Hi everyone,

On the previous blog – Revelation Aftermath I spoke about some of the steps that I personally went through on the road to recovery. One of these steps was me attending several sessions of Gamblers Anonymous. This was something that my family had suggested. I didn’t even know there was such a service near me. I was skeptical at first but decided to give it a shot since it was clear I could use all the help I could get. In the end it proved to be one of the best decisions that I have ever made, but not in a way that you may think. I feel it’s an interesting story and I would just like to share my experience and some of the details on what goes on at some of these meetings.

As I sat in the passenger seat watching the trees zoom past me as we drove towards our local “Rehab Center”, a million thoughts/emotions were racing through my head. I was outside my comfort zone. I was embarrassed. I wanted to leap out of the car and run away. Suddenly, a memory popped into my head about how my parents have told me and to all my brothers and sisters about the dangers of gambling when we were younger. They have always advised us against alcohol, drugs and gambling throughout my teenage years. You know, as a good parent should. I already knew the dangers of alcohol and drugs, as I learn about such addictions in school. However, in my head I always dismissed their lectures on Gambling Addiction growing up. To me it sounded silly. That would never happen to me. I would never be dumb enough to piss away my precious money. Now sitting in that car thinking about that story, I felt ill. I went against their advise and now my father has to take time out of his day to drive me to this “stupid” Rehab Center and I have to sit there and take my “stupid” medicine like a champ. Although, I didn’t feel like a champ. I felt like a chump.

As we pulled into the driveway of the Rehab Center I suddenly felt I did not belong there. I hated the initial vibe I got from the place. However, there was no way back. I just kept thinking to myself “Take on minute at the time and the hour will fly by”. I am not going to lie, I was scared. Scared of what? I don’t know. I suddenly felt like a little boy going to school for the first time and wanting my father to hold my hand as I make my first steps into the unknown. Then I heard “See you in an hour” and the car driving off into the distance. “Right, here I go. I am on my own but I can do this”. Before I made my way to the “Gambler’s Anonymous” room I didn’t know what to expect in terms of the treatment or help I was going to get. I thought I may have to sit down one-on-one with a professional and talk about the addiction. Was there a 12 step program for gambling addiction as there is for alcoholism? What would I say? What questions would I be asked? I was preparing for all kinds of scenarios in my head as I stood outside the room among other gambling addicts waiting for the meeting to start.

7PM sharp we were let in to this old, smelly, dirty room with a handful of chairs along the wall and a table in the middle. We each grabbed a seat and a little “Gamblers Bible” booklet. A man at the top of the room said few generic words. We said some kind of “Gambler Addict” prayer and then silence fell. It all happened so fast that I couldn’t really comprehend when the “healing process” had began. Then one of the guys to the left of the main table started talking and it all soon made sense to me. We were all there to say our piece and or thoughts on our own experience and gambling addiction as a whole. There was only maybe 8-10 of us in the room so we all had 5-8min just to talk about whatever we felt like. The challenge for me was to try and squeeze in as much of my opinion/thoughts on gambling as a whole in that 5-8min. I had to start off by saying:

“Hi, my name is Vadim and I am a Gambling Addict. It has been X days/months/years etc. since my last bet and here are my thoughts”

Even just saying these words made me feel like I didn’t belong there. Yes I had a problem, yes I needed help but that was not the way to do it in my opinion. It was too vague. Too simple. Too relaxed. We all had our say and although the stories I heard were genuine, it didn’t feel like were there to change our attitude towards gambling. We were there simply to “pretend” what we were doing was helping us. (I heard some really wacky stories from people and if you want me to write a blog about such stories then please let me know in the comments below). The reason why these meeting helped me with my gambling addiction is because it made me realise that I would be spending a lot more time in these rooms if I didn’t cure this addiction. I was easily the youngest in the room. I had time on my side. I needed to change or I would end up on a very bad path in life.

Overall, I went to 4-5 of these meetings and each time it was the same thing. We all spend few minutes talking about our views and experience. Each time after the meeting my head would go into overdrive thinking about the stories I heard and what future held for me if I didn’t kick the addiction. I forced myself to change my attitude towards gambling. I started becoming obsessed with curing my addiction. It was constantly on my mind. The fear of that dirty room at the back of that Rehab Centre never left me. Going to those meeting DID help me but not in the way it was aiming to. I didn’t walk away after the meeting more enlightened and informed about gambling. I walked away feeling scared of what might be. I left determined to kick this feeling of embarrassment, regret and shame. After every meeting I left with the smell of that room deep in my nostrils.

