Submit Your Own Story Here – GA Members
Below are real stories from Gamblers Anonymous members. You may recognise similarities in the stories to events in your own life. Hopefully you can get some recognition from these stories and some hope that your life can get better with the help and support of GA. You can find a meeting near you on our meetings page
Billy August 2, 2015
Hi my name is Billy and I am a compulsive gambler, this is just a little bit of my recovery.
I came back to GA 1 year and 5 weeks ago I could not take any more of my life of hell, I lost every thing due to gambling, my wife, my kids, my job my self respect. I was a broken man, I went back to ga on the 17th of march last year as I could not take any more it was so bad I tried to kill myself. I stood at my window just about to throw myself out of it but I could not do it I thought of my kids being without a father and said to myself this is it, I have to do somthing about this illness.
I went to a meeting with my best friend I was so happy when I got my feet in the door it was the best thing I ever did it saved my life. 1 year and 5 weeks on what a life I have now it has completely changed, I've got my kids back in my life, I met someone who I love very much, I never thought I would ever say this but I am really very very happy today and I owe this to GA.
Thanks to GA you really have saved my life......... Billy
Kevin August 2, 2015
Hi I first joined GA in 1999 and after 6 weeks left as I thought I was 'cured'. It took me 8 and a bit years to get back to GA and realised that it's the only answer to help me in my recovery. I have fallen of the wagon about half a dozen times since then but my personal life got a lot better. I will quickly fast forward as on Saturday there I entered the bookies and won 500 which means nothing to be honest because it's a lot more than a financial problem but the feeling I had winning was 'Emptiness'.
Based upon that I returned yesterday and in the last 24 hours have lost nearly 3000 which again shouldn't matter financially but will have implications on my future and I will have to deal with this.I am posting this thread as since Saturday I have constantly lied, went to bed without my partner every night and feel 'NUMB'. I have 3 boys who I love loads and a partner I love and adore right now I feel useless and don't feel like doing anything. I hate lying to my partner and my head is all over the place at 100 mph I didn't sleep a wink last night with crazy thoughts running through my head.
Today I read part of the GA handbook yet I couldn't stop myself from gambling. I am lying to my partner right now that I'm at work and what im having for lunch when I'm sitting in the house feeling absolute hellish. Suicidal thoughts have entered my head but I know by going to my meeting tonight and sharing these problems then my life will get better a day at a time.
I hope that this thread can help others as GA has helped me a lot I am just going through a bad period which I believe with the help of GA I will be able to overcome and arrest my illness. I will sign off now but just thought I would share how I am feeling right now and it has helped by writing this so I know by attending GA tonight it will help a hundred times more.
My name is Kevin and I'm a compulsive gambler and this is me reporting gambling which I will also report at my meeting tonight. Thanks and God bless.
Ryan August 2, 2015
Hi. My name is Ryan I am a compulsive gambler and I have no gambling to report. I have been attending GA since September 2012 and I can truly say it has changed my life. Gambling consumed my entire life all through my teenage years into my twenties. I started off as a kid playing the fruit machines in the amusements and progressed to casinos and online betting. I noticed that my bets got bigger and my desperation to find cash got bigger to feed my gambling. All I ever thought about was gambling and winning big. I became completely reckless and careless in my betting and got myself into real financial trouble. I would take money from anyone. I would manipulate people close to me to get money. I was completely ashamed of my actions and couldn't tell anyone what I was doing. I knew I was doing wrong but could not stop. I tried on many occasion to control my gambling and stop after a win but I just couldn't. I always wanted more and more. No win was ever enough for me.
As a young guy with a decent enough job I should have had a few bob in the bank to go on nights out buy my partner dinner buy myself clothes - but I didn't. My bank account was always fully overdrawn and the only time I had money in my bank was for a few hours on pay day. I must emphasis only a few hours because I literally had to gamble it. My gambling seriously affected my relationship with my girlfriend and my parents. They could never understand why I was always rooked and upset. I took out loan after loan credit card after credit card. I would take any amount of money without considering how I could pay it back. I always believed I would get MY big win.
As a 20 year old I had debts which equated to nearly double my yearly salary. My monthly salary did not cover my repayments and that did not stop me from gambling my wages. I got so deep into gambling and so deep in lies and mental pain that I cracked. I told my girlfriend all about the money I had spent and about my gambling. She told me I needed help. I knew she was right so tried GA one day. I went to two meetings that day and at that time did not believe I was like the people in those rooms. I believed I was ok and could control my gambling alone. I used my skills of persuasion and manipulation to tell my girlfriend that I did not need GA. I was wrong.
