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I have a problem

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I have a problem

Postby GamblingSucks09 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:26 pm

Hey guys, this is my first post and I guess I just want to type out my story and see if it helps because I’m feeling pretty hopeless right now.

I’ve always been a gambler, basically just sports betting. I booked bets starting all the way back in middle school through high school and college (while also betting on my own as well).

I stopped booking after college but continued betting and while it was probably excessive to a normal person, it was never completely out of hand or felt like I was out of control.

That changed in 2018. My girlfriend and I had our first kid in May of that year and my grandfather (who was basically my father) passed away in July of that year. That is when I got out of control.

I lost about $60k, won about $50k back, and then lost it all again to the point that I ended up losing a total of $75k in the year. (I ran through my entire savings and about $50k of that was on credit cards)

I came clean to my girlfriend at the end of the year, half expecting her to leave me, and she was extremely supportive and said we’d get through it and she still loved me. I was extremely thankful for her support and promised her I’d never do it again.

I’m very lucky to have a job where I can make a lot of money quickly if I work hard and have some luck on my side. So in 2019, I was able to get all of my debt paid off and have my savings back by September.

Then NFL started back up. I thought I could control a little gambling, but quickly lost $20k. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened before so I made a decision to close my account. That worked for about a week before I found another site to bet on. I lost about $30k over the rest of the NFL season.

So the $75k from 2018 and the $50k from 2019 puts me down $125k going into 2020. My girlfriend and I had our 2nd kid last month in January 2020. He’s had some health issues (nothing overly serious we’re told) but we’ve had 3 different stays in the ER since he’s been born.

This is where I’ve really lost control and really realized I have a problem I can’t control over the past month. I got lucky and went on a run winning bets to the point that just a couple weeks ago, I had $100k in my account. That wasn’t enough, I figured I’ll just win another $25k to get back to even from 2018.

Of course, it doesn’t work like that and I lost the entire $100k plus another $10k in the matter of a week or so. THEN, down to nearly my last dollar, I somehow get so damn lucky and get my account back to $60k as recently as this past Wednesday. Rather than learning my lesson and taking the money, only the past 4 days I’ve lost that all plus another $20k.

Last night was my last lost bet. So I’m basically back to where I was at the end of 2018, savings basically all gone and $50k in credit card debt.

Down $150k since 2018.

I came clean to my girlfriend again this morning, and she did not take it as good this time. She is furious and says I’ve really screwed the entire family and she can’t trust me. All of which is true, and it really really sucks.

She’s the only one who knows about this too. I’m the first person in my family to go to college and the first person to ever make decent money and they all think I’m rich and have all of this money that I clearly don’t because of my addiction. My entire family struggles with drug/alcohol addiction, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid that, but this gambling addiction feels just as bad or worse.

I’m 28, I’m confident I can put my head down and work and get out of this hole again within a year, but it will be exponentially harder if I don’t have my girlfriends support. She has every right to be pissed at me, we were trying to buy a bigger house within the next couple months and I really messed that up.

I don’t know why I’m like this, I don’t know if I subconsciously just hate myself or I feel guilty about having a little money and don’t think I deserve it so I gamble it all way. I don’t know, there’s no excuse obviously, it just really sucks. And my girlfriend said “obviously I don’t care” about her and the kids and hearing that hurts more than any money. It’s not true, I love them more than anything, I just have a serious damn problem.

I guess I’m just posting this to vent a little bit, and in hopes that someone else has been through this and can offer some words of wisdom of how to get through this and/or give advice/tips on how to avoid doing this again.

Hopefully this is day 1 of never gambling again.
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Re: I have a problem

Postby Aries411 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:13 pm

Welcome to the forum GamblingSucks,

I am also a sports gambler and have also put my family on the line various times (I also have two kids). Even though our intentions are to never gamble again, it takes a effort and stick on a recovery plan. Closing the account is good idea, but as you found out, there are so many sites on the internet. There are so many things I'd like to say, but I'll put my 5 most important things that I think would help you
- Look for a support system like GA (Gamblers Anonymous) around you. Their experience can provide a lot of support
- Stopping online gambling is a bit trickier. I suggest handing over all credit cards and finances to your gf
- Your gf will also need support. My wife was lost and couldn't understand this sickness that allowed me to jeopardize my family for something stupid like gambling. There was no trust between us. We eventually needed to see a therapist to help rebuild the communication
- Try everything to abstain for about 3 months. When you are in the cycle of gambling, our mind doesn't function properly. Afterwards, you can start to see the joy in life again.
- Read the Strategies Thread in this forum. There is a lot of great ideas there.

Keep on updating your status and lets fight this disease together!
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Re: I have a problem

Postby BadluckLeavesMeBroke » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:47 am

I want to thank you for sharing this post.

Firstly, I want to start by saying, only once in my life have I had over $10,000 to my name (it was somewhere between $10,000 to $15,000). With that being said, I have over 60 to 80 grand in debt that I owe for college loans, credit cards (that have been closed), banks, etc. A lot of that money I spent towards trying to gamble my way out of being lower class. The reason I am saying this is to give you perspective.

I have two Bachelor's Degrees from a highly prestigious university. Even with that and the current job I have now, it would literally take me somewhere between 7 to 10 years just to clear my debt. This is taking into consideration that I basically live paycheck to paycheck and am lucky to have a low amount of savings at the end of my month once all my bills are due. I basically have to skip meals and spend less on necessities to save anything at the end of the month.

With all of that being said, my point is, you are fortunate to be in a situation where you can dig yourself out of debt in just one year. I will continue on to say that that is exactly what you should do. I highly suggest you call it quits now, because the ups and downs you are describing remind me of my ups and downs when I bet the tables at the casino. Even though your ups and downs are with much higher numbers, it is the same in terms of the intensity and in terms of the percentage of our bankroll we are using to play. In the end, the house will win, or the sports betting website will win, because their bankroll is much higher, and they find a way to give themselves an advantage whether it be odds or taxes, etc.

I say that to say this. I believe you can still have a happy and healthy life. You can dig yourself out of debt in one year. If someone came up to me and told me I could work a year to clear up all my debt and be debt free, I would do it. You now have a reason to live responsibly, as you are responsible for 2, actually 3 human beings when including your wife and kids. What I suggest is you go to Gamblers Anonymous meetings. On the Gamblers Anonymous website that you can find on google, there should be at least one meeting in your area or of close driving distance to you. In combination with that, I would substitute gambling with other things you enjoy that give you just about the same high. In combination with that, if it is the money you love, try investing those funds you have into things that are more guarantee to profit, such as sales.

The main point of my post is this, you should view it as a blessing that you have the option to work yourself out of debt that was created by gambling with only one year of work. I know plenty of gamblers or ex gamblers who would love to have that opportunity but they don't. You can still clean things up and fix them before it is too late. You have a family now depending on you to do so.

Oh, I almost forgot, the reason I thanked you for sharing this post is because I literally just had a horrible relapse yesterday and today. I was at the casino all day chasing my losses and lost everything to my name (about 2 grand). Reading your post allowed me to see that I am not alone, and that whether other gambling addicts are losing more or less than you, we are all trying to overcome this addiction and struggle (for those of us who are actually trying to rid ourselves of this addiction). I felt as if my 2 grand was everything and I felt so alone and down after losing it, but then I read your post. And to add on to that, you may feel like you have lost a lot in the past 3 years, but there are others out there losing in the millions. With all of that being said, take advantage of any opportunities you have to leave this addiction behind, especially if you have the opportunity to clear your debt without gambling.
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