It also made me angry leaving such facility. There was very little organisation, very little goal, purpose, determination and will to help people with their gambling addiction. I see myself as a pretty strong-minded person and perhaps this is what helped me get out of the downward spiral I was on. I pulled myself out of the mess I was in. However, this is a scary realisation. We are all different with different thoughts, different ideas, different views and not all of us can snap out of an addiction like I did. It wasn’t easy for me and I had to dig deep and get help from my parents and friends to get out of the mess I was in but I did it. I just feel that for someone who doesn’t have the same support as I did or doesn’t have the same mindset that I have, going to Gamblers Anonymous won’t help them. It sounds like the place to be if you want to kick your addiction but in reality in this country is no money to be assigned to dealing with such hot yet taboo topic. Perhaps in Dublin, Limerick Galway etc. or other capital cities throughout the world there is a good facilities (although I haven’t heard of any) but its clear that not all gamblers live in a city and we need to provide a good, informative service in a warm, inviting place where people can be thought to change their attitude towards gambling, not just to quench the crave of gambling one week at the time. I would love to start something myself to help others but not sure where to begin. Perhaps I better start doing some research.

Thank everyone for reading and be sure to let me know if you wish to be read a blog on some of the stories that I have heard while being stuck in that dark, smelly room. As always, I welcome any feedback, comments, opinion etc. via the comments section below. I appreciate every comment, like and follower and this blog is growing every day because of you readers. Thank you so much.

Thanks again for reading and talk to you all on the next one.

63 Comments

    1. Hi Derry,

      No that alone wont do it. It helps, that’s for sure. There are a lot of small factors that are at play in my life that prevents me from gambling and the fear of that dark room is definitely one of them.

      Hope this answers your question.

      Like

    1. Nicole,

      Yes. That was my experience anyway. I am sure it varies from city to city and from place to place. However, I don’t think there are adequate measures in pace in Ireland to tackle this addiction. I hope it will get better and fast.
      Gambling seems like very big yet silent issue in Ireland.

      Like

    1. Hi Jenny,
      The image was picked by my girlfriend. She is the creative touch behind the layout and the images for these blogs. Thanks for your support and glad to hear you are enjoying the blogs.

      Like

    1. Hi Hana,

      I just accept my mistakes and I am happy to put my hand up and say “I f*cked up, let me share my mistakes so you wont repeat them”. I don’t fear being criticised or judged as I am my worst critic. I just hope my experience helps others.

      Like

    1. Hi John,

      Thank you very much for the support. Please feel free to share this blog with anyone that you think may find it useful in anyway. Lets kick this addiction out of this country, one blog at the time. Thanks again.

      Like

    1. Hi Brian,

      Yes it is very easy to get dragged in to such addiction. A lot of young people are hiding their gambling addiction from their loved ones all over Ireland.
      I hope through these blogs people will speak out about this addiction more and more. I am hear to listen and help in any way I can.

      Like

    1. Penelope,
      That is for sure. At the time of weakness your family and loved ones will ALWAYS help you out as you would help them out if they needed your help. People need to admit their mistakes and face them head on a lot more and face any addiction with confidence and determination. Family always helps.

      Like

    1. Colm,
      Thank you very much for your comment. Yes we need to all as a country acknowledge this addiction and fight it together. I appriciate your support and feel free to share this blog with anyone who you think might benefit from it.

      Like

    1. Hi Kiara,
      Yes I would. Its not the most ideal help or situation to go to these meetings but it will make you think and analyse yourself. The meeting itself may not give you the help or the right advise but it may help you think differently. Everyone is different and they will take the meetings in a different way but since there is very little options for a gambling addict in this country, these meetings are gamblers best shot.
      Hope that answers your questions Kiara.

      Like

  1. You made me happy again… You made me feel like I could speak up and talk to someone… For once I no longer felt alone and that is all down to you and the inspiring messages and thoughts and push your blog gave me… I will forever be thankful for what you have done for me….. FOREVER.. when ever I have a kid ill call him after you… you were my guardian angel in my time of darkness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lucy,

      Thank you very much for the kind words. That comment was something else. I am speechless.
      I am very glad that these blogs has helped you in such a way. I hope these blog will continue be very helpful for you and if you need any more help or advise feel free to email me.
      My email is below.
      Feel free to share this blog with anyone else that you feel might benefit from it.
      Keep working hard towards your goal and every day is a new start.

      Like

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you very much for the kind words. I appreciate your support. Please share this blog with anyone you feel needs to come out of the dark place of addiction. I just hope though these blogs we can cure gambling addiction. Thanks again.

