easy road, but it has been well worth it. I am getting better ever day. I have met people I would have never met had I not reached my lowest point. I am grateful to not be gambling. I am grateful to be ALIVE!

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  1. Sharon EggertJanuary 22, 2013 at 11:47 amReply

    I am glad that you did not suceed in your attempt to comit sucicide. This addiction took me all the way to prison and that was not enough to make me stop completely, I dabbled for several months and found out in a hurry that gambling was all consuming for me and reached out for help/
    I now have 90 days clean time again and sometimes I still feel that the only solution is to take my life so this demon will leave me. Thank you for having the courage to blog about your problem.

    • Bea Goodwin AikensFebruary 6, 2013 at 4:53 pmReplyAuthor

      Thank YOU Sharon and may you continue to experience the gifts of recovery! Please continue to reach for the tools of recovery and, if you have an urge to harm yourself seek professional help, call the National Gamblers Helpline (800)-565-2112 OR call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. You are not alone. Please, please, please SEEK HELP! Do not seek a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem! Life gets better. One day at a time!

  2. CathyMarch 7, 2013 at 10:25 amReply

    “INTOLERANCE OF MY PRESENT SITUATION WILL CREATE MY FUTURE” I had to stop my insane gambling before I destroyed myself, my dear Mother and my 2 little doggies. So I am I have gotten help. I spend time on help sites like this one. I am working with my bank to not have access to my banking accts. Cut up cards and etc etc. All this does not take away from my depression and sadness about what I have done to myself and my family over the last 18 years. I think it would be easy to end it but then I laugh and think that I would have to face my Lord and Savour and then my Dad abd Brother and Sister in heaven who surely know what I have done and why I am dead. So I guess what ever happens I am for the first time stopping. 4 days and counting. So ev1 fight the good fight and do not go gently into that good night because even my depressed day of repairing my life is still better than all the gambling days I ever had. Cathy

  3. DominicJuly 27, 2013 at 1:41 pmReply

    Hi all first ever post, I am a GA have been 4 along time but over the last 6 years it has got completely out of control. Lost everything now including house wife three children and everyone who has ever known me. Just about keeping my job which is the only thing that keeps me sane and safe. I am starting to question my existence it’s so scary. I can’t believe how (sic) hard this is. Great posts btw a real honest site glad I found it

    • Bea AikensJuly 31, 2013 at 5:39 pmReplyAuthor

      We are so glad that you are at least reaching out and acknowledging a problem! Gambling addiction can be a devastating problem. Help IS available. It’s important to reach out to support programs, 12 step programs, a counselor and those who understand and can help. We urge you to seek support! Toll free help line numbers are on our website resources page. Please keep us posted and know that you are not alone!

  4. RazOctober 1, 2013 at 4:04 pmReply

    After reading your story I am full of tears, I am also GA my wife is 8 months pragnent with 3rd child and I do not have a penny in my bank account…I am steeling money at my work to gamble..I will soon be caught and will be behind the bar.. I hate myself for not giving time and money to my family…I only have one option left to commit a sueside no one ever been to jail in my entire family so I have decided GOOD BYE everyone!!!

    • Bea AikensOctober 1, 2013 at 10:15 pmReplyAuthor

      SUICIDE PREVENTION HELPLINE AT at 1-800-273-8255

      Dear Raz,
      If you’ve read my story…then you must know how your actions would impact your wife and children! My story moved you to tears…I can only surmise that you wouldn’t want your family to feel the pain and loss I have experienced as have countless others who have lost loved ones due to a gambling-related overdose.

      Raz, I don’t even know you, and I care enough to have reached out to hotmail and the suicide prevention hotline in an effort to find your number and call you. I was unable to find any alternative way of reaching you, so I am doing so in this public forum. Please know that your life matters…to me…a complete stranger…and surely to your friends and family.

