We invite you to explore these stories about the successful recovery from an addiction. Then we want you to share yours with us. You can e-mail it to the webmaster or submit it using our success form.
1 I'm 41, divorced, financially and emotionally
stable woman. I own my
My name is Steven and I'm an addicted compulsive gambler. I would like to let anyone out there who is confused, hurting and tearing themselves apart, that help is as near as your phone. I had been gambling at casinos (slot machines) for many long and lonely years. When suicide seemed to be the best alternative, I did something for myself that literally change my life. I asked for help. There may be those that can do it alone, I can't. I have only been sober from gambling for 1 month, and I feel like my life is just beginning. The recovery process is long and difficult. Sometimes frightening, and often lonely and sad. But trust me, it is worth it. I know now something that seemed impossible just 35 days ago. I can do this. I can be free. Please, reach out and know that there are others in the world who understand in more ways than you could imagine. I know your pain. Help is waiting. Peace.
My story goes something like this. HI I'M LEE AND I'M A COMPULSIVE GAMBLER. THE FIRST TIME I BET WAS AT THE AGE OF FIVE WITH MY UNCLE AND COUSIN. GOT CAUGHT BY MY MOTHER AND GRANDMA AND LEARNED EARLY ON THAT GAMBLING WAS FUN BUT IT WAS WRONG. BET ON VIDEO GAMES AND SPORTS IN HIGH SCHOOL ALWAYS GOING FOR ALL OR NOTHING. WENT BROKE THE FIRST TIME MY FRESHMAN YEAR IN COLLEGE BETTING ON POOL GAMES AND TRYING TO HUSTLE. QUIT BECAUSE I WAS BROKE. PLAYED CARD GAMES AND PLAYED THESE PENNY PORKER MACHINES A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER AND WENT BROKE AFTER I BOUNCED 33 CHECKS IN ONE DAY QUIT AGAIN. AFTERWARDS MY DOWNFALL CAME. THE CASINOS ENTERED LESS THAN 30 MINUTES AWAY. I WENT WITH MY UNCLE THE FIRST TIME AND LOST 250 DOLLARS AND FELL IN LOVE WITH THE GAME OF BLACKJACK. BROKE BUT IN LOVE. I WENT FROM PLAYING ONCE EVERY THREE MONTHS TO ONCE A WEEK. BETS GETTING HIGHER AND PLAYING LONGER TRYING TO GET BACK THE HIGH I FELT THE FIRST TIME I PLAYED. I NEVER CAUGHT IT. I STARTED PLAYING WITH BOOKIES ON THE SPORTS BOOK. BET BIG TO COVER FROM THE CASINO OR DOUBLE UP TO COVER MY BACKSIDE AND VERY RARELY BEING SUCCESSFUL. WENT BROKE AGAIN AND QUIT FOR A DAY AND WAS BACK AT IT. I THOUGHT I MIGHT HAVE A PROBLEM BUT I WAS AFRAID TO SAY SO BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE TO QUIT AND QUIT JUST WASN'T A WORD I WAS WILLING TO ACCEPT. BUT MY WORLD CAME CRASHING DOWN ON THE 14TH OF NOVEMBER 1999 WITH THE BIRTH OF MY SON. I WAS IN THE DELIVERY ROOM TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO CALL THE BOOKIE. I SAID TO MYSELF THIS IS CRAZY IM NOT GOING BRING HIM UP LIKE THIS. I QUIT WHITE KNUCKLING IT FOR OVER THIRTY DAYS. THEN WHILE I WAS AT A TREATMENT CENTER FOR DEPRESSION MY COUNSELOR SAID YOU HAVE GOT TO GO TO GAMBLER'S ANONYMOUS. I WAS LIKE 12 STEP?? I JUST DON'T KNOW. BUT I TOOK THE FIRST STEP AND WENT ON DEC 20 1999. THERE WAS 3 MEN THERE AND AFTER I HEARD THEM SPEAK I KNEW I WAS A HOME. I WASN'T ALONE ANYMORE. THERE REALLY WAS SOMEONE ELSE THAT FELT LIKE I DID. THAT WAS 14 MONTHS AGO. IT HASN'T BEEN EASY. THERE HAS BEEN ALLOT OF SWEAT AND TEARS. BUT RECOVERY AND BEING CLEAN IS THE BEST FEELING. NOT HAVING TO TRY TO COVER UP THE LIES AND REALIZING THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN THE TURN OF A CARD OR SPIN OF THE WHEEL. I STILL HAVEN'T QUIT BECAUSE QUIT IS FINAL BUT I CHOOSE TO STOP I HAVEN'T GAMBLED TODAY I DIDN'T YESTERDAY AND I PRAY THAT MY HIGHER POWER HELPS ME NOT TO TOMORROW....THAT MY STORY AND I AM STICKING WITH IT - LEE H
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