Hi there, I am Vik. 33.
Father of two (4 years and 8 months)
Husband married for 7 years.
My gambling (problem) started in 2008/2009. I was 18/19 at the time, a student. I did place some bets a couple of years prior to that, but it was still harmless, a couple of soccer bets here and there.
In 2008, I opted for the slot machines and that was when everything went to $#.
I was gambling on and off (mostly on) until 10 August 2021, that was the last day I spent time and money gambling.
I lost a lot of money, important relationships, friendships, reputation, trust, time, careers, health, sleep, and it almost cost me my family (wife and 2 yo kid).
It caused physical injuries to my big brother who backed me up against some of the bookies whom I owed money. It caused sleepless nights to my parents.
Then 22 months ago, I had a really long week with my parents. Stayed up all night, talked, thought about ways to get out of it, the simple solution was (ahh, just stop), which wasn't easy at all.
I went to a psychologist/psychiatrist who gave me some medication which kind of made me sleepy and uninterested at gambling, but it did not affect only gambling, I did not like anything at all while taking those pills. I went to the doctor for like 4-5 months. I eventually stopped going and stopped taking the medication (all in coordination with family).
Being monitored at all times was what did it for me for the first months. I had an old Nokia phone, no possibility of online gambling. I changed my number so bookies could not 'reach out' to me because they 'haven't heard from me'. Then about 4-5 months after I took back my smartphone, but at night I left them in the living room as to not be tempted. This went on for like another 3-4 months and then my life kind of got back on track.
During this time I only kept enough money to each 1 meal per day while outside of the house. My salary went straight to my parents who managed it. Paid back debt and loans.
After abt. 12 months I started to keep a little more money with me. For a meal and some 'just in case' money. This is the case also today. But, after 22 months and 16 days of not gambling (stand today) I own a reliable car. Went on a couple of unbelievable vacations with my wife, have another beautiful kid. Saved abt 20k dollars. Paid off all the debt and loans. Don't have to hide my phone from fear of getting calls from friends who lent me money. Don't have to lie about my whereabouts. Don't have to lie as to what happened to my money. For the first time, after 13 years of problem gambling, I feel alive.
In these 13 years I certainly lost 100k+ along with all the other non-monetary, not including loss of jobs.
Your family are the only ones who really care about you. No doctor knows you as your family does. No doctor really cares if you get better. You are just another patient to them. Please, talk to your family.
If you are blessed enough to have your parents around talk to them first. They will almost never threaten to leave you. They will have your back, no matter what.