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How Gambling Destroyed Her Life

Updated on October 19, 2016

Are you a Compulsive Gambler?

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Addictions can affect many innocent Lives

''By the time you read this letter I will be gone.

Hopefully, I will be in a better place, free from the terrible addiction that has held me captive for five years.''

These were the words she wrote before taking her a near-fatal close of tranquilizers. She felt life was not worth living.

After four days in a coma she woke up in the high-care unit of a local hospital. Her suicide attempt had failed and her worst fear was about to become a reality.

As a young person she never understood how anybody could become addicted to anything. or why would they want to, be it alcohol, drugs, or gambling.

In her eyes only weak people succumbed to such things.

A young woman who considered herself as a well-balanced being and a model citizen. Until one fateful day when a ''harmless'' visit to a newly built casino changed her life forever.

Where else could one make a profit in a couple of hours? She was hooked.

At that stage she was a successful business woman.

She owned two small businesses and had shares in two more.

She also worked part-time to finance the expensive lifestyle to which her family had become accustomed; including private schooling for her twin boys aged eight.

Financially things were going pretty plain.

Her marriage though had been unhappy for several years.

Excessive and compulsive gambling is one of the most destructive and expensive forms of addiction there is on the planet.

For the five long years after her first casino experience she lived a double life.

Every time she withdrew cash it was nothing to her, she did not feel a thing about how she spent it or abused money.

Thousands of dollars at a time was withdrawn and gambling the money all the way through the morning.

It was easy to do because the casino accepted bank cards for large withdrawals.

It didn't take long for me to get into serious trouble.

Desperate not to have her family find out about her problem.

She took on extra business clients many of them were personal friends and began borrowing money in an attempt to recoup her losses.

The woman confidently renegotiated with suppliers to extend her credit terms, and in this way bought extra time.

At that point of her life she was in good terms with the bank manager so she simply had her overdraft limit increased and applied for and all was granted easily.

The several personal loans and credit cards from various banks were all updated and credit was allowed.

Little time was spent at home; the gambling took her away from her friends and family. Often her children were left with a neighbor. As her losses grew her interest in everything around her vanished and nothing mattered more than her gambling. Her children nor her marriage, home or family mattered to her anymore.

There was enormous strain on her body as the result of the stress and insomnia. She lost weight from not eating properly and was permanently bad tempered.

Her car was almost repossessed, her credit cards and cheque books had to be returned to the bank and her overdraft facilities were suspended.

She owed lots of money and the worst day of her life came when her children's school principal telephoned to ask her to remove the twins from his school because their school fees hadn't been paid for four months.

None of her family knew about her problem. She came up with reasons for not having much cash, she told everybody business was slow and had a couple of bad deals.

One morning when she was yet again at the casino trying to recoup her losses her husband's acquaintance saw her. He off-course told her husband the next day without her husband saying a word to her he went to the casino. He gave them her Identity number and requested activity statements profits and losses and past transactions.

She later found out this kind of information was give n to him on numerous occasions thereafter, despite her request that nobody be given access to it.

They were divorced two years later and for the first time she realized how much help she needed to get her life back on track.

She was alone with two young children to support. She had no choice but to have a self-exclusion policy initiated at the casino to prevent any further gambling, basically she banned herself.

She called a gambling helpline and made arrangements to see a therapist who specialized in addiction. She began her healing process.

In months that followed she slowly started to get her life back on track and it was good to have a sense of normality again. Debts however, mounted by the day and she missed the gambling terribly.

Though she kept on seeing he therapist her urge to back to the casino was overwhelming.

Six months later she suffered a devastating relapse. She applied to have her one year self-exclusion order lifted as she was convinced she had learned lots from her gambling habit under control.

She believed this time round she would do thing differently and would not become greedy for money.

Well, this time her losses were even greater and so the urge to recoup these losses was also greater. In the eight months from the lifting of her self-exclusion to her attempted suicide she had gambled away more than half a million dollars belonging to clients, friends and family.