      Gambling Addiction takes us to places we would never have believed. It strains relationships and breaks our spirit. I hear of despair and shame from compulsive gamblers as they first enter recovery..AND…I also get to hear those same people speak of renewed hope, mending relationships, and a sense of peace once they get help and stop gambling. A better life can be yours with the help of a gambling treatment or 12-step program like Gamblers Anonymous. But that can only happen if you stick around for the miracles to happen. I don’t know the status of your personal relationships, but if you’re like most compulsive gamblers, they are likely to be strained. They cannot be mended if you take your life. With help and recovery, relationships improve and life feels worth living again.

      I IMPLORE YOU…do not make a decision that is irreversible. You are in the grip of a progressive illness. Your actions are the result of your addiction thinking for you. Please know that, so long as your drawing breath, there is hope for a better life. NOTHING is worth your life. Help is available. PLEASE, PLEASE,PLEASE CALL THE SUICIDE PREVENTION HELPLINE AT at 1-800-273-8255.

  5. TammyOctober 1, 2013 at 11:08 pmReply

    Dear Raz,
    I have your story and I know the pain you are feeling. I have been there. I was so ashamed of my actions. How could I have done the things I did. The disease had taken over me and my life. But I am so happy everyday that I survived. It has been just over a year and I am in such a better place know. I am so glad to be alive. It has not been the easiest year of my life but it the year I am most grateful for because I am alive. I have friends and family who care about me and want only the best for me. Please reach out to the suicide prevention hotline and the GA hotline. I know both of them would be of help to you right now, in what seems to be your lowest point. I believe your family and friends care about you, and would want only the best for you. I know that God was looking down on me and gave me the strength I needed to move forward and be where I am right now. It will get better, I can promise you that. Please just reach out to GA or the Suicide prevention hotline and ask for help there is someone there who will help you. I do know your pain and I can tell you it will get better, just reach out and ask for help, it is there. I know it seems like I keep repeating myself but PLEASE just reach out and ask for help and it will be there.

  6. HeatherOctober 1, 2013 at 11:09 pmReply

    Good for you for reaching out. I understand how suicide can seem like the best choice when someone is feeling so desperate, but I promise you, you have more and better options than this.

    It sounds like you have some very painful reasons to want to give up, but also some very real reasons to want to continue living. My hunch is that there is a part of you that wants to live because you reached out here. It is very clear how much you love and care for your family.

    I say this as someone who has considered suicide and someone who has lost important people in my life to suicide. I say this as a loved one of someone who has a gambling problem who survived a suicide attempt. No matter how bad things may be and feel, your family wants you to stay alive. You matter. You matter to them and you matter to the people here on this website.

    There is help and hope. I pray that you call the number Bea posted for you 1-800-273-8255. I also really hope you will let the people on this site know how to contact you. Go to the first GA meeting you can to get support there as well. You will need all the help and support you can get. And you deserve it. You deserve to live and have a chance at recovery, to love you family and watch your children grow up. That all goes away if you die Raz. As long as you are alive, there is hope. I will be praying for you tonight.


  7. Linda FlattOctober 2, 2013 at 3:32 pmReply

    Dear Raz,
    I want to echo everything the others have said after your post. You have reached out to folks who understand your personal circumstances and care about you and your family. As a mom who lost her son by suicide (he also was gambling), I would ask you to please access the resources on the GA hotline and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They can help you choose other options that will keep you safe. You are in my prayers.


  8. BrianAugust 27, 2016 at 7:46 amReply

    Im 41 years old, and since around March 2014 I have been frequently going to the local casinos. This is a new bad development and even though I dont spend 1000’s of dollars I know that I have certainly lost enough money to say that I am an addict. The machines just excite the hell out of me and I can’t seem to get there fast enough and the day or night before going always seems to feel the same way as a child feels the night before Christmas day. Its a terrible addiction. My relationship with my folks has become more and more dysfunctional. A friend that I have known for more than 20 years can hardly believe what I am doing and yet I just can’t seem to stop going. I’m not married and have no kids and perhaps that’s a good thing considering what im doing. One reason why I do go is because I am lonely and have very few friends and even very few acquaintances. I have socially isolated before going to the casino for years because I get so much fear and anxiety whenever I leave my home to go anywhere and the casino seems like the safest place for me to go to since there is so much security there. Also it has opened up one social avenue to me that I seem to desperately need. I do go to gambling counciling but it feels it isn’t making me stop going to the casino. Life is becoming more and more hopeless….I dont want to die but I certainly feel that I dont know how much longer I can cope with life…..

