I don't know where to turn for help


Hi everyone,

I posted here about a week ago. My son is addicted to gambling. A week ago he was going to stop. Now he is going to "get it under control." It is impossible to talk to him about this horrible addiction, unless he comes to me first. And, unfortunately, that is when he has lost. I do not know what to do to help him. How do you watch a loved one destroy himself?? I can barely function. I live 100 miles away from the nearest Gam-Anon, and their meetings are on an evening when I can not go due to work. My son will not ask for help. He is young, proud, and, I imagine, afraid.
Thank you for listening.
Jane
jane

Monday February 07, 2005
04:51 PM EST

Maybe it would help if you found an ex-gambler that could give him some talking to, or show him some people that are in deep in gambling and ask him if that is how he wants to be.
Just a suggestion.

Hiei-Suichi

 

Thank you for the suggestion. I do not know any one, but perhaps I will try to find someone. It is a good suggestion. I am open to any suggestions. At this point I am desparate. I am sorry, I know I need to try to live my own life. I try. Most of the time I do, even if only barely. Sounds terrible, I know. I have got to figure out how to deal with this. I wish I did not live so far from any help.
Jane
jane

 

Hi Jane,
I am a CG... but can help you. I know that sounds very weird, but I've have 9 years of experience working in a support group for acting out kids and adult kids. Every addiction imaginable, murder, gangs, runaways and mental illness... you name it. So... If you would like I can help you through this.
My heart goes out to you.
Terri

 

you are welcome, i tried and i think that that would help me.

 

Hi Terri, Thank you for your offer to help. I very much appreciate it. I know I should not let this affect me so, but at this time it is. I feel for you, a cg. We are all in this together. I hope to help others, also. Do you have any suggestions? Yes, I do need help through this. Thank you, jane

jane

Jane are you online right now? This might be easier to start in a chat... I'll go to chat room 1 and see if you pop in .
Terri

 

I printed some of the pages off of this message board and showed it to my husband and let him know that I joined - I did not say much more than that but he did seem kind of interested and then when he wanted to try "the allowance idea" he kind of hinted that I should post that question to see the feedback that I got and he really liked a couple of your guys responses - So, try it out. Don't badger him with it - just hand him some pages and let him read - Maybe he'll join - God Bless and Protect Us ALL - Take Care,
Anita

 

Hello Anita, and others, I have told him about this site. At the time he was determined to quit. He said he would check this site out, but he did not. Now, a week later, he is giving into the impulses, and says he will not. He says he can quit, or "control" his gambling on his own. He can not. I am terribly frightened for him. Thank you for your suggestions.
jane
jane

 

[Quote by: Hiei-Suichi] you are welcome, i tried and i think that that would help me.

Are you a compulsive Gambler Hiei? When you say that would help me I am not sure if you are asking for help or you are saying if you needed help that is what would work...

I do not mean to be rude or exract info you do not want to discuss.I am just trying to get to know you better.

Rob
Feeling good,Lucky? Go Reward yourself...By NOT Gambling, go spend $5 on yourself in a shop,dont forget to read my blog at http://www.lostwallets.blogspot.com

 

Hello again, I just had a thought. I have asked my son to visit this site. At first he said he would, a week later "no." (As I believe I said already) Do any of you have an idea on how I can, or if there is something I can say to him to get him to come to this site? I am careful with what I say to him, I do not tell him what to do. Only try to suggest. Right now he seems to be literally going crazy, because he is trying to stop. Thank you again, and the best to all of you
jane
jane

 

Hi Jane, I'm a CG.
It's unfortunate, but most of us can't get help until we admit we are powerless over gambling. Any thoughts we have that we can control it or limit it is really just another way the disease warps our thinking.
And yes, he probably is literally going crazy...I was totally shocked at the feelings of withdrawal I had when I first became gambling-free.
My heart goes out to you...keep coming here for support!
Take care
Shelley

 

Hello Shelley, What does it take for one to admit they are powerless over gambling? My son knows what it is doing to him, but he doesn't have the-----whatever it is-----to seek help. He is a young man, that I am not sure, will ever admit that he is not strong enough to do what he needs to to get ahold of this terrible disease. It would be admitting a weakness. God, this is so terrible. I am proud of all of you here that are fighting this, and are winning. Any ideas on how I can get him to come to this site?

jane

 

Jane, I remember before you said you lived in Nevada. I live in Las Vegas and if your son is anywhere near there I would be willing to talk to him and help him anyway I could. I also has an addiction to sports betting. Let me know. Jeremy

 

