Growing up in the UK, it started in my early teens, placing the occasional bet at the football ground.
As the years passed by the frequency quietly increased. From sports that I loved and was passionate about to sports that I had absolutely zero interest in.
As soon as I started betting on horses and greyhounds that's when things really started to spiral out of control.
With the rise of online/mobile gambling, it was now easier than ever to gamble 24/7 - at school, in bed, in social environments.
My gambling got progressively worse and I decided that at the age of 23 I would do some travelling to escape from the highs and lows.
My gambling of course followed me though and although not as frequent as at home, I would still make an effort to gamble whilst exploring. When I eventually settled down again, this time in Australia, I got back into my old routined ways of betting most days of the week and wasting most, sometimes all of my hard earned dollars on a regular basis. When would I start to learn?
As I started to bet more (and lose more), I eventually realised that I had a problem. I was addicted.
Despite attending regular Gamblers Anonymous meetings, self excluding from websites, buying ad blockers etc, I still found ways to gamble everything away. Every-time when I hit my rock bottom, things got progressively worse. It wasn't just the money I was losing, it was my friends and family who had bailed me out numerous times as well as my own dignity and time.
18 months ago after a heavy relapse I finally realised that my gambling must stop for good. Since the 30th September 2017, I have not placed a bet and am living a highly rewarding life in Sydney, Australia. I have a good job, a loving partner, better relationships with friends and family and a savings account. I attend regular therapy sessions to deal with issues I abandoned whilst gambling and I have gone from hating the person that I am to now being content, happy and extremely genuine.
Gambling ruined 15 years of my life. However my recovery has been nothing short of incredible and I am still learning more and more about my real true self every day. I hope that by sharing my story I can inspire others to say "NO MORE" and live a happy and healthy life gamble free.