I was in a dark and sad place when I was keeping my gambling addiction to myself.

When I eventually came clean about the extent of my gambling addiction, I felt such an indescribable sense of relief afterwards that it is hard to write about. I remember mentioning this within one of my early therapies and there was nodding throughout the room as it seems like the vast majority have felt the same sense of relief at some point.

I do not say this without considering that there are some who take this difficult step who do not have support. Some are forced to move from a dark place to an equally unsympathetic and unsupportive environment that is not remotely preferable. But it does appear from others I have spoken to that continually lying is a slow form of decay that is hard to break free from.

When I received some comments back on my therapy, someone said:

“Remember that whilst you feel like you have lifted a cloud from above you, what you have actually done is pass that cloud onto your husband.”

It has taken ages and as I am still a work in progress but I try not to feel guilty or like I am hiding something

I remember thinking how true this is, I could see it in front of me now that I understood it, my husband taking on the burden of sorting out how to pay the debt, and how we move forward as a family, even if we can get over this, and how to keep our relationship together.

Girl crying

Lying can feel like a decent

I felt significant guilt with this, however I have to be honest and say that what I really saw was someone who loved me that was in a much better place than me emotionally to deal with this situation as they were not an addict in recovery. I know upon reading this back that it sounds selfish, but it was what I needed to help survive the early days/weeks/months of recovery. My husband was just better equipped to take this on and I was in no place to help. This is when you understand, with hindsight, what support is. If I was battling this myself it would not have been the case and who knows where we, and certainly me, would be now under different circumstances.

My husband and I are a team in many things and he is supporting me with going to my meetings, money and of course trying to encourage me in life outside of the gambling. It’s frustrating sometimes when he tries to throw me into a hobby or thinks he has to distract me with other pursuits.

It has taken ages and as I am still a work in progress but I try not to feel guilty or like I am hiding something as they have been feelings that I have carried around for such a long time. After all, the best thing about not lying is not hiding things, if you feel like you are still hiding what was the point in being truthful. You have to give yourself that and cash in the nice feeling that being truthful and free gives you.