Jeremy, What a nice offer. Thank you so much. Unfortunately, he lives in Reno. Do you do your sports betting online, or in the casinos? Or both? Hope you don't mind my asking. Are you no longer gambling? Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated. Have you found this site to be of help for you? Hope you don't mind all of the questions. I almost feel like I am grieving---no, I DO feel like I am grieving. The son I now have is not the same person, I WANT MY SON BACK.
Thank you for your reply, and best of everything to you
jane
jane

 

Jane, I was doing my gambling in the sportsbook. I haven't made a bet in 14 days. This weekend was tough with the Superbowl but I made it. Yes, this site is very helpful just to know there are other people going through this and I'm not alone. As far as making your son quit, that has to be his decision. All you can do is let him know how concerned you are and sugggest he seeks help. But it's really going to come down to himself wanting to stop. He will hopefully run out if lies one day and realize how much money he has thrown away. Just keep being his mother and give him whatever support he asks for.

bucnoles

Hi Jane

I think I have suggested a journal or online diary(simlar to mine) for your son before.I would try to have him consider doing this,the release of stress and guilt is enormous. He can lock it private and anonymous, no one would even know he was related to you(in fact there is no way of you knowing he has or has not been here or still does)I think that might concern him, you being here, remind him he can be anyone for his own privacy.

This is a biggy, by doing so he is getting stuff out into the world, offloading the weight he carries arround being the proud man you say he is. He might feel reluctant to come in with all these people "Mum" knows etc etc.

If he uses a non descipt logon he is totally free in what he wants to share and can become involved as much as he(or she lololol) wants to.

Jane we are trying for you mate

Cheers

Rob

 

Hi Jane
You ask what it takes for someone to admit they are powerless over gambling...I can't speak for everyone, but for me ...I had to get to the point that I was hopeless about everything, including my own life. I call it hell. Everyone is different, and yet, most of us here recognize and empathize with many of the things the other CG's are going through. The disease at least seems to be "reliable" in the way it affects our lives.
It was such a relief for me to walk into my first GA meeting and see that here, there were people who knew where I was coming from....and who were living proof that the addiction CAN be arrested. I got some very much needed hope that night.
So...how can you help your son if he doesn't want help?
I am NOT saying he doesn't want help. Please remember that the addiction is very sneaky indeed, telling us that we are OK. What Rob says holds some serious weight. Let him know he can come here under an alias... even if it's just to read the posts from other CG's. Maybe something someone writes will ring a bell for him.
I really feel for you. As a CG, I have absolutely no control over gambling. It must be harder still to watch someone you love struggle with it, knowing you too are powerless over this awful thing.
I hope something you find here helps
Take care
Shelley

 

Hi all, This site is great. I really appreciate your support. As I have said, I hope something I say may help those of you coping with this addiction. Maybe your seeing how this effects loved ones will help. Gosh, I could tell you even more---but I do not want to get too carried away. Believe me, your loved ones want you happy.
Jeremy, I know I can not MAKE my son quit. I am learning when I can talk to him about his gambling, and when I can not. Most of the time I wait for him to come to me. Maybe one day you can chat with him. I would think that men could relate to men in their own way. Thank you, Jeremy, for your help
Rob, Your advice is very good, also. My son has won awards for his writing skills, and I think a journal, or something similar would be a very good thing. I can see where it would help with the stress. I am waiting for the right time to talk to him again about this site. I am concerned about what he will think of my being here. I do not exactly know what a journal is, but I will find out. I would back off, not come to the site unless he is o.k. with it. Well, we'll see what happens. Thank you so much, I know you are trying to help. I really do wish all of you the best.

Shelly, I can imagine it is a relief to know that there are people that know what you are going through. Something you said, "Here are people who are living proof that the addiction CAN be arrested." From most of what I have read, I had a different opinion. It seems that most of what you are told is that this is almost impossible to arrest. I know it must be VERY hard, I see that, but it has to be terribly comforting to see others that HAVE stopped. I know that is what my son needs; to see others in this same situation, and that you CAN stop. As far as I know, he knows no one going through what he is going through. It must be so hard. But, not impossible! I agree, knowing that you can come here under an alias is a good thing to know. I did not explain that to him when I first told him of this site.

At this time, he is trying to get through each day not betting, and I am not able to talk to him about his gambling very easily. He is stressed, as I know all of you going through this know. Shelley, you DO have control over gambling. Maybe my saying that is my not understanding this awful disease. It seems to me a person could tell themselves that they WILL NOT let this control them, that they will control IT. I know it is not that simple. Think positively. I know, I do not always. I have been really hurting, and have came here for help, and you all have been so good, helpful, and wonderful. I wish you could know how much I am grateful. And how much I hope the best for all of you.

