In this story: Addiction / Gambling / Recovery /

“I struggled to understand why I couldn't just stop, why I no longer could think rationally, why almost everything was a trigger to gamble.”

“I can’t remember what made me do it, but it was going to be the start of over 12 months of lying, manipulating, stealing and anything I could do to get my hands on money to gamble.

On a bleak winter day, a couple of weeks before Christmas I was at home living with my parents. Sitting in the living room I went online and used the free bets on Santa’s Wishlist or some sort of Christmas game. I quickly got a small win- the amount is irrelevant as it was gone within a few spins. Before I knew it, I was depositing money into the betting account.

I was thinking all week about how to get my hands on some money to hide the gambling and to get Christmas presents for my family. We had scrap copper and lead at work, and it was my responsibility to take it to the scrappies and hand the money in. Instead, I did something I am ashamed of, I took a risk and kept the money. It was paid into my account. I didn’t gamble it straight away, I waited for the work night out the following day. Instead of doing the sensible thing I stayed out and ended up at the casino on my own, losing the money I had stolen.

I was all over the place. I never knew how to deal with things, I thought gambling was the way to deal with it. It was an escapism. I was unhappy, I was living at home with my parents, never had a steady relationship and feeling I only had my job at the college because of my dad.

Everything was negative in my head, but on the outside, I was laughing, smiling, joking, and hiding everything from everyone.

I struggled to understand why I couldn’t just stop, why I no longer could think rationally, why almost everything was a trigger to gamble. I lost everything, or at least that’s what the addiction made me believe. I was self-harming, I was overeating, my physical and mental health went downhill and my relationships with everyone were affected. I was not the real Ross.

Now I look back and realise that the addiction played on my vulnerabilities. I am fortunate enough to know what a life without gambling is like. Your senses come back, you see clearly again and appreciate life so much more.

I can enjoy spending time with friends and family. It is not easy to make the changes and reach out, but it is the best thing you can do.”

Read part one of Ross’s story here.

Find out more information about Scotland Reducing Gambling Harms programme at the ALLIANCE.

Read more Humans of Scotland stories. 

End of document.

End of page.