I am almost 70 years old and I’m happy to say that I’m gambling free for the first time in many, many years.
Gambling cost me so much – family, friends, the respect of my children, having no contact with grandchildren, jobs, businesses and my self respect.
My gambling started as an escape. My husband was a problem gambler and we had lost everything, including the safety that marriage should have offered me. He was banned from a pokie venue, and that venue became my safe place. I went from a person who had never gambled to someone who stole money to feed the addiction. Even after I left my husband, moved interstate and had a successful job, the gambling addiction stayed with me. Nearly ever cent I earned fed my addiction.
I finally came to my senses and stopped. I called Gambler’s Help and started a very bumpy ride back to sanity. Up to this point, I had tried psychiatrists, psychologists, hypnotherapy, anti-depressants, reiki and more. I wanted to “fix” myself, but just kept gambling.
The counsellors at Gambler’s Help are just wonderful. My counsellor said, “I am in with you for the long haul” and this immediately gave me a sense of security. I felt like I was no longer alone.
My counsellors have been completely non-judgemental when I slipped into old habits. It’s not easy, but it gets easier and you realise if is ok to talk about what made you go backwards.
I would not be here today if it was not for the foresight of my counsellor who helped me get medically diagnosed correctly. I was back ‘in the world’, I had feelings again. I remember watching QI and I started to laugh and realised I was happy. I could not remember the last time I was happy.
I have now re-established contact with friends and family, joined a community and activity group, am part of a not-for-profit committee, give computer lessons to ‘the oldies’ in my housing commission estate, support my neighbour who is going through chemotherapy, have friends over for dinner. All these things would have been impossible prior to attending Gambler’s Help.
I would like to say, particularly to older women out there, just make the decision, and Gambler’s Help will help you to do the rest.