Admitting who you are

Hi. Yesterday I went to see an attorney to file for a chapter 13 bankruptcy after living in Las Vegas for 4 years, losing over $400,000 and having over $140,000 in cash advance debt to credit card companies as well as oweing $30,000 in current markers to the casino. I have a great job, make a decent living and have a wonderful husband. So, what drove me to this point? I am not a psychologist but I do believe that compulsive gambling while a definite problem manifestation, is not the root of the problem. I know that no matter how successful I have been I have needed praise and other people to make me feel "good" about myself. I am not sure what tomorrow will bring for me but I do know that for today, I need to examine who I am and what am I doing that will be healthy for me, physically and emotionally. I need all the help I can get and I want to be here to also help anyone else who wants to talk.



I'm glad you took the first step and admitted you have a problem. You sound very smart and I'm sure you will achieve whatever you put your mind to.


I can relate to your predictment and I must commend you for filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection because you are owning up to your debts not running away from them. If I may suggest please don't solve all your problems at once. You have taken the first step and admitted you have a problem. Las Vegas; has a great compulsive gambler treatment program run by Dr. Rob Hunter who is one of the leaders in treating compulsive gamblers. You may want inquire about his program here is his email address Also if you are so inclined please attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, there are plenty in Las Vegas.

Getting back to your post, I agree that compulsive gambling is not the root of the problem; however; we "compulsive" people want to fix things yesterday and that is detrimental to any recovery program. Slow down and enjoy the journey, you will be very surprised.

Paulie D.

Hello sad1027,

Perhaps you have found the root of the problem here in your post. Maybe the problem is in the 'needing other people's praise' to make you feel 'good' about yourself.

In my opinion, it is not a case of 'Admiting who you are' but should be a case of 'Knowing who you are'. By that I mean, knowing that you are a 'worthy' person. Knowing that you 'deserve' a happy and productive life. Knowing your 'true' value as a human being.

As Honesty said, you sound like a very smart person, and I second that. Ask yourself some questions... What is it that makes you 'need' other peoples praise? Why should you not praise yourself when you deserve it? Why should you not feel good about yourself for 'you'? What is it that you need to 'prove' to other people?

And, I would like to ask you two questions... Were you in a situation as a child, whereby you 'had' to try to prove yourself to one, or both of you parents? Did you feel as a child that you were never 'good' enough?

Don't worry too much about the money you owe casinos or the credit card companies. They are both in the gambling business... Most times they win... sometimes they lose.

Also remember: "The only way to make money in a casino, is to 'own' one." Steve Wynn.


Thank you for responding to my message. I am going to attend my first GA meeting somewhere in Las Vegas on Monday evening and I know that will be a tough one for me. I have always felt that I could handle or "fix" anything and giving up control is not easy. I am just so thankful that I am not out there alone and that there are forums such as this and other measures to assist in supporting us as we struggle to come to terms with our compulsive behavior patterns. I have a long way to go but today was a beginning.

I also have to say that I am blesssed by hiring an attorney who not only took time to discuss all of my concerns and questions (I was in his office for my free consultation for over 1 hour) but he made me feel that I can begin again and that bankruptcy is sometimes the path that leads to a healthy recovery. I am still very scared and sad but I am also hopeful.

Let us know how your GA meeting went. I used to attend GA but haven't gone in awhile and would appreciate any feedback you have.

You'll be fine.

Well, I went to my first GA meeting Monday night and nobody was there!! My sister went with me to offer support and we met this realy nice older lady who was also there for the very first time. It was scheduled to be held at a local hospital but the information booth said they were not scheduled for that week! I was a little sad but also a little "relieved" cause I did not have to face strangers and talk about my life. I know that everyone there is in the same prediciment but it is still difficult. Talking about the problem a long time ago would have made a lot more sense but today is the first day of the rest of my life so that is ok. I am so very fortunate because I have my sister and my husband who are very supportive. Now that I am filing bankruptcy, I will no longer have the ability to get more cash advances and I am thankful for that. I am still weak and I know that I need all the help I can get. I actually had my husband take all of our available cash and put it in a lock box with him having the only key. I have not gambled for 9 days and I know that I wll have some good and some bad days. I will be successful in this goal because I need to atone for the hurt I have caused and I think working on gambling reform is one way I can help to make a difference. The casino is not responsible for my actions and I must take the responsibility but in saying that, I want the casino to assume a responsible additude as well. Since writing a post dated check is not allowed in any of the 50 states, how can the casino hold a check for 30 days (a marker) and then treat it as a negotiable instrument? If people could only use the cash available, then the responsibility would be to thegambler alone. But as long as the casino's continue to offer free hotel rooms, meals, shows and cash advances of hundreds of thousands, they are a partner in the addiction process. The day the I told the casino that I could not pay back the marker but needed more time, they said pay or we turn it over to the DA. When I said that I did not have the money at this time and what did they want me to do, comit suicide? The response was, at least then we would be able to colect from your life insurance. Gee, I only wish they had shown this side when I was loosing the original $400,000.00