I managed a couple of months at a time free from gambling but always reverted back to Ryan the gambler if I had the opportunity. Lies followed after each bet and I was still within my vicious circle. I got married in 2012 and had a sudden moment of realisation. I realised that I had a compulsion to gamble and that it was affecting me mentally. I opened up fully to my good lady and left no stone unturned. I knew that I had to speak to people who would understand the way I lived my life people who had similar experiences and had turned their lives around for the good.
I built up the courage to go to GA again and face my problems. At my first meeting in Paisley I was advised to make sure I return the following week. I did return and listened intently to the people around me. I knew something was wrong with me and I was willing to listen and learn. I looked around the room and saw happy people who looked to me as though they were living a peaceful content life away from gambling and that was what I wished for. I knew I was in the right place this time around.
My journey in recovery so far has been really challenging and emotionally draining although I must say I feel so privileged to have found GA and to have been shown how to recover as a compulsive gambler. I have brought honesty into my life and work ethic. I abstained from gambling for 14 months let my guard down on one occasion and had a bet. Since then I have learned from that experience and abstained from gambling for 7 months. My relationship has improved so much and I have gained trust from my wife who supports me immensely. On my own I was helpless and gambling controlled me.
As a member of GA I am in recovery and currently live a productive happy life free from gambling. I am learning more and more about my illness and learning how to progress as a person.
Thanks GA for giving me my life back I wish everyone well.
Johnpaul August 2, 2015
My name is Johnpaul and I am a compulsive gambler. I have been without a bet and attending meetings for 4 weeks now. As a young trainee chef at 16 I placed my first bet a few of the lads in work brought coupons in and would put the bet on for me. I thought this was great, your telling me I can win hundreds and thousands from a £1 stake picking out some winners - Easy!
Well now almost fifteen years later in much the same way I have risen through the ranks of my vice ridden trade so did the stakes and inevitably I hit rock bottom, and in doing so the penny finally dropped (ironic really, as I no longer have one to my name).
I have a very serious problem and I need help. I understand how fortunate I am to still at this moment have my family but I would say the biggest thing I have taken from Gamblers Anonymous so far would be the knowledge I now have, and understanding that I am seconds and one bet from losing everything I hold dear. So just for today, I will not gamble.
One day that's all I have no need to think ahead I want Gamblers Anonymous to be a part of my life forever but better still I want it today.
If anyone is reading this and are nervous about attending their first meeting. don't be! If I had to describe Gamblers Anonymous in one word for me it would be sanctuary, if you were to go around members at a meeting they would probably all have a different word but they all have the same meaning if you are a compulsive gambler
Gamblers Anonymous is the place to be. I am very early in my recovery but would like to thank my family friends and my new friends in the Gamblers Anonymous for their continued support.
Allan August 2, 2015
I had to go back to the fellowship after having crazy few years hooked on the roulette machine whilst working away from home, these machines nearly had myself walking into Loch Lomond after spending nearly £10,000 in a matter of 3-4 days.
My life was in turmoil and after calling the helpline at 12am I was given advice which saved my life, I have now been bet free for 3 months with thanks to Port Glasgow, Clydebank, Dumbarton, Patrick and Erskine meetings it's been very good for my whole outlook in life.
I'm typing this out in Gdansk as I have a new job overseas but once I'm home I will go to my meetings and have daily contact with members via FaceTime on iPhone or texts from other members to help me overcome this illness which causes so much damage to oneself and families ripped apart due to the craziness of the FOBT roulette machines.
I explained to my mum and dad that all numbers on roulette wheel add up to 666 which is associated with the occult and my mum said that anything to do with the numbers 666 will destroy you. These machines are the crack cocaine of the betting world so addictive and help is only a phone call away and the members of the fellowship give the best advice better to is COMPULSIVE GAMBLERS and don't be shy or afraid if you need help you will be surprised at how helpful other members are to help with this illness.
Thanks to Gamblers Anonymous my life has got better and I'm proud to say at a meeting I'm Allan, compulsive gambler no gambling to report.
Thanks GA for all help
Pat August 2, 2015
Hello people my name is Pat.
I joined Gamblers Anonymous in march 2008 but took a few years to realise how to turn my life around in Gamblers Anonymous. I guess i just didn't want to accept that i couldn't have gambling in my life.
