Everything was fine, well I thought it was! I had a life, a plan, loving children and a caring partner.
The next day I had lost it all, no children, no partner and no life.
That was over 18 months ago, my children are now 5, 3 and 22 months old and I get to see them for just an hour every month.
I was a gambler, that fateful day I gambled again – and lost. Finally, after I had drowned my sorrows with a bottle of wine, I went home. My partner was not happy as I had only popped out for some provisions, 5 hours ago!
Gamblers are not selfish; they are in a Gambling bubble and don’t appreciate the harm they are causing.
“Where are the nappies?” she yelled at me. “There is no money for food or nappies as I’ve been gambling!” In her frustration and anger, surprising us both, she threw something at me. As a result one of them hit my head, certainly she had never done that before. “I was trying to get more money, as we don’t have enough”
Gamblers believe that gambling is the only way to recoup losses.
A neighbour called the police and we were taken down the station. Social Services came and took the children into care. Because this was a one-off incident, the police did not press charges, however Social Services kept the children in care!
I never had a drink problem, I only drank to forget my losses. My children are now in foster care, possibly they might go up for adoption!
Roll on 18 months: With the help of my counsellor, Nuno, I proved to the court that I had dealt with my gambling problem. However, although they agreed my gambling and drinking was no longer an issue, they decided against releasing the children back into my care and this was mainly down to the Psychologists report. She stated that, to stand a chance of gaining my children back, I would need to deal with my deep-rooted childhood issues. She was talking about, amongst other things, my relationship with my Father, and the bullying I suffered with at school.
Even in my despondent, demoralised, demotivated and disillusioned and desperate state, I was able to ask for help.
I contacted the Counsellor who had helped me with my gambling addiction, and asked if I could come out to his Gambling Retreat in Portugal. www.Lifebeyondthehorizon.com He said, coming out here, removing myself from my everyday distractions, would certainly be beneficial in tackling my issues.
I was running out of time – unless I could prove I was capable – my 3 lovely children would be put up for adoption and I would never see them again!
Part 2 will be published soon, how LBTH helped change my life. If you would like it direct into your mailbox, sign up to our newsletter HERE