On the day the gambler almost ended her life she had yet another big loss. She just couldn't take it anymore. This person felt worthless, a burden to her children and a total misfit. She simply couldn't carry on so she decided to end her life but it didn't work but as she planned.

After the fatal suicide attempt she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility where she spent two months in intensive therapy.It was tough for her going through the procedure.

Before she was discharged from the rehabilitation center her ex husband told her entire family about the gambling problem and it caused many issues between her sister and herself, and this kind of rift will never be bridged.

Her parents wanted nothing more to with her and even the children had been poisoned against their mother.

The light at the end of her tunnel came in the form of a friend who loved and supported her through all this time, through thick and thin, the one who always believed in her despite the worst odds and eventually helped her through her ordeal. She will forever be grateful to this person.

She now has a life time self-exclusion order at every casino in the country and would be arrested if she if as much as tries to enter the premises of any of these gambling halls. Finally, she has found a good job and she is taking her life back day by day.

A woman who has so far managed to repair her relationship with her children and her self-esteem is gradually improving. In the five years she had gambled not only did she lose half a million dollars but also her twenty three year marriage, her two businesses, three jobs, family and friends, and almost lost her kids.

This story is may sound an extreme example and even she would never have thought it possible until it actually happened to her, and you may not think you can be a victim of such an addiction.

Gambling may be a harmless pass time to some people but in excess it destroys lives and homes.

  • In this story the woman gambled her whole away!

Mentally she never thought of anyone but herself.

One can be quick to judge addicts, whether their fix is drugs, alcohol, or gambling, but addiction can affect anybody and the saddest part is you don't even realize you are addicted until it is too late.

You become addicted when you fail to stop and even then you don't see the problem until you have lost everything. The innocent person involved in such issues can be affected most horribly.

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© 2013 Devika Primić

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know all about addiction.....there is help if someone wants it....but you must be willing. :) Sad, sad affliction.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This is a bad one and one that hurt many American families I know playing for the lottery. Something many don't think about because it can be done so privately. It is a shame. ^

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Wow DDE!!! For a minute there I thought you were writing about someone I know personally. The same story, different person. I knew of a woman who gambled her life away, then took pills and passed away right there at the casino. This is such an important topic, especially for people who have addictive personalities.

      I used to accompany my elderly grandmother to the casino where she was a regular. She loved to play. She set a limit for herself and enjoyed it for entertainment purposes. But I could never allow myself to put even a quarter in the machine. We are right near the famed casinos in the northeast (Mohegan and Foxwoods). It's brought a lot of tragedy to this area as well as good. It created a lot of needed jobs. But unfortunately there are people who don't know when to quit.

      A restaurant owner lost his business recently where we loved to go eat because he gambled away the money he was supposed to pay taxes with.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      billybuc thanks very much for your valuable comment

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Jackie Lynnley so kind of you to come by here and leave a thoughtful comment on How Gambling Destroyed Her Life: its really a shame.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi CraftytotheCore gambling becomes a problem when an individual doesn't know how to stop and when to stop, a pleasurable moment feels good but once a person gets desperate then it is a problem for them so nice of you to share part ofy our views here thank you very much

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      I have heard this before with a person we know. I know it's an addiction but how bored they must get. Gambling bores me to death, I hate bingo and I don't like games at all. When I could stop playing Candyland with my kids are was so thrilled.

      I do think people get addicted to gambling because they are lonely. Casinos are big and friendly, food is cheap. Their like bars you walk in and everyone knows you after a while. Bingo halls are the same way. The same people sitting at the same tables waving as you come in. There's people around for the gambling person to talk to. That may not happen with everyone but I do know it happens with some people.

