I remember being a kid and dreading Sunday evenings it was a case of me and my brothers sharing a bath and my mum drying our hair in front of the TV with London’s burning on or It might have been Heartbeat with Greengrass lol
When I hit secondary school I was to cool for tv and instead my dad would take us to New Brighton amusements and at the age of 14/15 I would play on the 2p arm bandits or fruit machines whatever suits you, when I got in to college and started my part time job the stakes of 2p a spin would increase to 5p,10p, 20p and so on the time I hit the almighty 21 years of age I could be doing £1 a spin up to £5 a spin, you may ask how could I afford this well the truth is I couldn’t.
After work/university it would be a planned routine finish at 5pm hit the bookies around 5.30 and gamble everything I’ve got and I mean everything…
- Student loans
- Money off the family
- Sell my personal items
- And even steal if I had too
That’s right I was hooked my grades at university was dropping, I wouldn’t eat, I would sell all my parents jewellery, I would purchase mobile phone contracts get the handset and sell them or get loans with no intention of paying them back just so I could gamble, I had to lie to everyone when people asked me why am I always skint? Where have you been? You don’t look good what’s wrong? Your mood swings are up and down. I would owe everyone money I had debt collectors at my parents door I was a proper shit… how can you explain to people that in 1 week you would spend 2k on a holiday but the week after your asking to borrow a fiver the joys of gambling.
After 10 years of gambling age 24 I decided enough is enough I moved to Sheffield I joined GA (Gamblers Anonymous) I got myself a full time job at Santander and got my head down. I still have a weekly Acca and I do gamble occasionally, but with limits etc, but I am now back in control of my own life I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore all bills get paid I don’t owe people money it’s a better life.
In 2012 my mum was seriously ill and we all knew she didn’t have long the doctor said to me anything you want to say you need to say it tonight before it’s to late, I sat next to her in the hospital and told her everything i knew she would forgive me she was just happy that I turned my life around.