Over the next seven days, as part of Responsible Gambling Week 2019, I’ll be sharing my story through BetVictor’s social channels to provide some insight into problem gambling.
Some of the topics I’ll be covering include identifying if you have a gambling problem, realising the signs in a loved one and the support services that are available.
I’m currently in recovery from a gambling addiction that stemmed from when I was just 16 years old. Something important to note is that I take full accountability for my actions. However, as difficult as it is to articulate, gambling addiction has a menacing hold on me that at times becomes difficult to live with.
The early years were all very innocent and harmless, gambling with friends in a safe and social environment on the weekend’s football and the occasional big horse racing meeting.
The frequency of gambling increased as I started to earn a full-time wage and bearing in mind I had minimal outgoings, whilst still living at home, I slowly started to become more engrossed in the world of gambling.
I completely lost myself and would spend any time and money I could gambling. I was in five figures worth of debt, taking out payday loans and borrowing off friends to satisfy my urges. The moment when I knew I had a problem was when I would gamble in isolation with no real purpose behind my actions.
My reputation wasn’t one to aspire towards. Within my friendship group, I was known as erratic with my gambling. I would bet on markets nobody had heard of, I would leave nights out early so I could go home and gamble online and I would spend the vast majority of my time outside of work stuck to my phone chasing that big win.
In December 2016, everything got too much and I didn’t see any way out of the debt I was in along with my mental state of mind.
In the next piece, I’ll articulate how I almost took my own life due to the chaotic lifestyle I had found myself in.