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To celebrate our 50th anniversary year and the impact we have had we aim to get 50 stories from 50 people by the end of 2021, in video, audio and written form.

We have teamed up with People’s Voice Media to compile a chronicle of stories from people who have had their lives changed through undergoing treatment with Gordon Moody.

Through one-to-one and group storytelling sessions, people affected by gambling share their experiences of how gambling and the stigma surrounding it has affected their lives.

Hear Bev tell her story about tackling gambling addiction through treatment  with Gordon Moody.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW BEV’S STORY

 

 

 

Before applying for Gordan Moody, I was in a terrible way. Family relations were problematic and personal relationships were built on the dependence of charity.

I struggled to afford monthly rent and general household necessities. To forget about all these external issues, I continued to escape to my comfortable place. This was gambling.

Most of my childhood was hectic. Many years of physical and mental abuse by my sibling, followed by his horrific death, constituted to my denial of meaning, progressive internalised anger and obsessive self-pity. 

During my time at Gordan Moody, I felt an energy of optimism and an unconditional acceptance from both staff and fellow housemates. The level of remorse and guilt I had held within for many years, was slowly being drained by my acceptance and realisation for self-forgiveness.

In therapy sessions I could talk about emotions and come to terms with my past. Quite brilliantly, the therapist would refrain from judging or blaming each of my wrong doings, but concentrate on their positive parts and listen openly without any sense of authority.

Gaining trust

This allowed me to gain the trust needed to share my deepest fears and regrets. The fellow housemates were also very supportive. Each person had their own stories of regret, anger and dishonesty. We would talk together about our own experiences and provide advice for our recovery.

Ultimately, there was an overwhelming energy of optimism, openness and motivation to change. 

The most important part of my recovery was acceptance. I had to admit to myself that I was compulsively gambling to escape from the traumas of my past.

By coming to terms with my past, I was able to justify my actions and therefore reduce the remorse I felt. I had to change some personality traits, such as blaming myself consistently.

After realising I was prone to self-blame, I became incredibly aware of the thought patterns that directed me. Without all the help from the staff and fellow housemates, I would more than likely still be trapped with unjustified guilt. Thus, leading me to continuously escape by gambling. Thank you for allowing me to realise my own mind, morals and emotions, with absolute acceptance and unconditional positive regard.

Gordon Moody helped me find a local flat with the council, because I had no other home. The support, care and consideration I received was more than amazing.

I decided to apply for university to study psychology,  because throughout this experience I found my true passion and interest in life. This was to help and support others in whatever way I could.

This philosophy has a profound meaning to me, and I aspire to maintain these principles throughout my life. 

I have now just started my second year at university, and I have a job as a support worker for people with learning difficulties and challenging behaviours. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for Gordon Moody. 

Monday 4 October 2018  was the day my life started again….

So I guess my story has to start all those years ago as a 15-year-old boy working a Saturday job in my local chippy. Then out of the blue my boss decided to install what is known as a fruit machine. As I served customers and watched them play I thought to myself, what is this game their all enjoying it looks fun right?

Then I made that fateful choice, as I put my first pound in with the press of a few buttons and that third spin I’d won the jackpot. A sudden surge of adrenaline and a warm feeling rushed through my body which I can only describe as taking my first hit, from that moment I was hooked and I’d spend the next 17 years chasing that feeling. 

For me gambling was never about chasing losses or to gain quick money, yes these factors became part of my addiction but for me I wanted to have that warm feeling I got from my first win.

Over the years my attentions quickly progressed to the bookies where I discovered the roulette which to me was a new fix, spending endless hours and days spin after spin completely fixated with no real sense of reality. When the bookies closed I’d drive to service stations on the fruit machines I would gamble until I physically had no money left. Wages gone, pay days loans spent, valuables pawned I didn’t care, money to me was like free tokens to keep my high going I never appreciated the true value of money.

 But with every high comes a low, and believe you me as a gambling addict the lows are unimaginably bad. The realisation hits you like a train, its payday my wages are gone the five pay day loans just took out are also gone and all my credit cards are maxed.  I’ve got nothing left how am I going to get through this month, what am I going to tell my partner.  But to me this was life and it became the norm, debt, depression, isolation was pretty much how life was and after all my money had gone I’d convince myself I was fine I’m not gambling today but the cycle starts again feeling so alone and worthless. When your gambling it’s like life doesn’t really exist for you, everyone around you is living and happy with life but my life was quickly spirally out of control trying to convince myself I hadn’t got a problem and I can deal with this on my own.

But how wrong I was I had a massive problem a compulsive gambler addicted to the feeling from that first win. With gambling addiction comes massive depression and isolation, I spent a lot of years gambling on my own whether that be in bookies, casinos or online telling myself this is my world and my thing. I completely changed as a person, losing friends, destroying relationships and hurting family members but above all else losing Lloyd. I didn’t know who I was anymore, where my life was going a completely broken man to the point where rehab was the only option to save my life.

Recovery begins

Now is where my story changes because from here on in recovery begun. It was Monday 4th October 2018 I was walking through the doors in Herefordshire having been accepted for the MMOC rehab programme through Gordon Moody. To say this changed my life is a bold statement to make but it really did. Rehab was a chance to strip everything back and discover your- self and get to the core reasons why I’d gamble. At first I wanted to run its all id ever known I wanted to get back into my world I didn’t want to confront my feelings and talk about not growing up with my dad in my life or that when I was 16 my nan dying and never really grieving for her. But rehab teaches you to confront these problems it’s a cliché but it really is good to talk. The techniques I learnt to help stop gambling made me feel stronger a new sense of determination, wow where has this come from. But this is all part of the wonderful work Gordon Moody do and I honestly cannot thank them enough for what they’ve done for me I feel extremely privileged to have been accepted onto the programme and my only hope is that more problem gamblers get the chance to change their lives for the better like I have.  

As I sit and write this now I am celebrating 53 weeks gamble free with a future to look forward to and have just completed the Cumbrian Experience where I had the chance to represent GMA and self-advertise all the wonderful work they do.  This has also made me realign my recovery, I was so focused on stopping gambling that I failed to realise ‘me’.

Gambling took away my self-confidence, self-belief and the constant feeling of worthlessness. So for me recovery now is all about self-improvement and learning to love myself again, but life is good now I never thought a day would come let alone a year without gambling but it has.

The world is a beautiful place now I can see it again and I can only look forward to the time ahead and not look back at the time I have lost. I am stronger now to be more aware of complacency and ultimately just take day by day.

Gordon Moody

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