Well I have accepted it now and shortly will be receiving my 3rd year pin. How good life is now and the only thing in my life i can’t do is gamble. All the things I wanted in life through gambling are slowly but surely arriving at my doorstep through hard work and effort. My home life is fantastic and my partner and kids are happy, so who could want any more?
I realise today that I am grateful for what i have and not what I want. Gamblers Anonymous has given me so much in such a short time, and slowly but surely a day at a time it will only get better but I have to keep doing the right things. To anyone out there unsure of Gamblers Anonymous, pluck up the courage to lift the phone or better still get yourself along to a meeting near you. Believe me, it will be the best thing you have ever done.
So as i reach another milestone in GA thank you to all my friends in the fellowship especially my group at Erskine, but also to my friends at Paisley where my journey all started and Clydebank as well.
A day at a time we can arrest this illness and lead ourselves and our families to a better life.
My name is Pat, compulsive gambler and i have no gambling to report.
Thank You Gamblers Anonymous.
Pete August 2, 2015
Having just received my first year pin, I have been looking back at an incredible year.
So much has changed and all of it for the better and I can give all the credit to the fellow Gamblers Anonymous members in Dundee, and all the visitors they have had over the last 12 months. Hearing everyone stories has inspired encouraged and above all gave me the understanding of this illness to help me tackle it head on.
I have had ups and downs as many folk have but most importantly I have stayed free of a gamble. I have had periods of doubt in myself and in GA methods but I have come out the other side a better and stronger member. I have now moved and will start attending a new meeting closer to my new home where I know I will get the same support I had from Dundee.
I will return to Dundee from time to time as I will forever be in debt to them for all they have done for me and my family.
If anyone asked me now how Gamblers Anonymous works, my answer is simple....... One day at a time.
Barry August 2, 2015
Hi my name is Barry and im a compulsive gambler.
I've been off a bet 16weeks now. I had been gambling for 15 years before I finally met my partner who i'm with now and we had a beautiful baby 18 weeks ago. Even after my baby was born I was still at the gambling but I just got to the point that I had to admit to my partner that I had a problem and I was in bits.
She told me that I needed help. For god sake ive been told that for years but she is the only person to have got through to me. I was petrified on my first night at Gamblers Anonymous. If any of you are reading this that were there, they will clarify that I spent most of the night in the toilet. But what a sense of relief to get to my first meeting, I couldn't wait to get back to it the following week, such a good fellowship.
I just want to thank my partner and family for sticking by me and of course all the guys at Falkirk steps.
Wish everyone all the best in there recovery
John August 2, 2015
My name is John and I'm a compulsive gambler.
I started gambling in my late teens with slot machines in pubs and those daft quiz machines, I never thought that I had a problem even though at the time I could be standing at the machines for one or two hours while my mates all sat down and had a laugh.
I used to pile money into those machines when I was out though my mates would urge me to leave them alone and come enjoy my night out. I never thought anything of it putting 20 40 or 60 in and getting nothing back. I progressed from there to online gambling as it was so easy I didn't have to leave the comfort of my house and I could even use my phone when I was on the go.
It didn't take a big loss although I had my fair share of them to come to Gamblers Anonymous, I was found out by my girlfriend looking at my bank statements and seeing where all my wages were going every month. It was destroying my life and the people I cared about most around me.
If you, like me came to this website looking for answers or help then do what I did and call Gamblers Anonymous and find a meeting that suits you it has changed my life thus far and I know it will continue to get better as long as I keep applying myself and attending my meetings.
Guy August 2, 2015
I remember having 3 jobs earning good money but blew it on fruit machines on Friday night after work or a Saturday depending on my luck, the debt was running up while I bribed my housebound granddad to give me £40 to go to shop for him, got uncle to use his credit card to buy my clothes online which I never paid, persuaded my mate to take out a loan to pay for holiday and spending money and even after this and got caught lost all jobs family house and confidence was rapid downhill.
I then found out that everyone around me knew of my gambling and it wasn't a secret, this was the biggest pain. I moved around hostels getting hand outs really degrading and then my turning point was when I got extra help dealing with money someone take me on payday to get shopping, get electricity and all the normal things in life things started to grow from there. I got involved at my base meeting and attended others which I still do, I have met my partner since then got my permanent house been and been accepted by her family enjoying life I only talk to 1 family member at moment and still out of work due to my previous reputation, but managing to survive with peace serenity and love in my life which had none of.
I just hope this shows others how you can change in a year by having patience and acceptance and hope this helps any struggling members or non members and give some hope as I got