  9. MikeJanuary 24, 2017 at 8:47 pmReply

    It’s an absolute shame that these organizations that exploit weaknesses are making easy money. The saddest part is, those *%4!ers don’t know what it’s like to earn a euro. They sit behind a desk and get paid money and are hungry for more. I wish to god all online gambling is banned and that law suits wipe the bastards out every dime they got.

  10. HopeFebruary 8, 2017 at 9:33 pmReply

    My friend – catch your self before things get worse. It seems you are still at the beginning of a very nasty addiction that for sure will take over your whole life and can leave you homeless. I am the mother of an addict who lost his house, his wife his kids and so much of our money that he will send us to the poor house at our old age after all our years of hard work. I will not talk about the mental agony and suffering that he put all the people who love him through,because if I start ,I won’t be able to stop. The point is he can’t stop after all his loses.You seem to be at the beginning of this ugly road, so try to stop get some help. Try to fill the void in your life with something good – maybe volunteer for a charity. Even though not as exciting as the casinos, they give instead of talking everything from you including your dignity.

  11. Audra JohnsonDecember 2, 2017 at 1:30 pmReply

    I have a gambling problem and i cant stop I dont what to do Its ruining me and my family😥😥😥

  12. MarshaFebruary 28, 2018 at 6:31 pmReply

    I completely understand everyone’s pain who had written on this site I have been gambling for 18 years and lost everything but my house and car (which I may lose my car bc I have a title loan on it) I’ve lost all of my retirement…money I’ve made over my working years .. in excess of numbers I can’t even bring myself to type out. . Getting out of bed everyday is a struggle knowing I’ve throw away my golden years. I also have considered suicide but don’t want to hurt my family more than I already have. I don’t owe family/friends but my bank acct is in the negative and I have several loans out… chasing the loses. I don’t feel a desire to gamble today only bc I’m despondent over my situation. I’m 58 years old and there’s no way I can earn this kind of money back by working. I don’t have enough years left to work. This is an unforgiving illness. The shame, guilt, depression, self-loathing, embarrassment, etc (the adjectives could go on forever) that this illness creates is excruciatingly painful. I’m not sure what my future holds but it isn’t looking good…. I get furious over how casinos are allowed to prey on gambling addicts. Not that I don’t take responsibility for my actions, bc I do, but they should have better policies in place to assist the people with gambling problems. I feel I’m rambling, which I am, but there’s just so much to say about this horrible and life destroying problem. I hope to never enter a casino again but sometimes I feel what difference does it make at this point in my life. I wish for everyone else who is struggling to be bet free and live a life that is much better than you can ever attain by spending countless days/nights in a casino. It is a vicious cycle and I pray for that cycle to be broken for everyone who is suffering. I’m at a crossroad and I hope I make a smart decision.

  13. Phil B.September 17, 2018 at 9:03 pmReply

    I am a Christian who has become so addicted to gambling that I’ve ruined my finances and destroyed my witness.

    So many do not understand this disease, that i don’t know where to turn to for help.

    Any suggestions?

    • Bea AikensSeptember 30, 2018 at 8:41 pmReplyAuthor

      Phil, Have you tried Celebrate Recovery in your area? Or, a 12-step recovery group? It makes all the difference! Plus find a Certified Problem Gambling Counselor in your area. I don’t know what state you’re in, but many states have subsidized counseling at little or no cost. Please keep us posted on how you’re doing! I too am a Christian, and, I don’t think you really can “destroy your witness.” God already knows us and he knows our nature. His love is not based on our deeds. You know this my friend. And…you are never alone. God Bless you!

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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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