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My Story - Flyingfast - 06-01-2018

Hello everyone. I'd like to share my story here as I'm now in a situation where I'm feeling miserable due to gambling and I don't know what to do.

I'm fifteen now and I've been gambling since I was twelve. I was attracted to poker because my dad played it a bit and I enjoyed the skill in the game coupled with the excitement of gambling. I studied a lot, bought software to be able to play better, and got quite skilful at the game. When I had success at play money (which my parents had allowed me to do) I quickly switched to real money gambling under the guise of it still being for free chips. At first, this went well, and over the period of about a year, I managed to go from $0 to a five figure bankroll. Sometimes I played it for very long periods of time into the morning and occasionally I risked more than I intended, but overall I enjoyed the roller coaster. I shared my story with some friends and taught them how to play as well, and overall I felt more proud than guilty about what I had done. 

This has changed over the past three months. My luck took a horrible turn for the worse, and with the stress of exams and a very messy period between my parents I was unable to deal with this. I'd read about these situations before, but actually experiencing such a huge loss of money was something I was not prepared for. I played badly and with far more money than I should reasonably risk, which has led to a terrible cycle of me constantly losing and feeling miserable, which makes me want to gamble more. This has made me far more angry and I've spun out quite frequently ever since. I've now lost essentially all that I had because I was never able to withdraw, due to the suspicion of such a large transfer. While I knew that I'm not down overall and haven't risked any of my or my parents' previous money, I had counted on having that money and what has happened to me now isn't something I can deal with.

A few weeks ago, I (accidently) stabbed my hand in a fit of rage, which got me a lot of stitches and has meant that I've seen a councillor each week ever since. She and a close group of my friends are the only people who know that I gamble at all, and neither of them know anything close to the whole story. I've decided to come here so I can get help from people who know about all this. I don't know what to do now. I don't know whether to tell my parents and face inevitable arguments and punishment. I don't know how to tell my friends that I've lost it all and that gambling is the main reason I've been so miserable. I don't know whether to come clean to the site and never be able to sort myself out and play well again. I don't know how to come to terms with losing this much money. 

What should I do now?

RE: My Story - Simmo - 08-01-2018

Hi flyingfast,

Dealing with gambling issues at your age is a blessing in disguise. I would come clean, and deal with it now. If gambling is already causing you a problem, from what you have described is very similar to the way I started, winning, and then upping the ante and losing all the time. As time progressed for me, the amounts and chaos in my life increased. I suggest going to a GA meeting, but would also recommend you go with one of your parents. By tackling a problem and asking for help to do so is a strong thing to do and from experience, the anger from my parents was temporary.

Well done for reaching out and doing something to help yourself in the long run.


RE: My Story - Flyingfast - 08-01-2018

Thank you for this. I can certainty see that there could be issues as time goes on if gambling was taking out of my own money or if stakes got continually higher and higher. I don't want this to ever be the case, and as a result I haven't gambled for the past week and today I decided to block myself from the site I played on (which is the only account I've ever made or been interested in making). This will mean I can't deposit with my own money and should give me a chance to calm down more and get over the money I've lost. I've decided not to tell my parents now as I've currently got exams and I don't want to cause unnecessary stress, but I already feel a lot better after a week and I really don't think that I'll want to go back to gambling at least in the near future. If this ever does change then I will say so here but currently I think I'm in a situation where I can start to get past a bad period of time caused by poker without needing further help. It has been good as well to get my story out here and read the stories of others to understand how gambling issues can progress and how to put my issues in perspective and I think this and counselling will be enough for now. I don't want to reject the idea of GA meetings if anything changes in the future but I feel like making it public now could blow a problem that I can tackle myself out of proportion. I hope that makes sense.

RE: My Story - Simmo - 09-01-2018

self exclusion is a good start mate, well done. From my experience, doing it alone has never ended well. I strongly suggest being open and honest, maybe after your exams. Honesty really has been one of the biggest factors in me stopping and staying stopped. Being true to my loved ones and most importantly true to myself.

One day at a time.