      Like

  2. Let me speak for my son … he is 18 years old and was close to ending his life with the amount of pressure and debt that came with gambling …. I read your blog and it just clicked what I seen in you I saw in my soon… He has a long journey ahead of him but thanks to you he now sees a journey rather then a dead end… I will thank you and keep you in my prayers for ever… You are a very special person Vadim… very special

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hannah,

      So sorry to hear what your 18 year old son is going through. I am thankful that he has come out from the dark end of depression and is on the road to recovery. If your son or yourself will like advice or help in anyway I be more thank happy to help I want to help anyone in anyway I can. I don’t charge money, look for favours or look for any kind of reward. I just want to help as many people as possible with this horrible addiction.
      My email is vadim.mcevoy@gmail.com
      You can contact me at anytime and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Only if you want. There is no pressure on your or your son. I just want to wish yourself and your son the best of luck in recovery and hope you fight this addiction together. He needs love and support from you and you need hope and determination from him.

      Like

    1. Thanks Gerry. You seem to be always here commenting and supporting this blog. I cant thank you enough for your support and appreciation for this blog. Without loyal readers like yourself with the support that you all bring this blog will be nothing. Thank you so much and I hope you continue supporting this blog for a long time to come.

      Like

    1. Hi Alison,
      Yes this blog seems to be helping a lot of people. However, people should also be proud of themselves for going on line and searching for help with their addiction, reading the information and implementing measures in their life to fight it. I am just glad that a lot of people are on a journey of recovery and the more people we bring with us the better.

      Like

    1. Hi Caoimhe,

      No I did not. I am blown away with the reaction. I am just glad that people are helping themselves by reading material online to help to fight their addiction and I am even more happy that they are reading my material and are benefiting from it. I just want to bring as many people as possible on this journey to gambling addiction recovery.

      Like

    1. Hi Hannah,

      Thank you for the kind words. We had our small differences in the past but we all on this journey together to improve and help others that may need our help. Thanks again for such a nice comment.
      Glad to hear you are still enjoying these blogs and hope you will keep enjoying them for long time to come.

      Like

  3. I have a partner I have a feeling is gambling? What would be the best way to approach him with this problem .. Without offending him or pushing him away

    Like

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Sorry to hear about your situation with your partner, It is a very delicate situation to handle. You need to be absolutely 100% that he is gambling before you approach your partner.
      You need to observe the mood swings. Is there anxiety, panic, anger around the time of sporting events etc.
      Observe his spending habits and see if it makes sense overall.

      When the time does come to approach it you need to be very supportive, loving and understanding. You need to let your partner know that you are coming from a position of love and care. It needs to be one on one in an environment where he is comfortable in i.e your home. There will be some sort of back lash of course but if your partner sees that you are there to support him then he will take it that bit easier. If it turns out that he is gambling then you will need to tackle the addiction together. He won’t do it on his own.
      You need to be understanding as the addiction can drag anyone with it. Its a tough place to be and the last thing anyone needs is anger and pointing fingers.
      I hope the above helps Nicole. If you need anymore help please feel free to email me at vadim.mcevoy@gmail.com and I will try and help in anyway I can.
      Thank you.

      Like

  4. My partner told me a few days ago that he has a gambling addiction and has had for the last four years … I don’t know if my taking the secrets personal and feeling like my trust has been potrayed is a selfish reaction or is that a wrong reaction to have? I feel too upset to try talk and help him right now… What should i do in this situation ?

    Like

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I am sorry to hear the situation you are currently having with your partner. This is a very delicate and fragile situation. I 100% understand where you are coming from. It is very confusing and emotional time for you and him.
      Gambling addiction is very easy to hide and it is very embarrassing for a lot of people to admit to the addiction. I very much doubt that your partner intended to hurt you or himself. The addiction just grabbed a hold of him and trust me when i say, it can happen to ANYONE. He is not a lesser or weaker man because of it. He obviously wants to change his ways and prove himself to you if he came to you and you only with this problem. It sounds like he trusts you and is crying out for your help.
      He will need your help. Tackling addiction on his own wont work. I suggest you let some time pass and let things cool down a bit (maybe 2-3 days) then ye need to sit down and talk through how ye are going to fight this addiction together. I am sure there are 1001 reasons why you love your partner. It may be wise not to beat him down in his moment of weakness. It sounds like he needs your help and if you reject him or walk away from him that will be the worst thing for him. It will turn him back to gambling and he may get into it even more so than he is now.
      On the flip side he needs to show you that he is willing to change and he is willing to put measures in place to show you that he can change. There is one thing talking about it. He needs to act on it too. Take one day at the time and make sure you both move forward supporting each other.
      If you need any more help or advise please feel free to email me at vadim.mcevoy@gmail.com.
      Hope the above is of some help.
      Please feel free to let me or all of us know on your progress.

      Like

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