Don't get me wrong. I have my own faults, problems. Looking more and more at that is helping me understand a bit better in how to handle and cope with my sons' addiction. I also have a few addictions: artist block, and chocolate!
Thank you all for being here.
jane

jane

 

Hi Jane

Maybe I should clarify my comment about my compulsive gambling being "arrested". In Gamblers Anonymous (not everyone that stops gambling goes to GA, it's a matter of personal choice) we believe that this is an addiction, and a disease, which can never be cured, but can be arrested. One day at a time. I will ALWAYS be a compulsive gambler. I know that this is a progressive disease from experience. Every time I tried to quit, on my own, I returned to gambling and fell deeper, faster than before.

When I speak about having no control over gambling...this is a necessary surrender for me...I have to believe that I can NEVER gamble in a sane manner or I will return to the hell I was in. Maybe, it seems to you that since we are not gambling, we have gained some control over it. I guess we have learned to control our URGES, but every CG knows they can never control themselves once that first bet is placed. Does that make sense? Yes, I CAN stop. But when I wake up every day, I say "today I will not gamble" and make every effort to keep that number one priority in my life. I abstain from gambling, one day at a time. I can't guarantee I will never gamble again. I don't know what tomorrow will bring to me, and whether I will be strong enough to fight the demon. Sometimes, instead of a day at a time, I am one minute at a time. We can be overwhelmed with the idea that this is a choice we must make every day for the rest of our lives, but we CAN do it, one day at a time.

I too am thankful that you come here....your sharing of your hurt over your son is a tool I put in my bag for the future. For a time when I might forget how I have hurt my own family.
Keep coming back!!
Take care
Shelley

Hello, I am trying to understand this addiction. It is hard to understand. I would understand more if I were a cg. I have never had the desire to gamble, drink, or do drugs. I do not understand why some do, and some do not. I know we all have difficult things to deal with, why some of us turn to something destructive, and others don't I do not know. There are those studying this. Our brains are all different.I know no one starts gambling for the reasons they now gamble, if they are a cg. My son started, for one reason, simply because it was there. EVERYWHERE. We live in Nevada. He makes bets on sports. He knows alot about sports. He won alot of money, at first. He saw a program on t.v. about people making a 6-7 figure living betting on sports. That did it. He thought he could become wealthy. Others do.

Yes, they actually do. But what kind of life do they have? Are they able to keep families? And, what is the percentage of those that do make a living at this? VERY small. Now he is addicted, and it is, perhaps HAS, destroyed him. He is very young (20's). When his brother was in college I went to an orientation at the college. They told us that college students' (there) biggest serious problem is not drinking, is not drugs, it is gambling. This is SO teribble. I wish the absolute very best for all of you. Hang in there. You deserve a good life. I do not think I can keep coming here and laying my problems on you. I will keep you in my thoughts, and prayers. I simply am feeling too down, too lost, to burden you who are dealing with this demon.

Shelley, artist block is when you are an artist, and you do not do your art. I teach art classes at the community college---I paint for class because I have to. But my own work, it does not get down. My worries get in the way. I have won many awards with my art, could do alot with it. But my heart is just not in it.

I am sorry for the down mood today. I feel I may never get my son back. I am scared, and, as I said, will not bring this to you.
I really do wish all of you the best. Please keep doing good.
jane
jane

 

Jane, please don't pull away from the site...no matter what you are feeling there is someone else out there who feels the same. Maybe there are other Moms out there who have been here and read your posts, not thinking to reply, but taking comfort in knowing they are not alone. You are feeling lost, scared and depressed. I can't possibly know what you are going thru because I'm on the other side of the addiction, but I do know that it's times like this we NEED to reach out for help. You mentioned that the nearest Gam-Anon meeting is miles away? There should be a phone number, for you to get in contact with someone from the group. Please try...even if you can't make a meeting, maybe there is some alternative that is available. Just call!! Make that one small step to help yourself feel a little more pro-active in this problem. As a CG , I have absolutely no idea what the basic program is for Gam-Anon. I wish there was another member here that was involved in Gam-Anon.

Please don't stop posting. Share your feelings, no matter how hard it seems. You are NOT burdening me! The more I progress in my recovery, the more I want to help others recover...and that includes those that are affected by a CG .

Please, Jane, just try making the call to Gam-Anon. You have nothing to lose but a little long-distance charge, and maybe everything to gain.
Take care of you
Shelley