- Mental Health»
How Gambling Destroyed Her Life
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 got hooked on gambling.
At that stage, she was a successful businesswoman.
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 to; 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Thousands of dollars at a time was withdrawn, and gambling the money all the way through the morning.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 freely.
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 the 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 checkbooks had to be returned to the bank and her overdraft facilities were suspended.
She owed lots of money. The worst day of her life came when her children's school principal telephoned to ask her to remove the twins from school.
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 is 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 around 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 lifetime 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.
Are you a Compulsive Gambler?
Would you gamble?
Have you been a victim of Gambling Addiction?
© 2013 Devika Primić