So here I am, writing a blog predominantly focus on my, and the growing number of females, gambling addiction. That’s right, I am a gambling addict and I say that every week, or most weeks, when attending Gamblers Anonymous (GA). It is something I never thought I would be, or, more realistically, something that never even featured on my radar as a potential part of my life. Yet here I am, a woman in her mid to late thirties (I prefer if we stick with mid) married with a child who works full time and on top of that I have to include ‘someone with a gambling addiction’! It was only this year that I came clean, again, with my husband about the gambling. He thought the first time was a blip that we dealt with but I was not being truthful then either.

However, this time was different, I had sunk deeper into the gambling addiction and no longer felt like myself, rather a person totally overrun with gambling which affected every part of her life. It is something, should you ever attend GA, that you hear often from others and the all consuming element gets worse every time you revisit the addiction with similarly affected people! As part of working through this with my husband we told those family and friends who were directly affected, those I borrowed from. Actually, most were told by my husband due to my embarrassment and cowardice.

Hands forming a shape of support

Support has been crucial

However, this did mean that I was able to speak about my problems with the people I considered closest to me. I have to say I was incredibly lucky to find and keep these people in my life as, despite the lies and borrowing, they all stood by me and listened when I needed them to. I know this may not be the case for everyone, people might be dealing with their addictions on their own, or, may not be able to face their addictions at this time and this is something I hope I never take for granted. I understand that many others will be facing this problem in isolation and without the same support.

Despite the progress I am making in my recovery I am still choosing to write this blog anonymously. This is because I am not ready for everyone to know this about me, or to deal with questions whilst I am still in the early stages of recovery. I also feel at this time that anonymity allows me to talk more openly about the individuals that have supported me through my gambling addiction and those I have used through gambling without anyone else realising who they are or how they might have affected me. It means I can just write without worrying.

This blog first and foremost is for me, I see it as a way to get down my thoughts and memories on what it was like when gambling

This blog first and foremost is for me, I see it as a way to get down my thoughts and memories on what it was like when gambling, what it was like coming clean and my current road to recovery. I also want to try to work out who I am now and what life I am creating with friends and family as an addict in recovery and how much of a part of my life gambling is or, hopefully, was. However, I of course hope that should someone stumble across this blog that it helps demonstrate that they are not the only ones dealing with these issues and that despite all the misconceptions, gambling addiction is not a male issue, at least not anymore, and that women are equally as affected, and indeed targeted, by gambling firms.