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
October 11, 2018
It’s May 1995 and I’m due to get married in July. I’ve just lost the deposit for my first home in a mad week of chasing loses on the dogs and I’ve had to come clean to my parents and my fiancé about my gambling. I speak to a member of Gamblers Anonymous on the phone for half an hour but don’t go to a meeting. I convince my fiancé and my parents that I’ve got things sorted and for the next five or six years I have, very little gambling and two sons later and life is good. Then along comes online poker and the easy availability of credit cards and over the next few years I max out card after card, constantly catching the post and shuffling minimum payments to keep the credit card company’s off my back.
Again I get caught by my wife, but again I don’t attend a meeting but do install blocking software on my devices and hand over all finances to my wife’s control. We have another few good years but eventually I start to sneak into the bookies again (just the odd coupon and a lucky fifteen on a big meeting). During this time my Mum passed away and left me a six figure sum which cleared my debt. She also left a lump sum to each of my sons and I was left as the trustee for this money.
Over the next two/three years I spent most of it gambling. I was given a share bonus at work which I hid from my wife and lost it over a three year period mostly on roulette machines. Carnage followed, scraping by hiding debts, fiddling expenses and other scams. I’m drinking heavily just to sleep at nights I’m a mess and I know it!
It’s the 2nd of September, I’m supervising a job and my phone rings, It’s my wife, she’s gone to pay for our holiday to Tenerife but there’s no money left in the joint account. I drive home and come clean. There’s lots of anger and tears and I’m given the ultimatum. This time’s different I go to my local meeting on Saturday morning. I’m met outside by a member and immediately put at ease. I listen to a guy tell his story and identify with so many aspects of it. For the next six months I barely miss a meeting, three meetings a week and get lots of support and advice.
Jump forward to the present day and I’m gamble free. It hasn’t been easy but I still trying to get to as many meeting as I can. I am trying to give something back by being part of the GA Live Chat.
I’m Derek, I’m a compulsive gambler, No gambling to report God bless G.A., Its members and our Fellowship.
January 13, 2019
I have recently received my first-year pin in Gamblers Anonymous.
An achievement I thought was never going to be possible before walking through the doors of GA. I was a complete mess and a broken man with where gambling had taken me. My gambling started off with me placing coupons on a weekend with a few friends and once I moved to a new house, I started to see gambling as my route to paying off bills and helping me financially.
As time went by, my gambling became more intense and more frequent. I would start to bet bigger with the vision of that "big win" that would pay my way through any worries or problems. I soon started to place bets daily and my mind was controlled by it. I would wake up and immediately look at placing my first bet of the day. I would start to get angry and be on edge if I couldn't put a bet on. I was betting big and soon my financial situation was out of control.
I started to become desperate and looked for any credit that I could find. My wages would be gone within hours. I just could not stop gambling. I was financially ruined, however that never stopped me from gambling. I would be going to desperate lengths to get money. The lowest point was gambling all the deposit money that was put aside for a mortgage that my partner and I had saved for.
My parents would get the crocodile tears and the false promises that I will never gamble again. As soon as I had been helped financially, I would stop gambling by willpower alone, but as many compulsive gamblers know, it was inevitable that I would soon return. I had been through this cycle three times until I just couldn't do it anymore. I was completely broken and in desperate need of help. I was in a very dark place; I had walked out of my job as I was consumed by gambling. I was a lonely gambler who would lock myself away. I was not interested in anything else.
One day I had lost it all again and was just mentally destroyed. I was contemplating question 20 (suicide) so I decided at that point I would seek out help and with that, I spoke to the GA Live Chat on this website for help. To this day, I have no idea who I spoke to, but the person put me in contact with a Parkhead member and I attended my first meeting, one of the scariest and hardest things I have ever done. I couldn't even speak at that meeting, but from the identification and understanding I got from that room, I was given hope.
I then joined my local meeting and from there I have started to speak about my gambling with people that are supportive and understanding of me. I take GA a day at a time and listened to what advice was given. My year started off slow as I had a lot of spare time with looking for a job, but I continued to go to two meetings and when I finally did manage to get a job, my GA took off. I started to get more involved with the fellowship. This has all helped me along the way to my first-year gambling free.
The gratitude I have for everyone in the fellowship and my local meeting is incredible. I will always be grateful for the warm welcome and support I have received from day one. GA has saved my life and my family’s life. Standing up at a meeting to celebrate 1 year off a bet with my family in attendance was a fantastic feeling and something that I never thought was possible.
Tomorrow it starts all over again....... a day at a time.
January 21, 2019
After spending ten years compulsively gambling I came through the doors of Gamblers Anonymous in March 2018.
I needed help and was desperate. I just couldn't continue with this life; not only did I lose every penny I worked for - I lost myself, my feelings, my emotions, my mind, and I didn’t know who I was anymore. Most importantly, my kids were losing their Mum to gambling.
At first, I couldn't quite see how Gamblers Anonymous could work for me, but I kept attending meetings and listening to members of Gamblers Anonymous share their stories; stories that are so similar to my own. The support I've had from Gamblers Anonymous is phenomenal-it's truly amazing how people who were at first strangers, have become a huge part of my life. Gamblers Anonymous meetings and the contact I have with members keeps me strong and helps me to stay away from that first bet, a day at a time.
I am just about ninety days off a bet and never thought that would ever be possible. It’s hard to put into words how special Gamblers Anonymous actually is. But what I can say is that Gamblers Anonymous has given me my life back, and my kids have their Mum back.
January 21, 2019
I initially attended Gamblers Anonymous years ago, having being caught out by my parents. I attended meetings for several weeks, but I said to my parents that I didn’t need Gamblers Anonymous and that I would manage myself and my gambling on my own. But my gambling got worse than ever. I was hooked on roulette machines and couldn’t go a day without a bet.
Having caused a lot more chaos, I attended Gamblers Anonymous again years later and this time, I knew gambling had me beat. I quickly admitted Step 1, that I was powerless over gambling and that my life was unmanageable. I thought I was living a normal life, gambling in my own bubble.
But since attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings and receiving support from members, I am now living that normal life, gambling free.