      Great hub voted up and shared.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      I love to play Texas-Hold-em. I have been to Win-Star once. Did not care for the slot machines. But I was with a couple of friends who enjoy it.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      It is very sad, any addiction, and this one does destroy families far too often. My husband new of persons who had small children at home, and when they got their paychecks, they went straight to gamble it all away and then the lone sharks come into the picture, which brings even more crime and harm to all concerned.

      Important message here!

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Though its a sad and negative side of life but many had to undergo that experience without ever even thinking. And before you realize it the addiction has been completely controlling your life. Reality though hard for families and associates. Its a well presented hub. Thanks for sharing. Shared and votes up.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      moonlake thanks for vote up and shared gambling can become addictive to anyone and with control can be avoided, but many people dream of what they can win when all they do is lose and trying to recoup your losses is the worst turn back

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Shyron E Shenko gambling for pleasure is great fun but when there is no control over what you it is easy to become addicted great play with Texas-Hold-em ans thanks for commenting

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Faith Reaper you are so correct of how families can be destroyed by gambling I too knew of people who would go great lengths to gamble away their money the thing is also they find it most expensive to go on a trip or buy food for their home but when it comes to gambling it away they don't feel any bad in doing so. Thanks for votes up, more and sharing so kind of you to stop by and leave your comment.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      dghbrh thanks very much for commenting and for shares and votes up so glad you shared your views here

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Voted up, useful and interesting. One of my close friends has a husband who is addicted to scratch-offs. Any addiction of any sort affects all those involved in the life of an addict. Your story is so sad...this woman had it all...then threw it away. Thank you for this awareness. You should share this story all over the world. It needs to be read. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      DDE-you've covered so many important parts of the addiction process here: It can't happen to me; I think I can handle it now; keeping secrets; etc.

      Addiction, in any form, is heartbreaking and devastating to the addict and those around her. I'm glad she had an angel of a friend to stand by her through this. What a tragedy. BTW Gambling is what broke my marriage up. He was unable to stop himself and unwilling to stay with the therapy or Gambler's Anonymous.

      Up/U and sharing. WEll written.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sparklea so kind of you to read this story it is sad because many people are affected by the compulsive gambling but they don't see how their loved ones are affected share with the world great idea to let other know how gambling can destroy their lives, such a hub can change many people's lives from the neglectful thought of gambling. Thanks for vote up, useful, interesting I so appreciate you stopping by.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Denise Handlon gambling can break many friendships and relationships if not controlled, control is key and once one loses touch with themselves that is it all lost and not easily regained. Thanks fro all votes up and sharing, and your kind comment, sharing what is on our mind is such a relief. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I've never been much of a gambler but do know of someone who has lost nearly everything because of the problem, lying and even stealing from their family for the next $50 for lottery tickets. What a sad situation.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 3 years ago from Pune, India

      Gambling and even buying lottery tickets is bad thing...

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Pokie machines are as addictive as heroin they can actually change the brain. Using operant variable ratio conditioning. Which has been proved the most efficient way to change behaviour they make the player addicted to the machine. You can see the sad dependents if you visit the places where these machine are it's tragic.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Addiction is real and it takes many forms. The 'substance' may be different but many of the consequences are the same.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi FlourishAnyway thanks for sharing your views on How Gambling Destroyed Her Life, definitely it i sad and ruins many innocent people's lives also puts one in most awkward situations like the stealing and and so on.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      jainismus so nice of you to comment on my hub thanks verymuch

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hello barryrutherford I fully agree your on your point made here, it is most difficult to leave these machines the tragic situation becomes uncontrollable with such behavior, thanks very much for commenting

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Crystal Tatum thanks for commenting and so true

    • profile image

      GoldBar7s 18 months ago

      Thank you for the important and informative story. I am dealing with this problem and the story is a great help.

    • DDE profile image
      Author

      Devika Primić 18 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      GoldBar7s It is a sad situation if you don't know how to control the actions of the gambler. Hope you solve the issue. A Happy New Year to you! Thank you for stopping by.

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