In this story: Gambling / Recovery /

"You can break cycles, you can break routines, you can break bad habits and you can create new ones."

“I would promise to stop.  And then I wouldn’t.  That must have happened numerous times.  I said that I would get help financially and emotionally, however no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t pull myself away from it.

I was going to the bookies every day and online gambling, even when I had self-excluded, I always managed to find my way around the age and ID verification. I was going to the bookies around the corner that I had directly self-excluded from and I was being allowed to gamble for a further year and a half even after being registered with Gamstop.  Nobody clocked that I was self-excluded.  Occasionally the bookmakers would ask “Are you sure this is what you want to be doing?” knowing that I had a problem, and not doing anything about it.  They would just say “well, I hope everything’s ok”.

I experienced some tough times throughout my gambling period- it contributed to me losing my house, relationships, and savings.  That spurred me on to better myself and I really began the road to recovery.  Shortly after entering recovery, I lost my gran and my dad which resulted in a slight relapse. It took me to that stage where I thought “enough is enough”, and I forced myself not to go back down that route. 

It’s interesting because that’s something that I’ve heard from other people, is that there’s often this expectation that massive, negative events in your life trigger relapse, but they can often have the opposite effect.  For me, those experiences started my recovery.

The best part is just not having that secrecy, shame, guilt, and embarrassment hanging over you. Having that bit of freedom to just live life the way you want.  I don’t to be this person that’s like two different people, like Jekyll and Hyde.  Having a big smile on my face and pretending things are good when they’re not. 

As time goes on, it does get easier.  I must admit though, this piece of writing just skims the surface of my story.”

A young man sat with his arm around his mother
My relationship with mum drifted a little but she was there when I needed her most throughout my addiction. She is my inspiration in life to live by my values and lead a fulfilling and happy life and our relationship is now stronger than ever.
It’s safe to say I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for her help alongside others.

“You can break cycles, you can break routines, you can break bad habits and you can create new ones.  I’d encourage anyone with a gambling problem to seek help, speak about their problems, work on self-development, and embrace recovery. 


Read part one of Scott’s story.

Find out more about Scotland Reducing Gambling Harms.

Read more Humans of Scotland stories.

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