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    Posted October 20, 2009 by
    Edmonton, Alberta
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Overcoming addiction

    A gambling addiction story.


    I have had a number of addictions.  Food and exercise addictions made me miserable for a time, but gambling swept me off my feet.  I started with slot machines and after three months I was gambling away my rent money, and I was unable to stop. I went to see a psychiatrist, following my brother's advice. He gave me Paxil, and the only improvement was that I didn't care how much money I lost.  In ten years, I went to Gamblers Anonimous twice but, looking back I wasn't ready to do what the program asked of me. At the end of the ten years, I had quit University, quit a job because I couldn't handle cash, lost a few cars, started two abusive relationship because I was afraid of being alone, attempted suicide twice and failed.  At the end, I was arrested and charged for 1 armed robbery and 1 attempted. So I found out, prison, insanity and, or death is real.  While in jail,  I was sent for a psychiatric assesment where I was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder, a form of neurosis.  I spent three months in the Remand Centre, and I was given a two years conditional sentence,  during its duration I had to stay with my family or go back to jail.  The sentence was light probably because I didn't have a gun or any other weapon of any sort. When I came out of jail, I had justifiably lost custody of my twelve year old son, and all I owned were a couple of sets of clothes.  For the first six months, I was under house arrest so, I was not allowed to work. I was also ordered to attend counselling which I did once per week. I joined a pentecostal church, and I attended service every Sunday.  I was also sent to Gambler's Anonimous and I was allowed to attend 1 meeting per week.  Amazing, in spite of the consequences, I still suffered serious gambling urges until I went through step 4 and 5 for the second time.  Following the first year of my sentence, I was allowed to return to school, and I took an Office Assistance program.  I actually  finished the program and got a 1 year certificate.  I recently celebrated my seven year birthday in G.A. I never regained custody of my son, but I have seen him almost every week-end since my release from jail.  Him and I have a wonderful relationship and I thank God everyday for letting him be in my life.  The change in my life happened because once I was done destroying myself and everything around me, my son said he still loved me.  I guess because my illness, I felt that I had to test him. And now, at the age of nineteen, my son says that what he admires about me is that I never give up. Sometimes I think that If I was run over by a semi and my son walked in front of me, I would then pull myself together and walk.

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