For myself, growing up gambling was just something that you did. From the age of 16, I would be at the local pub with my brother and our friends. That was when I had my first bet on a greyhound. It is a habit that has affected every aspect of my life. I have lost jobs, friends and partners due to gambling. I have let my family down on countless occasions from the lying and deceit.
My current partner and mother to my son has been fantastic with her support. I still battle with the addiction every day and I sometimes feel further away from stopping than ever before. My little boy is what I try to concentrate on and making sure he is raised with the right influence around him. Each day is hard but it is exactly that. Day by day.
I take solace in the fact that I'm not alone in the problem and my advice to anyone who wants to listen is just be honest. Not just to your family/friends but to yourself. I have failed on this so many occasions, but when I've managed to get the courage to be honest and open up, it’s always given the best results.
There are thousands of people just like us going through the same problem. Speak up :) I know I'm trying to do this more and more, and hope for the best for mine and my family's future.