I was gambling every night. I pulled away from my family, with excuses for not being at home and lies about where the money was going. I didn’t get along with anyone, even my wife, Karen. I just figured my world was falling apart, and she’d be better off without me.
I used the company credit card to gamble with, and one afternoon I got a call that said, “Keith, do you think you have a gambling problem?” I entered treatment just to save my job, ended up relapsing, and going back two more times. The last time, I realized I couldn’t do it for my job; I couldn’t do it to keep my family happy; I needed to do it to save myself.
When you’re in the midst of your gambling addiction, you’re not thinking about asking for help because you think you have everybody fooled. You think no one knows you have a problem. In actuality, everybody knew but me.
Now, I try to give others a piece of my story so they realize it happens to everybody. The 12 step program taught me that I could be forgiven for what I had done.
Keith turned into a person that I didn’t like, and I didn’t know. I couldn’t talk to him. I just believed that I didn’t fit into his world anymore and that he wasn’t happy with me. I didn’t know the extent of the gambling, until one night he said the company was sending him to treatment. I guess the biggest reason that I kept hanging on was because I saw glimpses of a recovery between treatments. Now, he’s a different person. He’s calm, happy and content.